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Pope's message accentuates role of pilgrimages

Catholic World News - September 27, 2010

“I have wanted to live my ministry as the Successor of Peter with the sentiments of a pilgrim,” Pope Benedict XVI said in a message to participants in a conference on pilgrimages and shrines.

Unlike a wanderer, “a pilgrim always has a destination,” the Pope wrote in his message to the Second World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Pilgrimages and Shrines; “this destination is none other than the encounter with God through Christ in whom all our aspirations find their response.”

The Pope added that “shrines should be lighthouses of charity,” and that the work of shrines should promote “in particular the faithful's reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation and taking part worthily in the Eucharistic celebration.”

The Pope’s message was addressed Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, and to Archbishop Julian Barrio Barrio of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The Pontifical Council is hosting the conference, which is being held this week at Santiago de Compostela.

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