The 49th Annual Marian Pilgrimage was held in Diang on 8-9 February 2024. The theme of the pilgrimage was – ‘Request of our Mother: Discern what he says!’ This year, the pilgrimage was more special with the presence of the newly appointed apostolic nuncio to Bangladesh, His Excellency Archbishop Kevin Stuart Randall, DD.
Like every year, the spiritual preparation for the pilgrimage started with a nine day long novena prayer. The last of the novena prayer was held on 8th February, followed by a Holy Mass offered by the Archbishop of Chattogram, Most Rev. Lawrence Subrato Howlader, CSC, while His Excellency Archbishop Kevin S. Randall and Bishop of Barishal Diocese- Most Rev. Emmanuel Kanon Rozario co-celebrated the mass. A good number of pilgrims from all over the country attended this novena prayer and the Eucharist. In the evening, after a devotional eucharistic adoration and reconciliation ceremony, all the pilgrims participated in the traditional candlelit procession and Rosary prayer. The procession started from the Ashram, went around different villages praying the Holy Rosary and finally came back to the starting point.
The Solemn Eucharistic Celebration of the pilgrimage was held on the next day, 9th February 2024 at 10 am, with thousands of pilgrims covering the vast field of the ashram. Most Rev. Bishop Emmanuel K. Rozario was the main celebrant of the Solemn Eucharist while His Grace Archbishop Subrato and His Excellency Archbishop Kevin Randall co-celebrated. In his sermon, His Excellency Archbishop Kevin Randall said,
‘The celebration of the immaculate conception helps us to know her son- Jesus better. Mary is the mother of God, she intercedes for us. she is ‘Theotokos’ or God bearer. Her yes to god allows us to have a special intimate rapport with God the father. She calls us also to give birth to the ‘word’ Jesus Christ in what we say and in what we do- in word and in deed. Going on pilgrimage to Diang makes it real for us. We open our hearts to recognize Christ in each other because we are born in God’s image.’- Click here for the full sermon.