The Order of Malta’s traditional pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto, carried out every year at the end of October, ended last Sunday. Some 1,400 Order of Malta members and volunteers assisted over 300 sick people during the three days of pilgrimage and prayer in the Italian Marian sanctuary. Fifteen delegations of the three Italian Grand Priories were represented.
This year the pilgrimage was led by the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, accompanied by the Sovereign Council, and the most important religious ceremonies were entrusted to Cardinal Paolo Sardi, former Cardinalis Patronus, and Archbishop Angelo Acerbi, former Prelate of the Order.
Friday evening, the pilgrimage participants were received by the Archbishop of Loreto, Monsignor Fabio Dal Cin who, during the Eucharistic Celebration in the basilica, expressed his great appreciation for the Order’s work.
“In its millenary existence, throughout its various vicissitudes the Order of Malta has always been able to turn its attention – in the different historical periods – to those considered disadvantaged, assisting, defending and caring for the needy and the marginalized in the service of the church and for love and defence of the faith in Jesus Christ, obeying the Order’s motto: Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum”. The archbishop urged the Order of Malta’s members and volunteers to continue their work of assisting the sick and those suffering from violence, persecutions and natural disasters.
A particularity of the pilgrimages to the Sanctuary of Loreto is the presence of children. This year 170 young and very young people – from 4 to 16 years – spared no effort in transporting and accompanying the pilgrims, besides serving in the refectory with efficiency and great enthusiasm.
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