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By Sydney Mwamainda
The Holy Father, Pope Francis has sent his apostolic blessings to the people of Zambia and Christians who gathered on Saturday 17 August, 2013 for the Lusaka Archdiocesan Marian Shrine annual pilgrimage.
“I bless all those who will be present at the shrine and I send my apostolic greetings. Amen!”

This is the greetings  PopeFrancis sent through Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu of Lusaka who was in Rome a few days before the annual pilgrimage. When the Archbishop informed the Pope that he was returning to Zambia for the annual Pilgrimage, the Holy Father decided to send his apostolic blessings.
And Archbishop Mpundu in his homily explained the significance of Mary in the life of a Christian,
“Those of us who honour Mary are privileged as she was chosen by God to be the mother of our Lord. Mary is the true image of our Lord. You cannot despise what God himself chose through Archangel Gabriel, as irrelevant.” Archbishop Mpundu said.
To the sound of ululations and in his jovial way, Archbishop Mpundu also added that God deliberately left out all the Popes, Saints, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Nuns including Presidents and picked Mary the mother of Jesus, a woman immaculate, born without sin and elevated her to a place of honour.
It is indeed the wish of Archbishop Mpundu that more and more people would make more journeys to the Marian shrine for prayers instead of looking for miracles in the mountains and in far distant and questionable places.
“At this holy place, the Blessed Virgin Mary is saying, do whatever Christ tells you. Do not look for miracles elsewhere. Miracles happen here and Christ is here where Mary is at her home. Right here Mary will show us how to reach to Christ’s heart for our needs with ease.”
Meanwhile Archbishop Mpundu has urged Zambians to stop ritual killings and Gender Based Violence.

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