(Photo: Macerata-Loreto Pilgrimage)

Macerata-Loreto: “What the world considers simply madness"

The message of Davide Prosperi, President of the Fraternity of CL, on the occasion of the 46th overnight pilgrimage between the two cities in the Marche region in Italy, which will take place on Saturday, June 8, 2024.
Davide Prosperi

Dear Friends,

I would first of all like to thank each of you for deciding once again this year to make the pilgrimage to the house of Our Lady of Loreto. I thank those who are participating for the first time, those who may have already participated in the past, and those who do so consistently. Adhering to this proposal is each time a choice that is not taken for granted and that, above all, is charged with a meaning and a force capable of changing the way we see the world.

We live in a time in which opposition and conflict prevail, seemingly without any resistance. Clash to impose one’s own thought and claim to achievement, one’s own project on reality, one’s will to dominate and possess. And it is a conflict that happens between people, in families, between social realities, between peoples and nations. War, real war as well as war within relationships, seems to be the inevitable shape of the world around us. The world thus seems to appear too weak, without any consistency, any yearning for peace and hope. It seems impossible to curb the prevalence of evil, committed or suffered, which each of us cannot avoid experiencing.

See, your “yes” to the gesture of pilgrimage is a choice of total freedom by which each of you affirms before anything else, before any desire or aspiration, before any urgency, commitment or personal responsibility that the circumstances of life inevitably pose, the humility of prayer: “Not my will be done, but Thy will be done.” Your “yes” is the affirmation of a new judgment and a possible hope. Together with the many witnesses, starting with Pope Francis, who tirelessly continue to offer humanity the traits of this possible hope, you too in the journey ahead offer, step by step, the same witness. Therefore, be “Pilgrims of Hope,” as the title of the Jubilee we will celebrate next year states. In the Papal Bull of Indiction for the Holy Year, Spes non confundit (“hope does not disappoint”!), Francis offers us these words about Our Lady: “At the foot of the cross, she witnessed the passion and death of Jesus, her innocent son. Overwhelmed with grief, she nonetheless renewed her “fiat”, never abandoning her hope and trust in God. In this way, Mary cooperated for our sake in the fulfilment of all that her Son had foretold in announcing that he would have to “undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mk 8:31). In the travail of that sorrow, offered in love, Mary became our Mother, the Mother of Hope.”

Thus, the features of the new hope that the world awaits are the features of Mary’s face: “Let us never forget that salvation, hope and joy entered into the lives of each of us through Our Lady, ‘humble and tall, more than a creature,’ chosen to bring into the world the flower of salvation, a man in the flesh, Jesus of Nazareth. Mary saw him being born, growing up, walking the dusty roads of Galilee, dying to rise again, and she was there, under the cross, with her weeping. From that day, that weeping has been repeated an infinite number of times during all the apparitions that have accompanied the history of the Christian people until today: the weeping of Our Lady is the very weeping of God, who is moved by His people and sheds tears over people who forget Christ, the One for whom it is worth getting up in the morning, going to work or being cared for, for whom even suffering is human. What the world considers simply madness” (L. Giussani, 2004).

May the words of the Pope and Fr. Giussani guide you on your journey together. I say together because your ‘yes’ is not solitary, but the concrete sign of belonging to ‘His people,’ the form of Christ’s presence in history. You in your pilgrimage, and us in accompanying your steps and prayers, offer our beseeching cry to Our Lady in one voice, which is the cry of the world, that she may entrust it to “Him for whom it is worth getting up in the morning,” “for whom even suffering is human.” It is from here that true forgiveness can arise, which saves the world, true peace, and true hope.

I wish that along the way you keep alive the memory of the fact that each step you take carries within it the journey of the whole Christian people, such is our unity in Him whom Mary had the grace to carry in her womb.

In friendship,

Davide Prosperi

Download the pdf