On Sunday, November 20, the traditional Festival of the Encounter of the Rose was held in Pallerols de Rialb, organized by the Association of Friends of the Camino de Pallerols de Rialb a Andorra.
The party began at 11:30 a.m. with the projection of the documentary about the adventure of Saint Josemaría on his way to escape to Andorra, due to religious persecution during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. The video highlights the difficulties and sufferings endured by the members of the group in which Saint Josemaría was going, and especially describes the anguish that the saint experienced on the night of November 21 to 22, 1937, in the face of the doubt as to whether or not he was doing God's will by continuing the path of escape that had begun on October 8 in Madrid. The rose that he found in the church, at dawn on the 22nd, filled him with peace and confirmed his decision to continue to Andorra, sure that he was doing God's will.
After the video there was a guided tour of the rectory and the church, and then -at 12:30pm- the procession took place around the church with the image of the Virgin, singing the "Goigs del Roser" from Pallerols.
Once in the church, the mass of the Feast of Christ the King was celebrated, which was presided over by Mn. Pere Calmell, priest of Opus Dei and concelebrated with Mn. Lluís Ruiz, Rector of the parish of Solsona. In the homily, Mn. Pere stressed that the kingship of Christ was a consequence of his obedience to the will of the Father that led him to death on the cross for the salvation of all men. It was before Pilate and also on the cross, shortly before he died, that he openly declared that he was King.
Recalling the passage of Saint Josemaría through Pallerols, he also highlighted the obedience of the founder of Opus Dei to the Will of God that prompted him to continue on his way to Andorra to continue the work that God had entrusted to him.
We too must commit ourselves to follow at all times, day by day, the Will of God; and for this we have the help of Mary who was with Jesus at the foot of the cross; she was also in Pallerols, comforting Saint Josemaría in moments of anguish, and she is continually with us in difficult moments to give us strength on our journey towards holiness, which is nothing more than fighting to do the will of God.
At the end of the Eucharist, the veneration of the relics of Saint Josemaría took place and then we went to the cemetery to pray for the deceased in Pallerols. The liturgical celebration closed with the singing of "Rosa d'Abril".
Some of the attendees had lunch around Pallerols and others went to the nearby towns and farmhouses.
At 4 in the afternoon there was the prayer of the Rosary.
Like every year, it was an endearing party with the assistance of about 100 people: most of them from Lleida and Barcelona, also from Madrid, Andorra, Seville; from Solsona, from the Pallars region, from Vall de Cabó, and other places in Alt Urgell. The inhabitants of the Rialb Barony could not be missing: its mayor Mr. Antoni Reig and the Minister of Culture Dolors Caelles, the families of Ampurdanès, Cal Solé and others.
A cold but sunny day in which we were able to joyfully relive those days in November 1937 when Saint Josemaría passed through these places on his way to Andorra.