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A Special Invitation: A Pre-Lenten Pilgrimage to Italy

[2013-01-13]
[Engleză]
Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! This year, 2013, is quite an exciting one for Inside the Vatican magazine. It seems almost difficult to believe, but it has been 20 years since we launched the magazine in the spring of 1993. So, it is our 20th anniversary year. We will celebrate this 20th anniversary with the lauch of our new website, including a digital version and archive of the magazine. But be assured, we will continue our paper edition: we think of ourselves as among the "last magazines standing" in an age where almost everyone seems to be moving exclusively to the internet. We are stubborn and holding out against this trend. We grew up with print, we like print, we like the fact that a magazine cannot be "deleted" with a keystroke or the loss of electric power. So we intend to be available on the "web," but to keep the print edition going as well. We would very much like you to support us in this effort, both by subscribing to the print edition, and, if you feel so inclined, by supporting our work financially. It does seem to us, looking at the news in recent weeks and months, that many of the great issues for our Church and our world are just now "heating up," and some will soon become "red hot," and in this environment a defense of the Roman Catholic faith and traditional Christian values is becoming more and more important, as Pope Benedict's recent statements about the dangers posed by moral relativism and unrestrained technological development have made clear.

This year, we will be organizing four very special Inside the Vatican pilgrimages to the "heart" of the Church for the Year of Faith.

Our first pilgrimage will begin soon, in about three weeks. This "pre-Lenten" pilgrimage still has a couple of places left open. If one or two of you would like to join us for several days "inside the Vatican," please consider joining this or one of the other three pilgrimages. It will be a chance for me to introduce you personally to Vatican City, and to discuss over several days, including with a number of Vatican officials, some of the important ecclesial and societal matters of concern to all of us.

So I would like to personally invite you to consider joining me and a small group of pilgrims, less than 15, for a very special pilgrimage to Italy just before Ash Wednesday. This pre-Lenten pilgrimage will in a sense be a preparation for Lent, at the heart of the Church, near the tomb of St. Peter, inside the Vatican itself. This pilgrimage will focus on the Holy See, the city of Rome, and, last but not least, on St. Philomena.

Why St Philomena? Well, first, because she is a powerful intercessor for those who pray to her. Many Popes were devoted to St. Philomena (see below).

“Pray to Saint Philomena, whatever you ask from her, she will obtain for you.”

—Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846)

Each of our “Friends of Inside the Vatican Magazine” pilgrimages is planned to be peaceful and prayerful. This is a key point: although we will visit many very special places, our journey is a true religious pilgrimage, not an ordinary vacation tour. The spiritual dimension, the search for a deeper understanding of our faith and of the history and life of the Church, is central. This is why the pace of our pilgrimages is slow, not rushed, and there is time to reflect and to pray.

So, please consider joining me on this meditative, prayerful pilgrimage to the places of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Philomena, and close to Pope Benedict XVI.

—Robert Moynihan
founder and editor of Inside the Vatican magazine

St. Peter's Basilica

Piazza Navona

St. Peter in St. Peter's Piazza

Pre-Lenten Pilgrimage to the

Heart of the Church

Februay 3-10, 2013

Click Here for More Information

What Previous Pilgrims Have Said:

Richard Corr, Cleveland, Ohio – “These pilgrimages are unlike any other journey I've ever been on. We went places I could only have dreamed of going but at a leisurely and prayerful pace. I have been on two and will go again.”

Harold Bumb, Naples, Florida – “I enjoyed the trip tremendously! I will repeat it!”

Trudy Bumb, Naples, Florida – “I have been on many pilgrimages -- large and small groups. This was a small group and it was fantastic! You could not ask for sweeter and more intelligent pilgrimage leaders. Their spirituality was phenomenal. We will return!”

Michael Waitkus, Detroit, Michigan – “I would highly recommend this trip because you have the rare privilege to stay inside the Vatican. Robert Moynihan's knowledge of our faith and the places we visit is extraordinary. The small group makes for an intimate experience. The places we visited were amazing and exclusive!”

