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Day 14: Living the Mystery of the Visitation

PHILADELPHIA, May 31 — The first Corpus Christi procession in history took place from Nazareth to Ein Kerem, when the Blessed Virgin, immediately after the Annunciation in which she conceived the blessed Fruit of her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, went with haste on a journey from Nazareth to Jericho to Jerusalem to Ein Kerem, in the hill country of Judah, where she cared for her elderly cousin Elizabeth, pregnant for the first time in her old age with the one who would become the great precursor of the Lord, St. John the Baptist.

It was in the mystery of the Annunciation that the Word became flesh and dwelled among us and, even before the in utero Messiah and Son of God had even formed the smallest of feet, he was being carried in procession.

Hence there's great fittingness to understand Eucharistic processions from within the lens of the mystery of the Visitation, a connection the chaplain to the Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, Father Roger Landry, sought to flesh out in a bilingual homily in an evening prayer service at Holy Innocents Church in Philadelphia.

The fourteenth day of the Seton Route began with Mass at St. Christopher's Church in Philadelphia that was celebrated by auxiliary Bishop Christopher Cooke.

After a breakfast hosted by the parish, the pilgrimage continued to Holy Family University, where there was an extended period of adoration in the University Chapel. Sr. Rita Fanning, of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and Vice President for Mission and Diversity, welcomed the Lord and pilgrims and expressed her joy that in a Congregation in which the foundress, Sister Maria Franciszka Siedliska, so loved the Eucharist, Holy Family University would be the only one of the 14 Catholic colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area to have the privilege to receive the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage.

After Benediction, the pilgrimage continued to Holy Innocents Church in Philadelphia where pastor Father Thomas Higgins welcomed the Blessed Sacrament. There was an afternoon Holy Hour with Scripture, a brief homily, praise and worship music and Eucharistic benediction, led by retired Philadelphia auxiliary bishop Michael Fitzgerald, before a three-hour period of silent adoration in the parish.

During the evening, Father Higgins led a bilingual Holy Hour with a liturgy of the Word, praise and worship music, a bilingual homily by Father Landry, witness testimonies by Seton pilgrims Amayrani Higueldo in Spanish and Christoph Bernas in English, followed by Benediction. Archbishop Nelson Perez of Philadelphia was present for the Holy Hour.

After the Holy Hour, there was a joyous reception in the parish gymnasium attended by the hundreds of people present, including Archbishop Perez.

These photos were taken by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and posted on its FaceBook page.

To watch a reel put together by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please click here.


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