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One thousand Hail Marys at La Divina Pastora

Ayana Stroude (right) prays one of the Glorious Mysteries, while Una Armour follows in prayer along with the congregation.

At the dawn of this 21st century, a new tradition began in the Parish of La Divina Pastora, Siparia. It is the annual celebration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady, (August 15) through the devotion of the one thousand Hail Marys.

The one thousand Hail Marys which originated in Brazil takes the form of the praying of a ‘Super Rosary’ and all four sets of the Mysteries. Instead of praying ten Hail Marys at each decade, fifty Hail Marys are prayed. All of this is done in the presence of the exposed Blessed Sacrament.

This devotion, which begins at 9 a.m., attracts faithful from all over the country, and they present their written petitions, which are placed in a basket at the foot of the altar.

Many also offer private prayer petitions while offering lit candles at the feet of Our Lady, La Divina Pastora. Participants are invited to spend the entire day, or any part of it. The devotions end with Mass or Eucharistic Service between 3 and 4 p.m. This year, our parish priest, Fr Alan Hall, celebrated the closing Mass.

Our celebration this year was a part of the 40-Days Rosary for Life, and, as usual was a beautiful experience. —Theresa Noel