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Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta
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The Order of Malta pilgrimage of the sick to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico


Fra’ Matthew Festing participated in the pilgrimage and visited many works of charity of the Order of Malta in Mexico

The Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing, on 19 October 2013 led the 29th Annual Pilgrimage of the sick organised by the Mexican Association of the Sovereign Order of Malta to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City.

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe – the Patroness of the Americas, a title Pope John Paul II gave to her on his visit there in 1999, is a revered shrine in Mexico. The Grand Master visited the site of the apparition, where he admired the mantle ‘tilma’ of Juan Diego and shared with others the devotion to Our Lady so evident at this hallowed site. Fra’ Matthew Festing led the 2013 Order of Malta Pilgrimage to Guadalupe, accompanied by the President of the Mexican Association, Don Jorge Alonso Coratella, the Association’s senior officers, many members and volunteers of the Order and the disabled in their care, who have all travelled to honour the Virgin and to pray for their special intentions during this moving occasion. Members of the Sovereign Order of Malta coming from all over the American continent also attended.

Since the mid 1970s, the Order of Malta in Mexico has been organising an Annual Pilgrimage for the Sick to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, together with the Archdiocese, Caritas, the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care and the Red Cross. In 2013 it is estimated that more than 10,000 pilgrims took part in the pilgrimage.

During his stay in Mexico, the Grand Master also visited a number of the Order of Malta’s works for the poor and the sick in Mexico, a land of extreme poverty in a country of over 116 million people where the average age is just 27. Fra’ Matthew Festing visited a number of these initiatives, including the ‘Help me grow’ programme, which fights malnutrition in the young in three main communities – in the states of México, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí. Already over 14,000 youngsters have benefited from the programme. He then inspected a project of aid for mothers and babies to prevent transmission of the HIV virus, called ‘Salva a un Niño del SIDA’; he visited a school and boarding house for children – the Internado San Juan Bosco; visited a home for 58 elderly people in Mexico City – the Casa Hogar San Juan; and on the outskirts of Mexico city at Ciudad Netzahualcoyotl, he went to an Order of Malta outpatients clinic, Santa María de Guadalupe, which cares for the destitute.

the order of malta pilgrimage of the sick to the shrine of guadalupe in mexico

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

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