07 June 2017
In Christ’s Footsteps
In an interview with the “Amici del Pellegrinaggio” Card. Farrell explains the significance of the March of Loretto
The March from Macerata to Loreto is “a collective and stimulating gesture that can be a visual representation of this underlying challenge” launched by Pope Francis to “to leave the enclosure, to go to the geographical peripheries, and even more to the existential suburbs, to welcome and gather all those we meet on the road, to widen our spaces, not to close them.” Card. Kevin Joseph Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life—who will preside over the Eucharistic celebration that will start the 39th Pilgrimage from Macerata to Loreto on 10 June 2017—in an interview published in this month’s issue of the newsletter “Amici del Pellegrinaggio”.
“I am living this new experience with emotion and awareness. We all know—he continued—that getting on the road belongs to man’s nature. Technology has made us lose the experience of walking long distances on the road, a metaphor of the mystery that moves man’s intelligence and will, that of reaching a goal. Our way, however, is not aimless wandering but the path of disciples who follow in the footsteps of Christ, for He is our life and our destiny. I would like every young person to find the significance of being on the way in the humble and dignified act of following Jesus, supported by the trust in his company. That is the other name of faith. The word ‘pilgrim’ (per-egrinus)—he added—is also very meaningful because it refers to someone who crosses fields or borders. The pilgrim travels outside the city; he is the stranger, the foreigner, who comes from afar and goes elsewhere. The pilgrim can get lost, and he needs guidance and hospitality. This is the condition of so many people, and it is ours too.”
Explaining how the experience of a nighttime walking pilgrimage can help young people to face the challenges of everyday life, Card. Farrell said: “The long itinerary, during the hours of the night, the fatigue, and the discouragement, regaining our mutual confidence, knowing that we will reach our goal, that we are expected... This is life: walking without ever stopping, always on the go. No matter how long it is, the only thing that matters is doing it fully, doing something good and just, going forward with friendship and joy for the good news of the Gospel that reaches us and goes further.”