Muslims and Christians pay homage to Our Lady at the 57 Annual Marian Pilgrimage.
13 Sep 2006
Lahore: (PCP) Throughout the year the Marina Devotion goes on but pilgrimage for days is a special one. Thousands of them come to pray and some of them come because their wishes are being fulfilled. Some Muslims come and pray there they respect Our Lady because they have the Sura Mariam in the Holy Quran. They call her Mariam Sadiqa. People come from all over Pakistan, where not in thousands but Millions of people comes, not only the Christians but also the non Christians. And they will not say like us the Mother of God. We the Milap team, on Saturday 9th Sept. went to the Marian Shrine. We were about 30 people including Children. After paying homage to Mother Mary we were in groups to have the views of the people.
1st. was Mr. Basil Rehmat who was from Lahore. he said the he is coming for 4 years now. He said that he belonged to a Catholic family but it never attracted me to go there. Every year my friends were inviting me to come but I always ignoring there idea. So it happened that I had my sisters and it was the age to marry them. I was really worried about them because we were not able to find boys for them. One of my friend told me I am telling you to come this time with us so he said that his sisters are married within no time. So every time I come here for thanks giving prayer and also as a token of thanks giving distributed a pot of sweet rice. Now I come and I tell the others to come.
2. Fr. Naddem Piar-e-Lal the Franciscan young Priest from Jamkea Cheema. He saw the young boys dressed up in a funny way, very colorful peace of cloth round there head and ear ring in one year. He just took it away from them which impress many people around and said that the other Priest have seen them but they didn't bother. So Sherry Khokhor said let me ask him few questions. He said what I will tell you about this Shrine he said I am so small. He said the only thing I will say that as the family is not complete with the mother so is the Christian faith is in complete with the Marian devotion. Mother of the redeemer is the most important person in our life. He is the handmaid of the Lord. The more we hear not to go to Mariamabad the more people are increasing and joining and paying homage to Mother of God and our Mother too.
3. A young man Warris from Faisalabad who was from the main city. He said that he is coming here from last 3 years on foot with the group of 26 other young. Every year our group is increasing. His wish is not yet fulfilled and he said he has great faith that Ma will listen to my plea. The time will be fulfilled I will come to thank her and also to go on the stage and give witness. He said that he can't tell us what it is because that is only between me and Ma. 4. A lady from Sheikupura Named Teresa. She was a School teacher in her own private School teacher. They have there own School. She was standing in the line and we asked her few things, and she said that she is coming here from 35 years now. She said that she has 4 Children, good husband and all what we desire Mother is giving us so we feel that its our duty to pay homage to her too.
5. another lady was named Catherine. Who told us that she is coming here every year and she had no brother. Her mother died and she liked to have brother. So she just had a foster brother. He got married and had no Children. So she prayed and in the coming year he got a baby boy. She said his parents brought him every year but now he is 5 years old so I brought him and we are going up to thank Mother Mary.
6. the Police man on duty. Mohd. Ashrif ASI and his team of 4 men. Mohd Ali, Mohd. Rubnawaz, Mohd.Rana, he has very negative views about there living for 3 days. He said that we are here just here to fulfill the duty its not that we are happily coming here. I said why don't tell your seniors, he said we can't this is Pakistan because if we say something that means your job is finished.
They also said that its his 1st. time to come here but to see it from the prayer point of view it good because we too respect Mariam. But to see them throwing the dirt all over in front of the Grotto that is not good. For us the Priest have no consideration of food, water or other facilities. So in future we hope it will be better.
7. a young man Saleem Anwar from Sargoda. He said that he had come to Mariamabad but it never stuck me to go to confession just last year I came and after the confession the Priest told me to feel free to come every year and Mother Mary will bless you. He said I was bless with the baby boy and we come to thank and pay homage for so many blessings. We have distributed a pot of rice to the people.
8. Babu Moris from Kasur who was on duty said that up to now 5 Lakhs people have come. Its so nice to see the people with so much respect. Good that now Mela word is used less and now people used that we have come for the Ziarat. How they have respect for the Mother, and as its written in the Bible all the Nations will call you Blessed.
9. We have seen the people of Mariamabad how hospitable they are. No matter if you are there relative or not. They are cooking and doing whatever they car to make them comfortable. The families say that if we do look after the guests well God really bless us so much that we can't explain it. Ma is asking so much blessing for our family. Its really Miracle that how we after spending the money from where we are getting it. we really don't know.
10. The group of cyclist told us that it 8 years now we come every year. Sherry asked them that are you not afraid that we will be looted or someone will harm us. They said no because Mother Mary is with us so no fear. Mother is a protection for her Children.
11. Some other families said that we have come because all our needs are fulfilled. Whatever and whenever we have asked she has done it for us so we come to pay her Homage.
12. Just to conclude with the comments of some people was that its more commercial, which just spoil the prayerful atmosphere. At least one father should be on the stage. Father are also on duty like the police man duty is over and run to the village at once. The area of the Grotto should be cleaner. People should leave their shoes out and when they enter the place they should respect that this is a Holy Place. People are eating and sleeping there in front of the Grotto.