The Pilgrim Virgin Mary Home Visitation Program
I was introduced to the Pilgrim Virgin Mary Home Visitation many years ago by Ellen Lobasso and Rosy Mandel. It was a time in my life when I felt I wanted to deepen my faith and commitment to our Lord. At the time I had no idea how this adventure was going to affect my life and spirituality. Ellen assured us that this commitment was a beautiful way to please our Lord and our Lady.
Every week or so Rosy and I would bring the Fatima statue of our Lady for a home visit. Our Blessed Mother – symbolized by her image – is brought to the home with love and reverence. Many families would have a place in the house that had been chosen to be her shrine. Some would decorate an area with a table cover, candles, flowers, and other objects of their choice. The statue is set up there, and then we begin the welcome prayers and the Rosary. The statue can stay with the family for a week or so depending on the previously scheduled appointments.
When we return to take Mary to another home we say the farewell prayers together before we pack her up. Often the families will share a bit of their faith journey with us. They also will tell us how it felt to have Our Mother with them all week.
During this time, I can feel in my heart that my faith is growing along with my spiritual community. I know that our Lord is pleased with this pilgrimage, for wherever Mary goes, she brings her son.
Sometimes a family has little ones with them; they may play while we pray, or play with their Rosary beads. But we all know these experiences for them are seeds that will help them grow into strong Christian men and women. It’s such a blessing for me to be a witness to each of these visitations.
This routine of prayer and community truly brought me closer to our Lord. The prayers took hold of me and I began to long for this time each week. This experience helped to tie me to my roots here at St. Francis parish.