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The “Proa” magazine[89] tells us about the adventures of the 700 Majorcan pilgrims, from the afternoon of the 25th August until the morning of the 3rd September.


They gather in the afternoon of the 25th at Plaza de Santa Eulalia, and become excited on the arrival of Our Lady of Lluch. Father Sebastián reads out the letter from the Bishop, who cannot accompany them on Pilgrimage, but who exhorts them to bring the fire of Santiago to the young people who have yet to find the true way of life, but who are awaiting the message of life and grace. The young pilgrims are the Church’s hope and dream. They embark to Barcelona and arrive at dawn on the 26th.


At 13:30 on the 26th, together with Minorcans and Catalans, they assemble at the church of La Merced, are seen off by the Bishop of Barcelona, and set off on the second leg of their journey, towards Madrid. They arrive at 09:30 the morning after. From Madrid they leave at midday, seated in 17 lorries, on the way to Santiago. They travel to San Rafael, Valladolid, Medina de Rioseco, and stop to rest in León. At six in the morning of the 28th they set off again, stop in Lugo for lunch, and at nightfall they arrive at Santiago, their goal.


They arrive at the University Residence esplanade and join the Pilgrimage events. Various Bishops address different prayers from the microphones. Later, a great Eucharistic event, and the Pope’s words. Next, a small break and the corresponding supper.


Later the Holy Rosary is prayed and preparations are made for the celebration of the Eucharist. At two in the morning on the 29th Mass is held, this being the centre of the pilgrimage, the key moment and culmination for which they had been preparing for years. They renew Christ’s sacrifice and offer their pilgrims’ sacrifices. After Mass they go to rest in Santiago’s churches and the cathedral , the doors of which open for this purpose.


The following morning they visit the Apostle’s tomb and at 10 a.m. the last official act takes place, a solemn pontifical presided by the Primate of Spain, the pilgrimage’s Pontifical legate. At the moment of the offertory, the young people of Catholic Action of Spain offer a paten and chalice to the Church of Santiago as a memento of the pilgrimage. And finally, an act of affirmation proclaiming their wishes of sanctity, the unity of the Catholic youth against evil and their support for the Church and the Pope.


At six in the afternoon on the 29th they leave Santiago. Lugo, Ponferrada, León, Madrid and Barcelona will be the stages of their return journey. At nine in the evening of the second day of September they embark at Barcelona, bound for Majorca.


They arrive in Majorca on the morning of the 3rd, and crowds welcome them. A Te Deum is chanted in thanksgiving and led by Our Lady of Lluch, they make way up to the Plaza de Cort. They receive the mayor’s welcome, and Fr Sebastián Gayà the diocesan Spiritual Director, is taken to the town hall’s balconies to say a few words, amongst the general euphoria. It will be a profound summary, synthethizing the pilgrimage’s meaning and the  future direction: We went as 700 pilgrims to Santiago. We return as 700 apostles to start  the march of conquest over the youth[90].


The front cover of that issue of “Proa” is highly significant. It contains two editorials. One titled Facing yesterday, signed by the diocesan Chairman, which thanks all who contributed to the making of the pilgrimage, the other titled Facing tomorrow, signed by the diocesan Spiritual Director, considers the projection of continuity that one must give to the pilgrimage’s experience, with all that it has meant with regards to renewal, training and growth since the preceding years in which it was being prepared. We extract the three most significant paragraphs:


We cannot live off memories. Life is something more. We cannot stagnate thinking about the greatness of yesterday. One must project towards tomorrow the imprint and lesson of the days which, by the grace of God, we have had the fortune to live.


Santiago was not a final goal but a starting point. We did not go on an apostolic “parade”, but towards an apostolic renewal. We did not go looking for relief and rest, but to ask for strength and conquering opportunities, to deserve being avant-garde and leaders. We did not go to say, “This here Lord, is what we have done”. We were saying, “Lord, tell us what you want us to do.” Those who are satisfied with what they have done do not deserve to be pilgrims.


