Pilgrimage of the Image of the Virgin Mary at Pontassieve (Florence)

The “Pilgrimage of Mary,” a national initiative promoted by the Vincentian Family on the occasion of the 190th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal to St Catherine of Labouré in the Rue du Bac in Paris, visited Vincentian communities throughout Italy with the statue of Our Lady. The pilgrimage began on December 1, 2020 after Pope Francis blessed the sacred image of the Miraculous Medal on November 11, and concluded on November 22. 2021. It passed through various regions of Italy and elicited great participation when it made a stop in Pontassieve (near Florence).

At Pontassieve, in compliance with the anti-covid regulations, a large number of people took part during times of prayer before the sacred image of the Madonna. The arrival of the statue was inspiring; welcomed with joy and devotion by the faithful, it was followed by the beautiful Holy Eucharist celebrated by the Vincentian missionary priest, Father Francesco Gusmeroli together with the Pontassieve parish priest, Don Luciano Santini and the assistant parish priest, Don Francesco Vannini. The celebration was animated by the choir of the 5th class of a primary school. In addition to the 5th grade students, there were many children from other classes who enthusiastically greeted Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, whom they know well thanks to the initiatives carried out every year at school by the Daughters of Charity. The first day ended with a touching Marian Vigil.

The next day the statue remained in the church for the recitation of Lauds and the Rosary, which were also very well attended, after which the pilgrimage left for Florence, at the Vincentian Retirement Home “Paul VI.”

This pilgrimage is indeed a journey that wants to be a sign of hope and blessing in this time of pandemic. The Vincentian Family, which includes congregations and communities founded on the inspiration of St Vincent de Paul, said: “In the midst of the difficult situation in which the world finds itself as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the midst of a society marked by conflict and tension on every continent, the spiritual children of Saint Vincent de Paul, with this Marian pilgrimage, made a journey to proclaim the merciful love of God.”

In Pontassieve, the Vincentian Family counts on the significant and important presence of the Daughters of Charity; thanks to the collaboration between the Sisters and the Parish, it was possible to organize the pilgrimage in Valdisieve. The parishioners and pilgrims who participated received the Miraculous Medal. Source: famvin.org

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