Conference on "Paths to Freedom" in Pallerols, Spain

For the fifth consecutive year, the Association of Friends of the Pathway from Pallerols of Rialp to Andorra (Associació d'Amics del Cami de Pallerols de Rialb a Andorra) [www.pallerols-andorra.org] has organized the festival of the finding of the rose (Trobada de la rosa). This event commemorates the passage of the Founder of Opus Dei through the Pyrenees in 1937, some 70 years ago. It takes its name from the gilded wooden rose St. Josemaría found in Pallerols on the morning of November 22, 1937. He had spent the previous night praying insistently to God and our Lady that he might see clearly whether he was doing God's will in making the trip to Andorra in order to continue his pastoral work in freedom, or whether he should return to Madrid to accompany his mother and the members of the Work who had remained there. The finding of the rose reaffirmed his decision to continue the crossing.

Bishop Joan Enric Vives of Seu d'Urgell celebrated the Holy Eucharist in the open air. He emphasized the importance devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary played in St. Josemaría's life, and especially during those moments spent in the shrine of Pallerols, near the village of Peramola. The conference was also attended by the Vicar of the Prelature of Opus Dei in Catalonia, Fr. Antoni Pujals.

The religious celebration was the central ceremony of the two-day conference, which also included cultural activities and excursions. On Saturday, the first day, Peramola was the site of a roundtable of experts who analyzed the different paths possible for crossing the Pyrenees. Among the authorities present were Joan Ganyet, Director of Architecture and Landscape for the “Generalitat” of Catalonia; the President of the Regional Council of Upper Urgell, Jesús Fierro; and the mayors of Peramola, Joan Pallarès, and of the Baronia de Rialb, Pere Prat.

The feast has also resulted in the restoration of the statue of our Lady of the Rosary. A new sculpture now presides at the shrine. The traditional procession of St. Stephen of Pallerols has also been revived.

Romana, No. 45, July-December 2007, p. 309-310.

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