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In Peru, Thousands of Young People Go On Halloween Pilgrimage

Ornate church in Peru

Diane Strasbaugh

Agenzia Fides - published on 10/31/14

For third year in a row, Peruvian youth spend night at Marian shrine.

Lima — Instead of celebrating Halloween in a secular way, the young people of Arequipa, Peru, are going on pilgrimage.

The “Third Youth Festival for Faith and Life,” a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Chapi begins this evening.

“Every year, the young people come to the shrine on October 31 starting from 6 pm until noon November 1, which is the day when the Church celebrates the feast of All Saints,” said Archbishop Javier Del Rio Alba of Arequipa. “We will have moments of prayer and fun. There will be a music concert and a dance show.”

The initiative was launched during the celebration of the Year of Faith, said the archbishop, and has since become an annual event that attracts thousands of young people in the Marian Shrine situated 60 km from the city.

“There will be priests for confessions and a great tribute (serenade) to the Virgin. The feast will conclude with a Mass” the archbishop said.

This year more than 4,000 young people from parishes, communities, lay movements and the different organizations involved in the activities of the Year of Youth launched in the Archdiocese of Arequipa will participate in the event.

“Therefore, we will pray for our young people and to ask the maternal protection of the Virgin of Chapi, in the certainty that she more than anyone else can bring us to Jesus Christ,” the Archbishop explained, adding that it is a “very Christian way to say no to Halloween.”

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