With a little sadness in the heart but with hope in the fruits of this pilgrimage, we concluded this most significant event on December 15 with the celebration of the Eucharist in Bratislava´s parish Ružinov-Prievoz. The Eucharist was presided by Stanislaus Zvolenský, the archbishop of Bratislava. In the beginning of Eucharist he thanked God: “How good it is, that in this region we have witnessed the presence of Vincentian spirituality … a presence that began in the time of Vincent de Paul and has continued to the present day.”
During the homily, the archbishop stated that St. Vincent, following the example of from Jesus Christ, gave sight to blind, cleansed lepers and even raised the dead from their spiritual poverty. Vincent also proclaimed the gospel to the poor in different ways … St. Vincent has become a channel of God´s grace, through which God´s work and God´s love has been spread. That is why his example is so relevant for our times, because we all need Jesus to enter into our lives … at times we are all blind and deaf and spiritually poor and need help.
The provincial of Slovakian province of Congregation of the Mission, Father Jaroslav Jaššo, CM summed up the pilgrimage with the following words: Many people have approached the reliquary, have written prayer requests and have spent time in silent prayer. In so many places people have approached the sacrament of Reconciliation – and those have been profound and touching confessions. May the Lord be praised! He added one further personal testimony: he visited a place where it was announced that confessions would be heard all day long. He was asked to visit a dying man and everyone seemed to know that this man did not have a good relationship with God. Nevertheless, thanks to God’s grace, this man made a sincere confession. During that day so many people made a general confession and in the evening more than 1,000 people participated in the celebration of the Eucharist.
We can see many fruits of this pilgrimage. For almost three months Vincent’s relics were viewed and venerated in than 100 places (parishes, houses, communities, etc.) in the Czech and Slovak Republic. About 100.000 people came to venerate the relics and to pray. Everywhere the relics were received with great enthusiasm. I am very thankful that I could participate in this pilgrimage.