“I want to tell all the Lieutenants of the world to organize a pilgrimage with their Lieutenancies to the Holy Land. Members who experience a pilgrimage will no longer be the same and their way of being Knights and Dames will also change. The experience of the pilgrimage profoundly touches your heart”. Returning from the first official pilgrimage of the Order’s Lieutenancy for Brazil - Rio de Janeiro (one of the two present in the country) to the Holy Land and Rome, Lieutenant Isis Penido speaks of an experience that “more than a journey, is an encounter with God”.
Led by Msgr. André Sampaio, Prior of the Order, the 28 pilgrims spent 13 days of discovery, listening, prayer and sharing. The choice to leave on pilgrimage is not always obvious, as testified by Angela Graell who does not belong to the Order but decided to join the group: “Nothing in life happens by chance. I received an invitation from Isis Penido to take part in the pilgrimage; at first I refused the invitation but then I felt a force calling me and I became part of the group.”
On September 11 the group had the opportunity to live a wonderful experience: the Investiture of two Dames, Isabelle Lessa and Luiza Gazola, at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Isabelle comments: “They say that those who know the Holy Land later are no longer the same. And it’s true. The energy and presence of God felt in each of the places we visited completely transformed me. But, even more than that, the blessing of receiving the Investiture in Jerusalem was something indescribable and unforgettable and a great honor. To confirm my Catholic faith and my Christian intentions, renew the baptismal promises in the river Jordan and attend a unique ceremony at the vespers of my Investiture in the chapel of Golgotha inside the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre: all of this was a blessing and reason for thanksgiving to God for giving me the opportunity to feel Him ever more present in my life”.
The group continued its journey to Rome where it participated in an audience with Pope Francis and where it was then received at the headquarters of the Grand Magisterium of the Order by the Grand Master, Cardinal Edwin O’Brien. This meeting “filled us with joy and strengthened the certainty that the Lieutenancy for Brazil - Rio de Janeiro is walking on the right path, respecting the Constitution of the Order and the hierarchy of our Church”, said the Lieutenant.
After the pilgrimage, one returns to one’s own home but it is precisely there that the fruits of the pilgrimage mature and benefit the life of the Lieutenancy, of the ecclesial community and of the society in which one lives.
(February 12, 2018)