Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - "This choice is a grace for us Christians in Ivory Coast and in particular for the devotees of Mary; To look at our shrine and pray in communion with the Holy Father, can only be a joy, especially in these difficult times; And for me the Virgin Mary is telling us that she loves us", says Fr. Eugène Adingra, Rector of the Marian shrine of Our Lady of Africa, Mother of all the Graces of Abidjan, which was chosen to be part of the shrines that will join the Pope in the Marian prayer today Saturday 30 May, at the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens, in communion with the great shrines of the world. The Marian celebration to be broadcast live worldwide was organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and is on the theme: "All with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with Mary (Acts 1:14.)".
The largest Shrines of all five continents will be connected. For instance, of Europe: Lourdes, Fatima, San Giovanni Rotondo, Pompeii and Czestochowa (Poland); of the United States of America: the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Washington, D.C.); of Africa: the Shrine of Elele (Nigeria) and of Notre-Damme de la Paix (Ivory Coast); of Latin America: the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico), of Chiquinquira (Colombia), of Lujan and of Milagro (Argentina).
According to Fr. Eugène Adingra what motivated this choice of Pope Francis "is simply because the shrine bears the name of Africa, she is Our Lady of Africa, Mother of all graces and this shrine somehow represents the center of all western Africa".
"When we received the news, I announced it to my brothers in the Marianist community and it was a great joy for us. We all blessed the Lord and recited the Magnificat with Mary to say that we bless the Lord for choosing us", said Fr. Adingra, inviting the faithful to come and live this moment of prayer in communion with Pope Francis, in accordance with the protective measures against COVID-19.
Inaugurated on February 2, 1987, the Marian Shrine of Abidjan, dedicated to Our Lady of Africa, Mother of all Graces, is an important pilgrimage site in Abidjan, in the municipality of Attécoubé, in Ivory Coast. The pilgrimage site welcomes about 3000 pilgrims per week. (S.S.) (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 30/5/2020)