TAMATAVE, Madagascar - The National pilgrimage, under the patronage of the Montfortians, celebrated its 90th anniversary in Madagascar. This year, it was held from Saturday, August 12 to Monday, August 14 and brought together Christians from all over the world. The great Montfortian family (the Company of Mary, the Montfortian brothers of Saint Gabriel, the Daughters of Wisdom Sisters, the lay Montfortian associates) were present to honor the Montfortian pilgrimage to Analamalotra Tamatave, especially to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort.
Wind, rain and sun replaced each other over time. However, that did not deter the faithful from coming to pray together, to experience God at the highest point in the forest.
The highlights of the day were well arranged:
• Saturday August 12: arrival
• Sunday August 13
8:30 a.m.: Walk and prayer of the Rosary.
10 a.m.: Opening Mass of the celebration presided over by the Vicar Provincial of the Montfortians in Madagascar, Father Jean Baptiste RAKOTOARIASOA, SMM.
12 p.m.: meal.
3 p.m.: Stations of the Cross followed by the slide presentation of the three congregations founded by Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, including the Montfort Missionaries, the Montfort Brothers of Saint Gabriel and the Daughters of Wisdom sisters.
7 p.m.: dinner
8 p.m.: Vigil, Confession and Adoration
00h-until morning: cultural entertainment in which everyone participates.
• Monday at 8:30 am: Eucharistic celebration was presided over by the Provincial Superior, Father Bruno RANDRIANASOLO KIKY, SMM. In his sharing, he encouraged the congregants to be bearers of joy, of peace like Mary. The consecutive celebration ended with the solemn blessing of the statue depicting 90 years of presence of the Montfort Missionaries in Madagascar and the 350th anniversary of the birth of Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort and the plenary indulgence.
The event was broadcasted on diocesan television. In the afternoon, everyone went to the parish of Sainte Thérèse Salazamay Tamatave, to witness the testimony of the brothers and sisters who were to celebrate the silver jubilee of religious life the following day, as well as the testimony of the two Montfortian deacons.
Indeed, on Tuesday, August 15, the Feast of the Assumption around 9 a.m., the bell of the lovely Parish of Sainte Thérèse Salazamay, and the Montfortian family in Madagascar, vibrated in the mid-sunny sky, while an important assembly praised the Lord for the gift of vocation during the 25 years of religious life of:
Father Jean Claude RAMANDRAIVONONA (smm)
Brother Gilbert RAMANANTOANINA
Brother Levao Antoine RAKOTOARIMANANA
Sr Marie Odette BAOMAZAVA
Sr Abeline IMBOTY
We were happy not only celebrating silver jubilee of religious life and the renewal of their commitment, but also to have the gift of the priesthood for the Church and for the Congregation which rests on our brothers Claude Aimé TOVOMALALA and Alain Frédéric RANDRIANASOLO by the laying on of hands by Bishop Marcelin RANDRIAMAMONJY, the bishop of Fenoarivo-Est, a neighboring diocese of Tamatave. They were surrounded by their human family but above all by the great Montfortian family.
“Congratulations to you who have accepted to follow Christ and to give your lives for the announcement of the good news in a world hostile to Gospel values,” said His Excellency Bishop Marcelin, president of the ordination ceremony.
He told them to have the courage, to fix their gaze on Jesus the Incarnate Wisdom: "take courage and have the patience to love the Church as Mary loves her Son even at the foot of the cross. Your testimony and your words build the Church of God,” he confirms.
We give thanks to God for the fidelity of the lord towards our mission here in Madagascar since 1933, the 350th anniversary of our founder, the silver jubilee of our brothers and sisters and the priestly ordination at this unforgettable moment.
Joseph Victor RATAFITANIAINA, SMM