Italian Pilgrims Returning to Holy Land

ROME, MAY 30, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Pilgrimages are the «diplomacy of prayer.» So the Catholic Church in Italy is resuming its pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

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The news was confirmed by Monsignor Liberio Andreatta, administrator delegate of the Roman Work of Pilgrimages, which will begin to send pilgrims to Jesus´ land again within a few days.

«It is not a classic pilgrimage but a sign to make people understand that they are not alone, that the vicious circle has been broken,» he told the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

On April 22, Monsignor Andreatta and directors of Unitalsi, the Italian association that organizes pilgrimages for the sick to shrines, ended a «mission of solidarity and peace» in the Holy Land, in which the finishing touches were put to this new initiative.

«We are proposing a pilgrimage of prayer, solidarity, peace and witness: five days, beginning June 1 — small groups of eight to 10 people who are committed to carry out this sign, to make people understand that they are not alone,» the monsignor explained.

«Security is absolutely guaranteed, otherwise, we would not even suggest it,» he emphasized.

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