Catholics on Holy Land pilgrimage return to Malawi: Spiritually inspired

The 47 Catholics who went to the Holy Land, Israel for a 7-day pilgrimage returned home on Sunday, expressing gratitude to God ,  their Bishops and priests for organising the programme, saying the trip enhanced their faith as Christians.

Chairman of this year’s pilgrimage, Knox Varela was speaking to in an interview upon arrival from Israel at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe.

“We are overwhelmed after undertaking this pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Our visit to the Holy Land has increased our Christian faith after physically stepping our feet on the soil Jesus Christ was born, preached to people and was crucified to death as the Holy Scriptures tells us,” said Varela, adding: “My fellow Christians all what we read in the Bible is real.”

Varela said he was glad that he went with his wife to Israel, a thing he regarded as a blessing for their family

“I thank God, the Bishops and priests who came up with this idea to enable the Christians visit the Holy Land.

“We have been to Jericho, Caphernaum, Mount Olive, Mount Calvary, Via Dolorosa (the path of the way of the cross), the place where Peter denied Jesus, the Dead Sea, the home area of John the Baptist and the place where Mary the Mother of Jesus was born and grew up, among others.

“We met thousands of people from other countries in Africa and Europe, who went to the Holly Land on pilgrimage, “he said.

On his part politician Moses Dossi said he was delighted to be one of the pilgrimage members, adding that it had added value to his Christian faith.

“As a veteran politician, I found it necessary to thank God for what He has done to me in my life. I went to beg God for wisdom. My spiritual life has increased.

“I urge my fellow politicians to visit the Holy Land, it’s so wonderful. Some politicians think to be a good politician one should put God aside, but I believe good politicians must seek God first,” he said.

Rev Dr Joseph Kimu who led the pilgrimage group on behalf of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) said they started going on pilgrimage to Israel last year.

”We had plenty of time to pray together reflecting on passages from the Bible this week in the Holy Land. Our tour guide was so impressed with us. He said we were serious and attentive to know what we went for, especially about seeking God throughout the time we were in Israel,” Fr Kim.

Kimu asked the Christians to go to their respective areas and ask their Parish Priests to share their experience through the small Christian communities.

The return Air Ticket this year cost K625,700 per head said Dr Kimu.

He disclosed that the Christians who joined the pilgrimage this year were from the Dioceses of Mangoch, Mzuzu,  Dedza, Lilongwe Archdiocese and Blantyre Archdiocese.

“We had on board 3 priests from Lilongwe, 1 priest from Blantyre and 2 priests from Mangochi.  There were also some nuns in our group,” Kimu  said.

Last year 52 people went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Catholics captured at KIA upon arrival from Israel pilgrimage

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