The month of October, is known as the month of the Rosary, the favorite prayer of our father St. Dominic. The Dominican parish led by then Fr. Portelli O.P. have organized a pilgrimage as a thanks giving to our Lady of the Grotto, in the Dominican church in Rabat, some 12 km away. Since then this pilgrimage have been organized on the 3rd Sunday, of October.
This year due to the pandemic, the parish priest have shown the interest that this year event, will be totally dedicated to pray the Rosary, for the health and safety of all those affected by Coronavirus. Due to health regulations imposed the authorities, we didn’t promote as much as we wanted this Pilgrimage. The reason being that a day before it was held, Malta have registered a record for those who are infected. My friends and I together with the Parish Priest, we decided to proceed even if we are a small number, and with all the precautions necessary due to the pandemic.
At around 4.15am we start gathering next to the church, we were a small number of 9 participants, mainly youth from the parish. At 5.00am when the parish priest arrives, he blessed the rosaries and we started our walk towards Rabat. Once we reach a village or a locality, we start saying the rosary mystery. During the pilgrimage, we even collect people from the road, so this pilgrimage is open to anyone who would like to join. The pilgrimage does not involve praying the rosary every time, but we say for 6/7 times, during the walk. Between one mystery and the other, we tend to socialize and talk about current social affairs and what the church has to say about. During this time, we get even more informed about the Word of God, and how is the best way to be an example in these troubling years. The parish priest loves such talks, and he is always ready to discuss with us, in a social way. Half way the pilgrimage, this year we stopped for a water break, and the changing of face mask.
Once we arrive in Rabat, we meet other pilgrims, who arrive by transport, whom we say the rosary for the last 1km together. A mass is celebrated by our parish priest at the church of Our Lady of the Grotto, in Rabat. For the past 3 years, we have also introduced a lunch for the organizing team and anyone who would love to join us. This lunch is served in order to see how we can improve the pilgrimage, and how we can attract new people.
Although there were times where this pilgrimage wasn’t held, these last years, thanks to Fr. Michael Camilleri O.P. parish priest, and some of my friends, we managed to hold it again. Apart from this year, on previous occasion this pilgrimage was growing in participants, last year we were around 30 pilgrims walking it. My friends and I try as much as possible to attract youths to join us for this event, something which are managing quite well.
Dominican Youth Movement - Malta