Order of Malta Volunteers UK: Easter Pilgrimage to Rome
The Order of Malta Volunteers from the UK (OMV) have just returned from their Easter Pilgrimage to Rome. A group of 8 guests and 18 helpers experienced an incredibly special week celebrating the Passion and Resurrection in the Eternal City as part of the Pope’s Year of Mercy.
We celebrated Mass in the stunning Basilicas of Santa Maria Maggiore and St Paul’s Without the Walls. We were welcomed by the Grand Master and enjoyed afternoon tea in the gardens of Villa Malta. On Good Friday we attended the very moving service of Our Lord’s Passion in St Peter’s with Pope Francis, before joining the thousands of faithful in St Peter’s Square on Easter Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection and receive the Pope’s Urbi et Orbi blessing.
In amongst the Holy Week services we also found time to explore the wonders of Ancient Rome, prepare and devour vast quantities of pizza, experience the breathtaking Vatican museums, and have private tours of palazzi. We are extremely grateful to the Grand Magistry in Rome for all their help and hospitality!
The Easter Pilgrimage is a small whirlwind OMV trip, visiting different European cities for Holy Week. Since its inception in 2009, we’ve visited Rome, Malta, Paris, and in 2015 we went to take part in the world famous Semana Santa celebrations in Seville. We returned to Rome in 2016 after deciding to make this an annual pilgrimage. There are plenty of other exciting destinations in the pipeline!
There is always a fantastic mixture of beautiful Holy Week services, cultural outings and OMV silliness, with plenty of time to sample the local cuisine. In past trips we have covered many things from Easter Sunday Mass with the Holy Father in Rome, through roller-skating Maltese parrots, through veneration of the Crown of Thorns in Notre Dame de Paris, to learning the art of flamenco.
It is a wonderful opportunity to experience all the work, spirituality and fun of the OMV, but on a much smaller scale. It is a chance to visit a beautiful city and celebrate Holy Week in a way you’ve never done before – it’s always a hugely fun and intensely emotional experience that you will never forget.
Find out more at: http://www.omv.org.uk/what-we-do/easter-pilgrimage/
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