Pilgrimages are good and salutary for man occasionally to withdraw himself for a time from his worldly business and cares and occupy himself entirely with God and his salvation. Pilgrimages afford an easy opportunity for doing this. Pilgrimages also have many disagreeable features connected with them; he who takes upon himself these disagreeable things, and bears them patiently in the spirit of penance, has in them an effectual means of repentance. For this reason, the Church always considered pilgrim ages as means of penance. Most importantly, Pilgrimages tend to arouse or renew in us the spirit of prayer and devotion; for the pilgrims pray well-nigh continuously, going and coming, and at the place of the pilgrimage. These prayers would not be said if the pilgrimage were not made.
The SSPX's annual Manila Pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe took place this year on Saturday, December 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The opening Sung Mass (at 5:30 AM – Luneta Pak) was offered by SSPX District Superior of Asia Fr. Patrick Summers. He in his sermon, urged the faithful to preach their faith in the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady by finishing today's walk and make it penitential in character. ‘Prayer and Penance’ were the battle cry, we heard from our Superior. In the mid-way, we stopped at the National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangels near the Malacañan Palace. Fr. Saa preached a sermon about the Immaculate Conception. As the pilgrimage came to an end and amidst the tolling of bells, the pilgrims entered the Chapel of San Beda University, owned by the Benedictines, where St. Maximilian Kolbe said Mass while he was on his way to Japan. Fr. Patrick Summers preached a sermon about Our Lady of Guadalupe and her significance in today's crisis.
Throughout the pilgrimage, our pilgrims, following the good example of our priests exhibited a really living faith and a firm confidence in Our Lady, and this no doubt has made an impact on our fellow countrymen. May this pilgrimage remind us that our whole life is a pilgrimage, and we must endeavour so to go through the world that one day we will see face to face the Almighty God.