Three days of walking, hard work, meetings, cultural events, fraternity, expectations, immersion in nature, spirituality, reflections: these are some of the aspects that accompanied the pilgrims who from Nizza on September 20 began their journey towards Mornese. The Mor … Nizza walk/pilgrimage reached its third edition; the purpose is rediscovering the Salesian charism and recalling the arrival of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Nizza M., Motherhouse of the Congregation.
The program that accompanied the journey is intense, the story of the participants is reported.
“Friday, 20 September offered the possibility of visiting the city of Nizza M. using the ‘Map of Salesian Nizza’, ideated by the Surveyor Massimo Sileo, in collaboration with the computer specialist Claudio Arnaldo, and the photographer Claudio Marchini, with the historical/charismatic indications of Sr. Paola Cuccioli, and with the consultation of Dr. Giuseppe Baldino and Dr. Maurizio Martino.
Holy Mass at Saint Hippolytus with the blessing of the pilgrims was celebrated by the parish priest of Nizza M., Fr Paolino Siri, who encouraged the pilgrims and blessed their pilgrimage.
At the Auditorium of the Trinity, headquarters of Erca, welcomed by the Councilor of the Association, Tonino Aresca, after a greeting from Councilor Ausilia Quaglia, and the introduction to the evening of Sr. Paola Cuccioli, Dr. Patrizia Morino made us relive her experience as a pilgrim with an engaging description of her journey to Santiago through photographs, a detailed description of her pilgrimage, and above all, infecting us all through the strong emotions that she aroused with her narration. “Let us be surprised! … unforgettable days on the Camino de Santiago”, was the title of her presentation, the wonder of the encounter and the power of conversion. The journey offers the opportunity to find the tomb of a friend of Christ whose feet Jesus washed after kneeling. The journey is an opportunity for conversion, change, breaking patterns, the possibility of changing direction, of seeing alternative paths. The journey is for everyone, even for those who are not believers, because it offers opportunities to those who want to welcome them, offers the conditions to maintain the style of the journey even in daily life, that would be the conversion that should accompany the “after-journey”. To accompany the enthusiasm and the strength of the experience lived, at the end of the evening a comparison was also opened with other pilgrims present at the evening.
Saturday 21 “cut the ribbon” and depart, after a moment of prayer in the Church of the “Sacred Heart” to ask for the blessing of the Lord, at “Our Lady of Grace “(Viale Don Bosco, 40). Once again this year there are the stages that will precede the arrival in Acqui Terme: the Erede winery of Chiappone Armando, the Big Bench (Panchinona) of Castel Boglione, and the Piazza del Peso Pubblico of Castel Rocchero, where the pilgrims received products km 0 to recover from fatigue and resume the journey with enthusiasm; opportunity, also, to get to know some realities of the territory.
The arrival at Acqui was immortalized with a souvenir photo and the stamp on the ‘Pilgrim’s Passport’, a certificate of the pilgrimage taken.
Gianni Salvatore offered a guided visit to the Cathedral of Acqui, leading us to visit the crypt as well, and showing us the triptych of B. Berjemo, presently exhibited in Spain. Walter Baglietto, who is responsible for the Diocesan Library at the Bishop’s palace, guided us to the exhibit “Traveling between worlds of paper. The treasures of the archive and the library on display”.
During the evening Eucharistic celebration, Fr. Giorgio Santi, pastor of the Acqui Cathedral, welcomed us and invited all to pray for the pilgrims.
The day concluded at the Seminary Theater with the theatrical Company ‘to Our Lady’ which presented a replica adapted to the circumstance and to the host town of: “Destination Paradise“.
On Sunday the journey resumed from Nizza M., where walker and non-walker pilgrims found themselves at Our Lady of Grace Institute to go by bus to Mornese, with the possibility of gathering pilgrims also at the stations of Acqui T. and of Ovada. At Silvano D’Orba, the pilgrim walkers continued their pilgrimage on foot.
Once in Mornese, the first pilgrims, welcomed by the Animator of the School, Sr. Ivana Milesi, visited the first community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and through visiting some houses in the town, reconstructed the biographical and spiritual journey of Mary Domenica Mazzarello, co-founder with Don Bosco of the Institute.
Toward noon, the walkers reached Mornese and were received by a festive multi-lingual group.
In the afternoon, in the name of the Salesian spirit, the theater company “to the Madonna” performed, presenting some characters from the spirituality of Mornese.
The pilgrimage concluded with Holy Mass in the presence of F.M.A from all 5 continents, in the sanctuary dedicated to Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello.