On Sunday October the 28th, the fifth annual pilgrimage took place. Some 900 people from various parishes took part, and they included groups devoted to Blessed Brother Rafiringa, university students, school pupils, members of religious congregations and families. The office of the diocesan vice-postulator had made the preparations a long time in advance via various means of communication (Catholic radio, posters, leaflets, various local meetings) in collaboration with those in charge of the rural parish of Imerintsiadino, the village where Brother Rafiringa’s mother was born. The pilgrimage began with a blessing of the pilgrims in the Sanctuary of Soavimbahoaka where the chapel of the relics is situated. People then went by car to the village of Imerintsiadino about10 km away on the north-east outskirts of the Capital, and they continued in procession on foot to the parish church of St François de Sales.
The day was marked by fervent singing, recitation of the rosary, adoration, the sacrament of reconciliation and a eucharistic celebration, based on the theme «Blessed Rafiringa’s pathway to holiness». Four priests concelebrated the closing Sunday Mass.
In previous years (2014, 2015,2016), the pilgrimage took place in the parish church of Masoandro where Blessed Rafiringa’s family lived, and the fourth one (2017) took place in the Cathedral of the Diocese of Antsirabe where the miraculous cure occurred through the intercession of our Blessed Brother, and in the church of Faravohitra, the native village of the person who was cured.
Next year, the Church in Madagascar will celebrate the centenary of the death and entrance into heaven of the Blessed Brother Raphaël-Louis Rafiringa (1919-2019). It will also be the tenth anniversary of his beatification by Pope Benedict XVI.