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Wednesday 19/10/2011 - Free Day


Excursion to Arantzazu
Two buses brought the delegates of the General Congregation and their support staff to Our Lady of Arantzazu. Since the 15th century, pilgrims have made their way to this small statue, which is only 32 cm high, to experience God’s help and forgiveness. Ignatius himself went on pilgrimage to Our Lady of Arantzazu, when, after his recovery, he wanted to leave behind his old way of life and begin a life of penance and become a pilgrim. During a vigil he placed his weaponry at the feet of Our Lady and asked her to „make him a companion of her Son“, whose servant he wanted to be from then on.
The focus of the Eucharistic celebration in Arantzazu was reconciliation with God. In a longer penitential rite we asked for a “new heart and a new spirit, so that we treasure God’s call in the true spirit of our foundress Mary Ward.” We asked forgiveness for our inability to forgive, for our self-centeredness, unkindness and our fears. After the common penitential act, each sister could receive personal absolution, as is the custom in this pilgrim place. Then we could greet the small statue of Our Lady face to face, sing to her and remain in silent prayer. It was a fitting day of preparation for the coming elections, during which each delegate makes her personal discernment, and votes with inner freedom and pure intention, while she listens to God’s voice in her heart.

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