Pilgrim profile: Rose

By Teresa Mahoney

Rose, born in Cameroon, is on a two-day pilgrimage from France. | Photo by Teresa Mahoney.

Rose, who is on a two-day pilgrimmage to San Giovanni Rotondo, clutches a framed picture of her daughter Michelle. | Photo by Teresa Mahoney.

Rose leaned over the bannister in front of the blinding yellow Padre Pio shrine into a pile of letters and coins. She was reaching for the framed photo of her daughter, Michelle, which she had placed there while she ate lunch at a nearby pizzeria.

Originally from Cameroon, Rose, who didn’t give her last name, was visiting Padre Pio’s shrine to gather blessings for her daughter’s success at business school in London. Rose kissed her hand and touched the base of the shrine, whispered a prayer under her breath and genuflected. Her short stature made it difficult to retrieve the portrait from the scattered pit; she asked for my assistance and carried the photo away with her.

She will stay in San Giovanni Rotondo for two days and return home to France, her residence for over 20 years.


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