It is a well-established custom in all Redemptoris Mater seminaries around the world to go on a pilgrimage every year during the week in albis (in white). This year we chose Madrid as our destiny to know more personally the birthplace and the bases of the Neocatechumenal Way. In the previous years we went to Rome, Riga and Rome again, respectively.
The arrival took place on the night of Tuesday, April 23rd, at Adolfo Suárez airport. There, the ten seminarians and the rector were separated by families of the Neocatechumenal Way of the parish of San Saturnino (Alcorcón), who welcomed us as one of the family.
On Wednesday morning we visited the grave of Carmen, co-founder of the Way along with Kiko Argüello, and the seminar Redemptoris Mater in Madrid. Then, we visited the parish of Catalina Labouré, located in the working district of Carabanché. It was one of the first parishes to have its architectural design innovated by the Neocatechumenal Way.
On Thursday we spent the whole day in Madrid sightseeing around the city and visiting key places of our pilgrimage, such as Almudena Cathedral and the diocesan neocatechumenal center of Madrid, where we entered the apartment where Kiko used to live.
On Friday 26th we went to Getafe, where we walked to Cerro de los Angeles (Hill of the Angels), considered the geographical center of the Iberian Peninsula. Before that, we visited the convent of La Aldehuela, where Santa Maravillas de Jesús is buried. Afterwards, we spent some time in Toledo, seeing the magnificence of its Cathedral and the city.
On the following day we went to Avila, to the residence of Santa Teresa de Jesús and San Juan de la Cruz. There, we were interested in the details of the history of these mystic saints. To close the day we wandered into the nature to enjoy the wonders of God.
Of course, we could not go back to Tallinn without celebrating all this as God intended, with an Eucharist together with most of the communities of the parish.
In the end, we left Madrid at two in the morning bringing a divine experience of how God acts in the lives of people.
As of now, we wholeheartedly thank the people who welcomed us for free, because they are a living memorial of the providence of God on earth.
Going on a pilgrimage is always a gift that God gives us to know ourselves more deeply. In this pilgrimage, according to the experience of each seminarian, we have been able to recognize that the other is Christ, above all, thanks to the life of each person who has welcomed us. Their generosity, happiness
and, most of all, the unity that exists in the community has moved us all, and gives us strength to ask God for this fraternal love that comes only from Him, not from us.