Pilgrim Virgin Visits Ridgefield, CT
In mid-September Christ the King Church in Ridgefield, Connecticut received the exciting news that the Pilgrim Virgin statue would be visiting at the end of October, just in time for its patronal feast day on October 30th. Immediately the Altar Rosary Society, the Holy Name Society, and the parish and school choirs began to make preparations for the event. A parish-wide novena was also announced, and St. Padre Pio Academy did its part by providing our Lady with flowers representing their sacrifices and prayers.
On the evening of Friday October 28th, parishioners gathered outside the church to escort the statue to a special place by the altar, followed by Mass and a candlelight rosary procession. The next morning came a high Mass served by the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen and sung by the St. Padre Pio Academy Choir. The choir sang a polyphonic piece in honor of the Blessed Virgin. Later in the day the faithful convened to pray the fifteen decades of the rosary before the statue.
Sunday, October 30th, the feast of Christ the King, was the culmination of the weekend’s festivities. A solemn high Mass was sung by the parish choir, during which Fr. David Thomas spoke about how memorable our Lady’s visit was and how the parish should use the opportunity to become souls of reparation. After Mass came a consecration of the parish and school to the Immaculate Heart in front of the statue.
After Mass our Lady was transported to the center of the town of Ridgefield, where a long-discussed procession took place through the town. A notice had been posted in the town newspaper beforehand, informing the townspeople about the police-escorted procession, during which the faithful followed the statue singing and praying the rosary. Many people stood at shop doors to watch and film the procession, one elderly woman was heard singing along to “O Sanctissima,” and parishioners saw a man on a motorcycle bless himself and turn down his motor as the procession crossed a street. One spectator who had filmed the event even posted the video on Facebook and received positive comments about it.
The procession ended in Ballard Park, where the parish gathered to have a celebratory picnic generously hosted and prepared by the Altar Rosary Society. A few residents of the town followed to talk and to venerate the statue.
The feast of Christ the King, usually a special day in Ridgefield, thus expanded into a very eventful weekend, ending with a public act of acknowledgement of Christ’s kingship and Mary’s queenship.