Huge pilgrimage to Angolan 'Lourdes'

2012-08-05 22:29

Muxima - Hundreds of thousands of Angolans flocked on Sunday to the Catholic shrine of Muxima in the southern African country's largest pilgrimage.

The faithful travelled from all corners of the oil-rich nation to pray to a statue of the Virgin Mary in a quaint white church that dates from 16th century Portuguese colonial rule in the small town.

"Muxima could become a renowned global shrine like Fatima in Portugal or Lourdes in France," said the rector Father Albino Reyes Gonzalez.

The town, which counts only 3 000 permanent residents, is in the middle of the Quissama National Park, on the banks of the Kwanza River 150km southeast of the capital Luanda.

But it has grown in popularity over the years, as three out of five people in the nation are Catholic.

Numerous government infrastructure construction projects have also helped to bring the area out of isolation.

Whereas in previous years pilgrims prayed for fertility, today they seek health, success, or employment for their loved ones - symptoms of the social realities that confront most Angolans today.

"I've come to ask the Virgin that things work out with my husband," 31-year-old Isabela Nunes told AFP, echoing this year's pilgrimage theme of "reconciling families".

The UN children's agency Unicef estimates that 87% of the urban population lives in shacks, even though the nation's oil riches have turned Angola into one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

  • walter.lebza - 2012-08-06 00:15

    Fools and idolators worship mary, wise and righteous people worship the LORD GOD. I feel sorry for them Because mary can't hear them she's resting in glory now. jesus christ is LORD.

      zaatheist - 2012-08-06 05:14

      I always find it amusing when one drug peddler disparages a competitor dealer's product. My drug is purer and stronger than yours. Then, to make it even more laughable they accuse the competitors addicts of being fools. Walter, your LORD GOD and all the thousands of other gods invented by man since the dawn of recorded history simply do not exist. Sorry to give you the bad news.

      kent.harding.9 - 2012-08-06 07:23

      Ey zaai, prove there is no God. Hav u ever read the prophecies in the Bible? There are many. Not 1 has ever faild. Have u ever seen a stone that has been engraved, that information, was it the wind that put it there aftr millions of years? The dna is the most complex info storage unit in the knwn universe, who put it there?

      zaatheist - 2012-08-06 07:59

      @Kent Can you prove there is no Santa and no Tooth Fairy? If an adult claimed to still believe in the Tooth Fairy you would laugh your a$$ off. And if he said you can't prove the Tooth Fairy does not exist you would think he was mentally ill. Same for your god.

      storm.trooper.125 - 2012-08-06 11:59

      let me give you some of the old testament history,, At the time of the historic Israel, next to the throne of the King was a second throne. Many would assume that the second throne belonged to the wife of the King, but in Israel it belonged to the mother of the king. In Aramaic the word "Gebirah" means Queen Mother. Gebirah was the official title of the Queen Mother, and was a position of authority and honour. Her roles were advisor to the king, and advocate of the people; anyone who had a petition or sought an audience with the King did so through her. 1 Kings 2: 17-21 solomn mother always sit on the right hand side of the king. She was prophecied in the beginning of the bible, Gen, THE SEED OF THE WOMAN(IN JEWISH CULTURE, THEY WOULD HAVE SAID, THE SEED OF A MAN)Since Jesus was not born from a man, he was born from a woman.On the cross, Jesus said to Mary, THis is your son,John this is your mother, Since the statement was first to Mary and not to John....This is not just a personal bequest of his Mother to John, but, being from the cross itself, has a greater significance. if Jesus were merely asking John to take care of Mary, He would have made His first request to John. But if you look at the passage, you will see that His first statement is to Mary. The emphasis is therefore upon Mary being Mother to John, not John "looking after" Mary. John here represents all the disciples of Jesus, and hence all Christians, who are given Mary as their Mother.

      kent.harding.9 - 2012-08-06 22:40

      Zaai. Nothn 2do with tooth fairies. Im talkn dna. U hav 2 hav a crap load of faith 2 believe that all that info came about by itslf. Next thing u wil b telling me is that the pyramids were made by wind nd water over time, infact that is more possible than dna just happening. Nt 2 mention all the perfect physical laws and values! If u change any of them by any amount, everything is either crushd or exploded.. U r truly a man of faith 2 believe that chance cause all this. Hell even a tooth fairy is more lightly.

