The annual Pilgrimage to the Church of Letnica village
is one of the most significant events for thousands of
Christians from many parts of the world. They come here
with their families to see the well-known Black Madonna,
to enrich themselves spiritually (to strengthen their
spirit) and to take pleasure in the beauty of the Madonna.
Many well-known people participated in the pilgrimage
to this place and then completely dedicated themselves
to serve God. One of the most vivid examples of such dedications
is that of Mother Theresa.
Letnica has a strong history as a center of pilgrimage to
the Madonna in the Church at Letnica beginning in the 14th
century. On the 15th of August - the day of the assumption
of The Holy Virgin Mary - thousands of faithful Catholics
came from all over Kosovo and other parts of Europe to the
small village of Letnica in Southeastern Kosovo. This year,
more than 200 soldiers from KFOR attended the pilgrimage.
The buses stopped just outside Letnica and the soldiers
walked six kilometers over the mountains down to the church.
On their way to the Holy place there were 6 stops during
which KFOR soldiers could pray and send their prayers to
Madonna. It was a beautiful day, and in the meadows over
the mountains there was a wonderful scent of thyme.
KFOR troops who participated in the pilgrimage marched
together with French Chaplain Michel de Peyret and Italian
Chaplain Don Vitalii Gianmarco were greeted by Catholic
Bishop of Kosovo, who celebrated the mass, together with
the Catholic Bishop of Albania. The soldiers and citizens
were singing and venerating the statue of Our Lady of
Letnica as they walked.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if the celebration this year
inspired the many Kosovar pilgrims to forgive the past,
and seek peace for Kosovo.