December 4, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Faced with a higher number of pilgrims, the rectors of the Spanish shrines of del Pilar, Torreciudad, and Montserrat, as well as the rector of the Shrine of Lourdes in France have opened the Marian Route.
Marian Route Association (Spain)
“The origin or the seed of the Route was planted in 2008, during the international exhibition held in Zaragoza. There the three rectors gathered from the shrines of el Pilar, Torreciudad, and Lourdes. They saw that there was a clear tendency for groups of pilgrims from Zaragoza going to Lourdes would pass through Torreciudad, which had a very marked path.”
The Marian Route draws around 12 million pilgrims every year. There are those who travel for religious reasons, but others are hoping to discover the famed culture and delicacies of these hidden places.
Lourdes is one of the most visited shrines of the world located near the Pyrenees National Park. The shrine of Montserrat is famed for its basilica and monastery which are visited by some 2 million people each year.
While Torreciudad is known as “the Sanctuary for Families,” where pilgrims can enjoy the spectacular scenery. And finally the shrine of el Pilar offers the main monument and symbol for the city of Zaragoza, Spain.
Department of Promotion, Tourism Zaragoza (Spain)
“Of course, it has a very important religious significance. It's the most important but it also has a historical significance and a certain association of ideas. Because it's a city that can't be understood without the Virgin Mary, and the Virgin can't be understood without the city. And it's something that makes us all proud and this can be seen in events such as festivals of del Pilar.”
For now, the Marian Route only covers the four shrines. Although, in the future, others could be added, such as the sanctuary of Meritxell in Andorra.