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Apostolic Movement

Rio de Janeiro: A large crowd celebrates the Shrine’s 25th Anniversary

By: Vinicius Cruz

The celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Tabor Shrine Family Redemption, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, attracted thousands of pilgrims from the city and from other states for the festivities that took place from October 14th to the 18th, 2023.

On Saturday, October 14, not even the rain could interrupt the day’s program. The Shrine welcomed the pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Niterói. The day began with the opening of the Jubilee Feast, followed by Holy Mass with Archbishop José Francisco Rezende. In the afternoon there was a historical review remembering the 25 years since the construction of the Shrine, followed by a special moment of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and finally, the crowning of the Mother and Queen.

On Sunday the 15th, the Diocese of Petrópolis was welcomed. The program was the same as the previous day. In the morning, the Holy Mass was presided by Bishop Tarcísio Nascentes, from the Diocese of Duque de Caxias. On Monday the 16th and Tuesday the 17th, the Shrine continued its festivities welcoming pilgrims and parishes from various places.

Jubilee Day: moments of worship and gratitude

On Wednesday, October 18, the Shrine celebrated its 25th anniversary. Thousands of pilgrims were welcomed, especially from the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and the Diocese of Itaguaí. It was a day of renewal of the Covenant of Love that will be remembered for the next 25 years.

The Jubilee Mass was presided by Cardinal Dom Orani João Tempesta, Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro. It was concelebrated by Bishop Roque Costa, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese, Father Bernd Biberger, General Director of the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, Father Antonio Bracht, National Director of the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement in Brazil, priests, and deacons of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Diego Faro, representing the state governor, Cláudio Castro, and Sister M. Silvia Regina Formagio, provincial superior of the Sisters of Mary, were also present.

The squares around the Shrine were crowded and there was almost no room in the tent due to the number of pilgrims.

The Shrine, a place of revitalization

In his homily, Cardinal Archbishop Orani Cardinal João Tempesta spoke about the importance of the 25th anniversary of the Shrine. “We ask the Lord that this Shrine, the Redemption of the Family Tabor, may guide, attract and welcome each and every time more people so that they may grow in faith and leave with a bigger heart, with their life even more open to the grace of God, improving their lives and their Christian faith. We want to thank all the Sisters and Fathers who make it possible for people to visit the Shrine, with their welcome, guidance and sacraments, so that it may increasingly become a place that enriches life. In these 25 years, this place has become precisely a place of revitalization,” said Cardinal Orani.

Cardinal Orani Tempesta presided over the Mass on October 18

Countless pilgrims from as far away as 2,500 km.

With great joy and inspired by the Jubilee celebration, the pilgrims recount their experience on this long-awaited day. Fatima Ribeiro, a resident of Rio de Janeiro, was amazed: “I always wanted to visit this place. I went with an open heart. I didn’t really know what was going to be celebrated and, when I arrived, I discovered that it was the celebration of the Shrine’s 25th Jubilee. I asked myself: what brought me here on such a special day? So many years ago, we welcomed the pilgrim image of the Mother and Queen into our home. And on this day, I had the opportunity to learn the story of how it all began. After this jubilee, receiving the Pilgrim MTA in our house will have a much deeper meaning. I was very happy, and I will keep in my heart all that I saw and experienced that day”.

During the days of celebration, the Shrine received pilgrims from different places, even from other states, including a caravan from Fortaleza, located 2,500 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro. Father Arnaldo Pereira, from the city of Brejo, spoke about his experience of visiting the Shrine in Rio de Janeiro: “Being here on this day was not a coincidence, it was a joyful providence. Being here is like being at home, seeing the beauty of this devotion, especially in these 25 years”.

Certainly, all the history, all the achievements and graces of these 25 years will certainly contribute to the fruitfulness of all the work that will be done in the next 25 years. We are the fruit of a legacy and a seed that has been planted since 1998. The objective now is to continue the journey towards the Golden Jubilee, always prioritizing the redemption of the families, no matter the cost, and to continue to make this land of Rio a special place in the heart of the Blessed Mother.


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