Email pilgrimage@insidethevatican.comor call 904.699.0960

Pope Leo XII (1823-1829)—Declared St. Philomena the "Great Wonder-worker" of the 19th century

Leo XII, over and over again, expressed the highest admiration for the extraordinary power confered by the Almighty on this hitherto unknown child Saint, and listened with delight to the accounts given him of the wonders she worked. So authentic did he account the information he received and so irrefutable the facts related to him that, notwithstanding the extreme care which the Church usually takes in such matters, he had no hesitation in allowing alters to be dedicated and chapels to be erected in her honor.

Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846)—Named St. Philomena Patroness of the Living Rosary and conceded to her the Universal cult.

Gregory XVI witnessed the great miracle of Mugnano, the cure of Pauline Marie Jaricot. He visited her in Rome before her departure for Mugnano and verified for himself the desperate condition in which she lay. On her return to Rome, Miss Jaricot was received by the Sovereign Pontiff with the warmest affection. He did not conceal his amazement exclaiming: "Is this indeed, our daughter, or is it a vision from the other world?"

Though profoundly touched by what he himself declared to be a "miracle of the first class" he in no way relaxed the rigorous laws of the Roman tribunals. On the contrary, he commanded the Sacred Congregation of Rites to proceed at once to a thorough investigation of the cause. The difficulties that arose were carefully analyzed, the doubts raised were sifted thoroughly. All the facts, from the discovery of the relics in 1802 to the latest miracles worked by the Saint, were subjected to the minutest scrutiny, and this by the most experienced and keenest experts in Rome. After a protracted examination, the Sacred Congregation gave a full and favorable decision in favor of the cult of the Saint. Yet the Holy Father, notwithstanding his own personal love for St. Philomena, spent two more years in prayer and deliberation before making his final decision.

At last, to the great delight of those devoted to the Saint, among whom were several distinguished bishops, archbishops and cardinals, the solemn approval of the Church was made public. This was so complete and conferred so much glory on the Saint that it most amply compensated for the delay which had occurred.

The Pope was not content that Saint Philomena should be raised to the honors of the altar, and that her feast be established and her office given to the Church, he went much further and declared her to be "the Great Wonder-Worker of the 19th century," thus giving the Church's solemn sanction to those marvelous prodigies alleged to have been worked by the Saint, and effectually silencing the critics who had taken on themselves to ridicule her cult in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Not long after, the same Holy Father gave the Saint the new title of Patroness of the Living Rosary.

As a last act of devotion and with the object of manifesting his personal affection for the Holy Virgin, the Pontiff sent a magnificent gold and silver lamp to her Sanctuary in Mugnano.

Pope Pius IX (1846-1878)—Miraculously cured by the intercession of St. Philomena.

Pius IX was, perhaps, of all the Popes, the one who showed most special devotion to the Saint. When Archbishop of Spoleto, he was already devoted to her and earnestly spread her devotion. Later on, when Archbishop of Imola, he fell dangerously ill and the greatest fears were entertained for his life. Near his bedside stood a beautiful image of his dear Saint who was heard to knock distinctly (as she sometimes does, when about to perform some great miracle). Immediately, favorable symptoms were noticed in the patient and these speedily developed into rapid convalescence. Years rolled by and the Archbishop became the immortal Pontiff of Papal Infallibility and the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Far from forgetting his dear patroness when raised to the throne of St. Peter, this great Pope availed himself of his supreme power to shed still greater lustre on the name of Saint Philomena.

To the intense joy of the inhabitants of Mugnano, he went on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of his Benefactress, where he was solemnly received by the Bishop of Nola and the King, Queen and all the members of the Royal Family of Naples. He celebrated Mass on the alter of the Saint and afterwards publicly venerated her relics. He also declared her to be secondary Patroness of the Kingdom of Naples. In 1849, he named St. Philomena Patroness of the Children of Mary.

He granted her, later on, a proper office, which is such an extraordinary privilege that rarely or never has it been granted to any other Saint under similar circumstances.

When dying, the aged Pontiff sent a most beautiful offering to Mugnano, the last touching tribute of his love and gratitude.

Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903)—While a cardinal, the future Pope Leo XIII made two pilgrimages to the Sanctuary.

Leo XIII, before becoming Pope, made two pilgrimages to Mugnano. Later on, when Vicar of Christ, he sent a valuable cross to the Sanctuary. He approved the Confraternity of the Saint and raised it to the rank of an Archconfraternity, enriching it with important indulgences.

Sursa: www.InsideTheVatican.com


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