At Annual Marian Pilgrimage in Mozambique, Pilgrims Urged to “ask for the gift of peace, reconciliation”

The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Namaacha, Mozambique

Bishop Tonito Francisco Xavier Muananoua has called upon pilgrims in the annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Namaacha, Mozambique, to pray for peace and reconciliation in the Southern African nation.

In his Sunday, May 12 homily, the conclusion of the pilgrimage, the Auxiliary Bishop of Mozambique’s Catholic Archdiocese of Maputo said, “As Christians who live in a country like ours with its joys and challenges, at the feet of Mary, we will place everything that makes us happy and sad.”

“Let us continue asking for the gift of peace, reconciliation, conversion and fraternity,” Bishop Muananoua emphasized during the May 12 celebration that brought together more than 15,000 pilgrims from 43 Catholic Parishes of Maputo Archdiocese.

The Mozambican Catholic Bishop described the pilgrimage as “a moment of prayer, of penance that should lead us to a profound conversion.”

“It is in the spirit of a deep prayer that leads us to a true conversion of life that we recommend our pilgrims to live the pilgrimage with the rosary in their hands, the name of Mary on their lips and the song of God's mercy in their hearts, so that we can live and walk together knowing each other as brothers and sisters,” Bishop Muananoua said.


He said the prayers would be helpful for Mozambique as the country prepares “to celebrate 50 years of national independence next year.”

“Nothing is impossible for God. We have to keep thinking about our projects, we have to keep dreaming. But we have to think and dream with God. We have to think and dream asking for the grace of the Holy Spirit to help us look to the future with hope, so that we don't get discouraged.”

The Mozambican Catholic Bishop, who was appointed Auxiliary Bishop for Maputo in March 2023 cautioned young people in the country against despair amid challenges.

“Often, we young people get discouraged; we don't want to struggle anymore; we want easy comfort,” he said, and continued, “Today there are many things that prevent us from dreaming; today there are many things that discourage us; we often have bleak realities that don't console us.”

The Catholic Church leader presented the Blessed Virgin Mary as a role model, saying, “Looking at Mary, a woman of faith, a woman of hope, a humble woman, we should revive our dreams and every day, like her, say behold the handmaid of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your word.”

More in Africa

“We too today need to learn from this woman how to talk, how to live, how to speak. We are often full to the brim because we don't want to talk about what's going on with us. We don't want people to know what's going on with us,” Bishop Muananoua said.

He added, “Nothing happens in our lives that is not under God's gaze. We have to talk to this God.”

The Bishop lauded the interaction between Mary and the angel Gabriel, saying it “reminds us of the importance of dialoguing often with God, asking questions, allowing ourselves to be advised, because the best mirror is others.”

João Vissesse is an Angolan Journalist with a passion and rich experience in Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate.