The penitential season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday each year, and is one of the most important elements of the Catholic liturgical calendar.
A few years ago, in 2019, a one of a kind event, a spiritual exercise of the Catholic Church in Goa, was organised for the first time. This ‘Walking Pilgrimage’ has now become an annual Lenten event, bringing the faithful together from across the state. It will be held this year, too.
The Archdiocese of Goa and Daman is organising the annual Diocesan ‘Walking Pilgrimage’ (Bhavartachi Yatra) on the first Sunday of Lent ie February 18, 2024 so as to initiate the spiritual preparation for Lent for Goa’s Catholic community.
This year, the theme for the pilgrimage is ‘Let us journey together on the path of penance and be proclaimers of hope.’
The pilgrimage is a great way for the faithful to begin the penitential season of Lent with penance and sacrifice, reflecting on the love of God.
The 10 km walk will begin from the assigned centre for each parish at 2 am, so that the pilgrims can reach Sancoale by 5 am for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by a eucharistic celebration.
The place of pilgrimage holds significance for Goans because it is from here that the patron saint of Goa, St Joseph Vaz, embarked on a life of service to Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
The Convenor of the event Fr Ligorinho D'Costa suggested that those who cannot go to Sancoale could recite the rosary, personal prayer and reflect on their life on the way to their parish church as part of their pilgrimage.
He also suggested that those who are unable to attend the parish church could spend the day in the spirit of the pilgrimage by praying the rosary, the prayer for the pilgrimage, read the scriptures and reflect on the Way of the Cross of Jesus, the journey of Abraham and Mother Mary.
For those who cannot participate physically, the event will be available on YouTube Channel of the Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media, Goa and on local TV Channels.