If we leaders really wanted! It is now time to act. We have to channel so many lives. We have to channel so much potential. We cannot leave so much activity stagnant. We must place our intelligence, heart, will, arms and knees in our apostolic enterprise[91].


We clearly see the intention of continuity. There is a clear and decided look towards the future. The end of the text is a practical setting down for the year just commencing: What have we done since then? The Council has set out the course schedule. Preparations are made for the assembly that will take place in November. In a few days the School of Leaders will be open. The number of Exercises and Cursillos to be organised are studied. We assist with the Marian year... We ask the Lord for a sense of responsibility to be instilled in all  leaders.


It is the time for action. The sown land is superbly fertilized.


For years, our slogan was “To Santiago”. Let us now make this one the watchword for our lives: “From Santiago, as saints and apostles, by the glory of Saint Mary “Assumpta”[92].


The council has not been resting on its laurels. It has completed the course plan providing for Exercises, Cursillos and the most immediate event, the Diocesan Assembly in November.


The 10th Diocesan Assembly[93] can be summarised, according to the reporter, in one poetic phrase: a song for hope. The first lecture is about the apostolic projection of the pilgrimage to Santiago, something which is logical in every way, and which is to take shape so that it does not become a fire which becomes extinguished with the passage of time. The second lecture deals with the young people of Catholic Action before the Marian Year. Another very current issue was the Marian Year, which was playing such a key role in the diocese of Majorca. From last year’s report one can highlight above all the Lluch Congress and the Pilgrimage to Santiago. Bonnin, as Diocesan Chairman, summarises the above, highlighting the apostolic events that we mentioned before regarding the previous year, and reviews the three key elements of the youth of Catholic Action: piety, study and action, stressing the importance of piety as the basis of later action.


Finally, the Bishop brought the assembly to a close with a significant speech which began by remembering the pilgrimage days and congratulating those who had started their spiritual pilgrimage. He then asks the young people what they had brought from Santiago, and he answers to himself, “The fire of Santiago! It was necessary to go to Santiago to further stoke up that fire which was already burning in your hearts; the fire which Jesus Christ brought to earth, and which you are to share and convey to the young people[94]. He then gives out four practical tasks, the first of which is precisely not to rest on the laurels of Santiago. One must reach the goal: to conquer the youth of Majorca[95].


We finish these references to this 10th Diocesan Assembly by taking up the fifth conclusion to the first lecture, which dealt with the apostolic projection of the pilgrimage. It says thus: At least every two years the Centres must send two permanent members, chosen amongst those who show an ability to be Leaders, to Cursillos organised or approved by the council. In addition, they will try to ensure the attendance of those youths who, although not being members of Catholic Action, show apostolic capabilities[96].


The convergence and harmony that exists between the diocesan Pastor, the Spiritual Directors, and the young people of that Majorcan Catholic Action is evident. The fruit was ripe. The apostolic restlessness, the love for Jesus Christ, the feelings shared with the Church, the desire to set alight everything with divine love, and a sufficient docility towards the Holy Spirit, made possible one more wonder of the many which God has made in his continuous gifts to humanity.


In the lower right-hand corner of the second page of the January 1949 issue of “Proa” magazine there is a short note, titled St Honorato’s Cursillo, which reads thus: At the very moment in which this issue of “Proa” appears, 21 youths from various Majorcan towns will have completed a formation and apostolate Cursillo. We have news from there, short but good and saintly. The Rector, Spiritual Directors and Cursillo Leaders have put all their effort, the Council has put its prayers and God His grace.


In the next issue we shall give a complete report[97]

[89] Cf. Proa nn. 118-119, September-October of 1948

[90] Proa nn. 118-119, September-October of 1948, p. 10.

[91] Proa nn. 118-119, September-October of 1948, p. 1.

[92] Proa, nn. 118-119, September-October of 1948.

[93] Cf. Proa, n. 121, December of 1948, p.2-7.

[94] Cf. Proa, n. 121, December of 1948, p. 4.

[95] Cf. Proa, n. 121, December of 1948, p. 4.

[96] Cf. Proa, n. 121, December of 1948, p. 8.

[97] Proa, n. 122, January of 1949, p. 2.

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