An Extraordinary Pilgrimage of Mercy to Ngome - 2016
During each Jubilee Year, trhe Pope lays down certain pre-certain conditions for the attainment of grace and indulgences.
For example, the faithful should make pilgrimage, go through the Holy Door, make his or her confession, receive Holy Communion and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.
In celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the annual pilgrimage to Ngome, the place of the seven streams “where many graces flow”, was indeed extraordinary - large numbers of pilgrims from Johannesburg embarked on this spiritual journey in 35 buses from 12-13 March 2016 to seek the graces promised by Our Lady, Tabernacle of The Most High, to Sr. Reinolda May.
To prepare pilgrims for a grace-filled experience of mercy, the pilgrimage was preceded by a Novena to the Five Wounds of Our Lord. A well-directed programme beginning with the history of the apparitions at Ngome and filled with prayers invoking the mercy of God was followed on all buses.
The crowd of 4000 pilgrims which eventually gathered at the Shrine of Our Lady maintained a jubilant mood with song and dance in true Catholic style throughout the night vigil celebration. The launch of the much-anticipated second CD of Amaqhawe e Sacred Heart Choir, “Baitshepelang Jehovah”, added to the excitement.
The Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament still remained the highlight of the pilgrimage . Everyone looked forward to the preceding praise and worship accompanied by beautiful music from Fr. Wayne’s guitar strings. Pilgrims were sent into a peaceful and reflective mood as we prepared for the entrance of the True Presence of Our Lord in the Sacrament of Love.
During the conference session, we were reminded to reflect on the Ten Commandments as our guide to a good examination of conscience before Confession which is an abyss of the mercy of God wherein sinners are to immerse themselves.
The history of the Shrine and the Jubilee Year of Mercy and the outline of the Works of Mercy delivered by Fr. Andrew Knott was very informative and insightful and extremely helpful in understanding the relevance of this extraordinary year initiated by Pope Francis.
The summit of our celebration, Holy Mass , was celebrated by Fr. Sizwe Mkhonza and four other priests while the choir from St. Michael’s led the liturgy. Healing graces flowed as hands were laid on all pilgrims before departure on Sunday morning. An ocean of mercy opened up for many sinners on this pilgrimage as promised by the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
“Sinners shall find in my Heart an ocean of mercy” was Jesus’promise to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and we hope many more will be “merciful like the Father”.