Florida (Agenzia Fides) - After the interruption of last year because of the pandemic, about three thousand five hundred pilgrims coming from different parts of Uruguay, gave life on Sunday November 14, to the National Pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the "Our Lady of the Thirty-Three "in Florida, to honor the Patroness of the country. Bishops, priests, men and women religious and seminarians took part, as usual, all guided by the motto "With Mary and Saint Joseph, let us once again be pilgrims to their Sanctuary". The solemn Mass, celebrated in the churchyard in front of the Sanctuary, was presided over by Monsignor Arturo Fajardo, Bishop of Salto, President of the Episcopal Conference of Uruguay (CEU), who has just been re-elected for the period 2022-2024.
At the beginning of his homily, Mgr. Fajardo expressed the joy of being in the sanctuary of the patron saint of the nation, after last year's pilgrimage was only spiritual due to the Covid-19 pandemic. "In the midst of the storms, doubts and anxieties of the present, we want to affirm our roots, to make a grateful memory, we are the people of memory", he continued, and turning to the Virgin said: "Come walk with us, as in beginning of our history". He then recalled that "the beginnings of our nation are marked by a Marian geography of names that remind us of the roots of our homeland".
In the small Marian image of Guaraní origin, "the faith, history and culture of our people merge", he stressed. "We came as pilgrims to your sanctuary, to your house, we want Mary to give us her gaze, her tenderness," said Bishop Fajardo, who then invoked the Virgin: "Walk with these people of God who venerate you and recognize you as their Mother, with their priests, men and women religious, deacons, send vocations for a new stage of evangelization".
After Communion, the Bishops entered the Sanctuary to recite the Supplication at the foot of the image of the Virgin. At the end of the Mass, the pilgrims ate lunch in the open spaces of Florida, and celebrated Our Lady with songs and dances. In the afternoon, a procession with the image of the Virgin proceeded to the Shrine, where the Prayer of Families took place, broadcast live on the social channels of the Church of Uruguay. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 16/11/2021)