Confession Time: Penitential Celebrations Around the World

Confession Time: Penitential Celebrations Around the World

Confession Time: Penitential Celebrations Around the World
By Jean-Pol GRANDMONT (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Faith and love of God dominated the penitential walk of a 95-year-old priest ahead of Pope Francis’ penitential celebration on March 4.

It has been announced by the Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations office that confessions will be heard by Pope Francis on March 4. The event will be held at St. Peter's Basilica. If all goes to schedule, the Holy Father will preside over Rite of Reconciliation and take individual confession with absolution of patients at five in the evening. The Vatican office has also announced that the participation of the Pope in the penitential celebration is a component of the “24 Hours of Reconciliation” effort in Italy. The activities are done once every year on Lenten Friday.

A penitential walk which took place in Brazil involved Friar Roberto walking in excess of three and half miles. He is 95 years of age. About 30,000 individuals took part in this February 28 walk. It took place in two Archdioceses located in the northeastern part of the country- Salvador de Bahia and Fortaleza.

Many people praised the event on social media, describing it as one of the most beautiful events they saw in their lives. They were effusive about the positive example of fidelity, faith and love for all the things God has given them. Special mention was made about Friar Roberto, and who was described as a person who proved that God really exists. They said that he is an example to be followed. Many shared the Friar's pictures on their social media accounts.

Friar Roberto, whose real name was Juari Magalhaes de Sousa, was born September 10, 1920. His birth place was the city of Maracanau in Ceara State. He joined the Capuchin monastery at 14 years of age. That was the time when he took the name Friar Roberto. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1944. The Friar's career spanned 71 years.  Archbishop Gilson Andrade, who is from Salvador de Bahia, the Penitential walk makes a gesture that every person is common as the archdiocese during this time when it is remembered by the Church that a journey is characterized by the sins of the faithful. Praying together will make us free of our sins.

The Vatican has invited priests, cardinals and bishops along with the religious to participate in this event. All participants will enter the basilica and gather around Altar of the Confession. The pontiff had led a number of penitential celebrations. He personally entered confession in one such event, more specifically on March 28, 2014.

UPDATE: The event was livestreamed for all to watch.


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