  • Nnamdi - 2012-08-06 03:38

    Wlater do you really think that it is wrong to ask one who is higher than you to intervene on your behlaf if you have a case with a higher authority.We the Catholics take God so serious and very sure of you weaknesses and thats why we ask the saints,the angels and mary to help us obtain favour from the three persons,God the father,God the son and God the holy spirit.We dont worship mary but ask for her interssition in prayers.

      zaatheist - 2012-08-06 04:25

      Geez, just so easy to sell snake oil to the unthinking. There is no point in arguing with Abraham's deluded children, any more than convincing drunks alcohol is harmful. They need their fix. That is all there is to it. Looking for reason in the whole thing is absurd.

      storm.trooper.125 - 2012-08-06 11:34

      zaatheist zaatheist..since u cant argue with abraham children..why are u stil fighting a loosing battle..on every reliogion article, you comment!! so strange fr a person who dont believe,read religion losing the battle with fighting with yourself!!a person who dont drink, wont find himself in a bar drinking with other ppl. why dont you mix yourself with your own flock!! and respect other ppl religion

      zaatheist - 2012-08-06 13:26

      storm trooper Reid poll from September 2011 [Canadians Split On Whether Religion Does More Harm in the World than Good]. It surveyed Canadians about religion. Only 16% of Canadians attend church every week and about 30% of Canadian say they don't believe in God. Only 53% of Canadians say they believe in God. This is good news for those of us who think the trend is in the right direction. It's bad news for those who think that the religious views of society can't be changed. "In the U.S., all the major (Christian) denominations have seen their numbers decline in recent years, but the Catholic Church has taken the biggest hit. Since the 1960s, four American-born Catholics have left the church for every one who has converted, according to a 2009 Pew study. In 2008 alone, Catholic membership declined by 400,000. More than 1,000 parishes have closed since 1995. Secularism in America: Growing trend concerns Catholic leaders worldwide The Dutch Reformed Church officially lost 20 000 members in 2010 but the real numbers are likely to be much higher.

      zaatheist - 2012-08-06 13:27

      Storm trooper Membership in the Southern Baptist Convention declined for the fifth straight year in 2011, falling under 16 million for the first time since 2000, according to annual statistics released June 12 by LifeWay Christian Resources. Is Atheism Increasing at the Expense of Theism? Atheisim increases at cost of Christianity in Australia. Keep wishing pal. You guys are on the way out.

      storm.trooper.125 - 2012-08-06 16:32 so right,,YOU AR 100% right..thats xactly what the bible in revelation said..thats xactly what Jesus said what will happen..finally i have to agree with you..danm you done your homework right..nations will break away,ppl wont believe..since you done your homework, please read those will all make more sense to you what you just said..PPL DONT BELIVE IN GOD ANYMORE...but do not forget propaganda is everywhere..internet is a powerful spread good or bad things..some says christianity the the rest says aitheist is on the rise... be carefull what you read and blieved..since you believe more ppl dont believe in God..pls belong to those flocks..and respect other ppl believes..wether you love it or not..yes ppl fight for ther religion, and yes alot of ppl died bcoz of religion..and the biggest mestup in this world... IS PPL LIKE YOU WHO DONT RESPECT PPL RELIGION AND CULTURE..AND THATS THE REASON WHY PPL KILL EACH OTHER

      zaatheist - 2012-08-06 18:42

      Storm Trooper Oh dear. A rapture ready crazed brainwashed brain addled fun die sitting wailing on a mountain top begging Jesus to appear and whisk him away to eternal boredom in Heaven. Shame.

  • owen.walker.7165 - 2012-08-06 07:09

    @zaatheist - I wonder where the slang word Geez comes from? So you don't believe in God yet you do believe in something - No God. So you too are a believer and judging by your comments are a fervent believer in your belief as you try to convert others to your belief - the no God religion (which is to the existence of no hope for a better life before and after death).

      zaatheist - 2012-08-06 08:01

      The real evidence for the non-existence of god comes in the failure of theism to demonstrate its claims with good, reasonable data. You can bleat all you like, but in consistently failing to demonstrate your god's existence, you are the one revealing that it doesn't exist.

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