for the launch of Jubilee 2000
Our Lady has herself become a pilgrim - in order to visit every town, village and hamlet. Her desire is to prepare the whole world for the celebration of the 2000th anniversary of the birth of her Son.
Founded in France, the project is an initiative of the laity, that has received the blessing of many prominent Christian leaders.
The Holy Father welcomes the pilgrims in Rome, 7 December 1996
Hundreds of thousands of believers flocked to some 40,000 prayer vigils in a huge pilgrimage of devotion, to honour our Blessed Mother through the 108 statues and icons of Our Lady that crisscrossed France.
This pilgrimage of the Virgin Mary spread out into the whole of Europe and out to the rest of the world.
The Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomeos I, blessed the Pilgrim Virgin initiative
"The only possible response on rereading your letter concerning your Marian project was to increase my prayer with you and with all those who have a part in the planning and execution of your initiative. When we met I told you that the most important matters reveal their full importance only with time and God's grace. My good wishes go with you" Cardinal B Gantin, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Dean of the Sacred College
"What we feel is even more urgent than a need, it is the most pressing obligation upon the whole Church to prayer - prayer which is ever wider, deeper and more intense. I wish you to persist in this prayer in union with Mary, Mother of Jesus, just as Our Lord's Apostles and Disciples persevered in the Upper Room in Jerusalem after the Ascension. I pray to Mary, the heavenly Mother of the Church, that she will consent to persevere with us as we pray for a New Advent for humanity. I hope that through this prayer we shall be rendered capable of receiving the Holy Spirit who is coming to us, and thus become Christ's witnesses to the ends of the earth" Conclusion of JP II's first Enclyclical, "Redemptor Hominis"
Many leaders of the Pilgrim Virgin Project from around the world meet in Rome, 8 December 1996
"If victory comes, it will come through Mary. I have always been certain of this within myself : in its more universal dimension victory, if it comes about, will be achieved by Mary. Christ will be victorious through Mary. He desires that she be associated with the victories of the Church, both in the world of today and of tomorrow." "Enter in hope" John Paul II
The Holy Father blessed the 250 statues and icons in Rome, 8 December 1996
The vast pilgrimage that took to the road in France in 1995 resulted in 40,000 Marian prayer vigils in France - 400,000 throughout the world. Since September 8 1995, 108 statues of the Virgin Mary have been criss-crossing France in the greatest pilgrimage of prayer ever seen. Every night the 108 statues come to rest in different places -in family homes, in churches, in the heart of communities. Their mission is to call everyone to prayer with Mary, that she may prepare our hearts to welcome Jesus at the 2000th anniversary of his birth.
Throughout the course of the year these statues and icons visited every part of France, going from hamlet to village, village to town, town to city, and reaching out into every district of every city. Untill the year 2000, the Blessed Virgins of France and of other countries will tour the world.
Our Lady, preceded by an image of the Shroud of Turin, and by the Gospel open at the Wedding Feast at Cana, will go to the very ends of the earth to gather her children to her Immaculate Heart, in a renewal of the spirit of the Upper Room. Her desire is to lead us to her Son, and to pray to the Father to grant us the gift of a new Pentecost. At each halt on her way all present are invited to dedicate themselves to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as she requested at Fatima. Rosaries are given out in their thousands during the vigils of prayer and meditation on the Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary.
This vast wave of prayer that has already broken over France - will spread out to cover the whole world, to prepare the way of the Lord and add to the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The National Movement of the Pilgrim Virgin in South Africa is now working to help the same wave of prayer that has broken over France in 1996 achieve similar miracles in the African continent. We are working to help add a Marian dimension to the many Jubilee 2000 plans and initiatives of the members of the Church in this region.
The objective of the project is very simple and entirely orthodox. Our Holy Father has frequently called us to make Mary part of our liturgical and devotional plans in preparation for the jubilee year. It is intended that the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady will visit various homes and parishes throughout Southern Africa.
In South Africa the National Committee for this project have chosen the statue of Our Lady of Ngome, Mary, Tabernacle of the Most High, as the Pilgrim Virgin for this region.
To give this project a boost a 37 minute video "The Fire has been lit... it will burn" has just been produced. Filmed in France, Italy, Bosnia, Turkey and South Africa, the video features exclusive footage from around the world of this vast pilgrimage of Our Blessed Mother. It also features Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Puljich of Sarajevo, the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos I, the world renowned Marian theologian Rene Laurentin and some of the other bishops and priests that have been touched by this initiative. The video includes footage of the Marian Shrine at Ngome in South Africa.
Between 1955 and 1971 the Benedictine nun, Sr Reinolda May, had ten visions of The Blessed Virgin Mary. Sr Reinolda said that Mary requested that a shrine be built at Ngome - a place from which many graces flow. The message of Ngome is rich in beauty and theology and draws one to the Eucharist.
Metanoia Ministries, the producers of the video, are convinced that this project has a valuable contribution to make in helping the Church prepare herself spiritually to celebrate the 2000th anniversary of the Birth of Our Lord.
If you would like to order this video or to become involved in this project in any way then please make contact with us by e-mail, letter, fax or phone.
The National Movement of the Pilgrim Virgin (Western Cape), PO Box 1601, Cape Town 8000 South Africa. Phone and fax (international) +27-21-4611600
© Copyright 1997, 1998 Norman Servais p.p. The National Movement of