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Day 46 — Pilgrimage though Xenia and Lebanon

LEBANON, OHIO, July 2 — The Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage spent a second day largely in Eucharistic procession through lots of natural beauty in surprisingly cool weather. Over 1000 people joined them as pilgrims for the day.

Everything began with an early morning Mass at St. Brigid Church in Xenia, marking the 175th anniversary of its 1849 founding and the fiftieth annivesary of the 1974 tornado that destroyed the previous church.

The principal celebrant and preacher of the Mass, in a nearly packed Church, was Seton Chaplain Father Joseph Michael Fino, CFR. In his homily, he focused on how Jesus in the Eucharist loves us with the love of the Bridegroom in the Song of Songs and that we cannot really understand the mystery of the Eucharist without understanding that great love that wants to serve us and love us in that way.

After Mass, there was a procession of a few miles attended by more than 500 parishioners to Xenia Station. Part of the pilgrimage was on the roads of Xenia, part on bike paths. The pilgrimage passed Greene County Jail as pilgrims were praying the Rosary.

At Xenia Station, there was a half-hour of adoration before the Seton Route Pilgrims and about 50 others continued the journey to the Little Miami Trail Rest Stop, about 7 miles away, mainly through scenic bike paths.

During lunch at the rest stop, many pilgrims spent time adoring the Lord Jesus in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage van. After lunch, pilgrims adored the Lord as they traveled with him to St. Francis de Sales Church in Lebanon, where parishioners adored Jesus until 5:30, when there was a praise and worship half-hour in an outdoor shrine and then there was a procession with the Eucharist from the Church to the stational altar for a Eucharistic holy hour.

There, after some hymns and silence, everyone recited a Rosary preceded in each decade by meditation based on a famous Eucharistic miracle or on a passage of the Gospel in which Jesus explicitly spoke about the Eucharist.

During the holy hour, Seton Chaplain Father Roger Landry gave a meditation on the fire that the National Eucharistic Revival is meant to ignite, a fire that is carried by National Eucharistic Pilgrims who are making a 65 day journey to Indianapolis, a fire that Jesus who came to light the earth on fire starts from the Eucharist.

Landry described the Eucharistic fire of the Blessed Virgin and how we're called to relive the mystery of her interaction with her Son Jesus from the Annunciation to her receiving Jesus in Holy Communion from the hands of the Apostle St. John after Jesus' ascension.

He then described the Eucharistic fire of route patron St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and how pilgrims are praying throughout their journey for many more incandescent Eucharistic converts and saints.

Finally, he focused on the fire that burned in the heart of the parish's patron, St. Francis de Sales, which led him to spend five years in a dangerous assignment trying to bring back the whole region of the Chablais on the French side of the Swiss border from Calvinism to Eucharistic faith. Father Landry asked what we're called to do to live out our own Eucharistic mission, counting on St. Francis de Sales' heavenly intercession.

The Holy Hour finished with Eucharistic Benediction imparted by Father Landry and a procession with Jesus in the Monstrance to the tabernacle in the Church, where Mass will be held early the following morning.


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