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Monday, 17 October 2016 14:23

Pilgrims to Saint Gerard Majella

On Saturday, October 15th, a contingent of Sisters and 30 women and children, made their bi-annual pilgrimage to Saint Lucy’s Church and the Shrine of Saint Gerard Majella in Newark, NJ.

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The beautiful four hour ride was a first for our own bus, driven by Brother Peter Mary, MICM, who drove like a pro. The destination of the pilgrimage, Saint Lucy’s Church, a 100+ year old Italian parish, has a long history of devotion and spirit. This was the only Church to remain open and unscathed during the riots in 1967 which devastated the city, destroying buildings, neighborhoods and killing many people. Saint Lucy’s has long been a refuge of Catholic prayer and peace in a crime-ridden surroundings of Newark. 

The parish is also the home of the National Shrine of Saint Gerard Majella. A life-size statue from Italy is treasured by the community, who after several Masses, carry him into the streets, blessing the neighboring families. Over the years countless mothers prayed to Saint Gerard, especially during the week preceding his feast day, for the blessing of children, their health and the wisdom needed to raise them. The days surrounding his feast, October 16, are a time of prayer, procession and festivity keeping alive timeless traditions of catholic Italy. There is nothing like an Italian fiesta!

Each pilgrim came with prayers begging for favors, or prayers of gratitude to this wonderful patron. The return bus ride was full of happy pilgrims who returned with many blessings to Saint Benedict Center. We were honored to be a part of the celebration in honor of Saint Gerard Majella once again!

Before leaving Newark, pilgrims also had a chance to visit Sacred Heart Cathedral, the most authentic gothic church in the nation! What a blessing!

Check out the photo gallery from the pilgrimage below. Click to enlarge the photos!