Pilgrimage to Follow "Route of Slaves of Sudan"

Agency of Roman Vicariate Plans ’06 Event

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 16, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Roman Work of Pilgrimages has announced plans to undertake events on the «paths of suffering and sorrow,» including «the route of the slaves of Sudan.»

It is an initiative that this institution of the Vicariate of Rome, a Holy See entity, is launching next year in response to a proposal from Bishop Antonio Menegazzo, apostolic administrator of El Obeid.

«It is like going with the cross of Christ Liberator on the ancient paths in which man enslaved man,» Father Caesar Atuire, director general of the Roman Work of Pilgrimages, told ZENIT.

Moreover, it is an attempt to «meet this part of the world that is forgotten,» he said.

«The Diocese of El Obeid touches part of Darfur and we will pass through these places that are literally forgotten, carrying the cross as Christ, who takes a message of peace and solidarity. If we can collect some aid, we will take it,» Father Atuire explained.

The director general added that the pilgrimage will also serve to organize meetings in the local communities.

«When these places are forgotten, they become strongholds of radicalism,» he said. «In fact, it is known that the spiritual teacher of Osama bin Laden’s movement is in Sudan.»

Bakhita’s path

The route, which is still being studied, might touch Libya, pass through Chad, and then enter Sudan, until it reaches Khartoum.

It is the oldest route of the slaves once bound for Italy. Josephine Bakhita, the first canonized Sudanese woman, followed the route.

It is called a pilgrimage on the «Paths of Suffering and Sorrow» because it is also the route followed today by many Africans who leave their native countries to go to Europe.

«They are obliged to pay large quantities of money to arrive in Libya or Algeria,» said Father Atuire. «And many times they die in this attempt. Many of the women end up as victims of the prostitution mafias.»

Some stretches of the pilgrimage will be on foot, others in jeep.

«It is a pilgrimage,» the priest said, «for those who enjoy good health.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation