January 20 was a frigid day. With three Hail Marys, friends and members of TFP Student Action set out on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland. They did not drive, but walked as a great means to make reparation for the sin of abortion.
Carrying a small TFP standard, participants walked from the outskirts of Gettysburg, Penn., to Emmitsburg, a distance of about ten miles. The day was cold yet beautiful. The ground was covered in snow. The breeze cut to the marrow of the bones. Walking fast helped keep warm.
Pious Christians have always traveled to holy places in penance for past sins or thanksgiving for graces received. The Holy Land, Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes, and Fatima are shrines that attract millions today. These young pilgrims’ destination was the Seton shrine, where the relics of the first American-born saint can be found. Pilgrims can also visit what was once known as the “White House,” where Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton established the first school for orphan girls. However, today, few people arrive on foot.
The long silent stretches of this pilgrimage encouraged reflection: how did America accept abortion as a “right?” Where are we headed? The abortion mentality and its false idea of freedom are now pushing same-sex “marriage,” another grave sin that destroys the family.
These sins offend God. He is insulted and abandoned. The pilgrims united their small aches and pains to the infinite merits of His suffering and sorrow.
As the steps grew heavy and slower, the pilgrims remembered the heroic sacrifice of saints who devoted their lives to imitate Christ and fight for His glory, often leaving behind fame and fortune. The walk also helped them recall Our Lady of Fatima’s request for penance and conversion.
Arriving at the tomb of Saint Elizabeth Seton, they prayed for the end of abortion.
“It is a tremendous honor to be a part of this fight against abortion. The odds might be against us, but not for long,” said TFP Student Action member James Miller. “The final victory will be God’s. In the mean time, we must keep on, for as long as it takes.”