- July 10, 2014
Pilgrimage from Ejszyszki to Ostra Brama: It’s hard to part after these days
After having walked almost 100 km route from Ejszyszki (Eišiškės), the pilgrims reached their destination at noon on 11th July, waving white and yellow scarfs. “We want a longer pilgrimage” – young people spoke with one voice.
During a Mass at Ostra Brama (The Gate of Dawn) the participants of Mercy Pilgrimage prayed to thank for completing the over 90 km route from Ejszyszki via Soleczniki, Turgiele and Rudomino to Wilno. The pilgrims were joined in prayer by their awaiting families and casual passers-by.
The Bishop of Vilnius, Arūnas Poniškaitis and the curator of Ostra Brama, Prelate Jan Kasiukiewicz welcomed the pilgrims at the place and celebrated a mass with other pilgrim priests afterwards.
This year’s Mercy Pilgrimage took place for the 24th time, and the organisers esteem it was the largest one in the last few years.
“This morning, just after passing Rudomino we counted all the pilgrims, and there were almost 150!” – rejoiced Fr. Tadas Švedavičius who participated in the pilgrimage.
The oldest pilgrim could not be chosen as everyone is young at heart, and the youngest one is… a two-month-old baby who travelled from Turgiel to Rudomino carried in its mother’s arms.
“It’s hard to part after four days of pilgrimage. We have become so close to each other that we feel like a one big family” – said Fr. Tadas Švedavičius.
Youth predominated among the pilgrims. Service and assistance in traffic organisation were provided by the Scouts from Vilnius. Many of the pilgrims have already lost count of how many times they walked the road from Ejszyszki to Ostra Brama, yet they all agree that even if they get exhausted, there is always someone ready to help.
“This year I could not attend the entire pilgrimage, but I have managed to find some time today, that is why yesterday evening I joined the pilgrims in Rudomino with my friend to walk the last stage of the pilgrimage” – says Ewelina, a girl scout from the Vilnius St. Mary’s Scout Troop of the Lady of Ostra Brama.
Translated by Marta Żelazow within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.