Pilgrimage in Honor of Our Lady of Gabon on Pentecost Monday
For Pentecost, several thousand miles from the pilgrimage from the Chartres cathedral to the Place Vauban in Paris, many Gabonese faithful from the St. Pius X Mission participated in the Marian pilgrimage to Our Lady of Gabon, on the hill of Melen, in the archdiocese of Libreville.
The Virgin Mary is venerated under different titles in all the countries of Christendom: Our Lady of Loreto, Lourdes, Fatima, Einsiedeln, Altötting, etc.
Gabon is no exception; proud children of Mary, the inhabitants of this equatorial African country fervently venerate Our Lady of Gabon. The story of this sanctuary that the faithful of the St. Pius X Mission honor every year on Pentecost is worth telling.
It all began in December 1986, with the preparations for the Jubilee of a congregation, the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception from Castres. The “Blue Sisters”, as they were called, thought a Marian pilgrimage site in Gabon would be a good idea. As a way of saying thank you, they offered Gabon a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
With the approval of Archbishop André-Fernant Anguilé, the first archbishop of Libreville, the statue of the Blessed Virgin arrived on November 10, 1986, and was installed on the hill of Melen. The solemn inauguration took place the following month, on December 8. Since then, Catholics have been coming there to venerate Our Lady, in whom they confide their needs and hopes. For they know that the Mother of God was given to them to protect and sanctify them.
The same year, in 1986, the first priests of the Society of St. Pius X came to the country. The year before, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre had come to visit. He was warmly welcomed by Bishop François Xavier Ndong Ndoutoume, bishop of Oyem, who requested a meeting with the President of the Republic of Gabon, Omar Bongo. In January 1986, Fr. Patrick Groche was the first SSPX priest to settle in the country. Since then, the flame of the Tradition of the Church has never ceased to shine, sustaining the Faith and missionary zeal under the protection of Our Lady of Gabon and St. Pius X.
Sources: FSSPX-Mission Saint-Pie X / gabon-ofmcap.com / FSSPX.News – 6/5/2018