The pilgrimage was a breath of fresh air, another youth auditor from Jakarta, Indonesia said, “We have been stuck in that room for three weeks.”
“To meet young people, to pray with them, to pray the rosary with them, we needed it,” Archbishop David Macaire of Saint-Pierre and Fort-de-France in Martinique told CNA.
“To walk together is a very good symbol, a good sign of what we have already lived as a group, as a community” at the synod, the archbishop continued.
Synod participants walked the final five miles of the Via Francigena pilgrimage route Oct. 25.
The Via Francigena is a historic pilgrimage route from Canterbury Cathedral through France and Switzerland to Rome. The first recorded pilgrimage along the Via Francigena dates back to the 9th century.
“What an inspired idea! A pilgrimage along an old pilgrim route to the Tomb of St Peter!” Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa wrote on Twitter Oct. 25.
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“Great terrain for praying the Rosary or meditating!” Napier added.
The pilgrimage included stops for prayer with Gospel reflections on the road to Emmaus, a gospel narrative that has framed many of the synod discussions of accompaniment.
“Today we are walking together, like the Emmaus story. Together with the young people, with the bishops, with the priests, we walk together accompanying each other,” Archbishop Simon Peter Poh Hoon Seng of Kuching, Malaysia told CNA.