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The Apostolate of Prayer
U. S. A. | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
Jorge Enrique Mújica, LC, interviews Diana Ramos de Lobo, international director of the Pilgrim Queen of the Family apostolate.

Diana Ramos de Lobo
Diana Ramos de Lobo, the international director of the Pilgrim Queen of the Family apostolate.

Monterrey, Mexico. January 6, 2009. The Pilgrim Queen of the Family apostolate may appear simple: families welcome a triptych of the Blessed Virgin Mary in their homes for a few days, and gather around her to pray the Rosary in the evenings. Then they pass her on to another family, one of ten in a “chain” of families that make up a kind of living Rosary.

But as simple as it is, this apostolate is bearing big fruits. Thanks to the traveling images of Our Lady, thousands of families around the world are beginning to live out the famous saying that “the family that prays together stays together.”

Below, we present an interview with the international director of the Pilgrim Queen of the Family apostolate, Diana Ramos de Lobo.

Jorge Enrique Mújica, LC: This apostolate has grown so quickly and has reached a wide range of societies, from Mexico to China, and from Austria to Cameroon, Africa. What is the secret of its success?

Diana Ramos de Lobo: In every society or
PQ in Africa
Fr Apolinar, a diocesan priest from the Congo, Africa, welcomes the Pilgrim Queen to his parish.
culture, man always comes from a family; as the nucleus of society, it is where man feels loved for who he is. In these times, families from all around the world are really seeking to reclaim their unity. And looking at the world, we see it offering few means to unite the family. So, families that want that unity need these concrete means the Church offers to keep them united in a world where some are trying to destroy it.

We normally consider the mother as the heart of the family, since she is the one who feeds, cares for, and closely watches over the wellbeing of each new member. Under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mary seeks us out, and comes to our aid with great maternal love. She had said to St. Juan Diego: “Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish?”

Pilgrim Queen of the Family, through a simple tool (a shrine), contributes to the unity of the family. That’s because Mary is the first one who wants to go into each home and meet the needs she finds there. She is the star of the new evangelization, and she is in a hurry to make her Son, Jesus Christ, known.

JORGE: All the different apostolates are an answer to a need. What is the need that gave birth to Pilgrim Queen of the Family apostolate? How did it begin?

DIANA: Enthronement of a sacred image in the home is a very old Church tradition. The story of the birth of the apostolate is very simple. On the one hand, there is the personal aspect and, on the other hand, the institutional
pope blesses
Pope John Paul II blessed the Pilgrim Queen of the Family apostolate on November 30, 2004.
aspect.

Regarding the personal, let me say that the lay people are called always to serve the needs of the Church. We must find ways to help better, to organize the apostolic work and make possible efficacious means of evangelization. We also make the Church stay alive: in parish activities, supporting diocesan events and, above all, answering the daily calls to follow God’s will. As St. Therese of Lisieux and Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, you don’t need to look for great things to do, just do the small ones with great love. The smaller the act, the more love we must place in it. (Cf. Come, Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta, edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C.)

The apostolate is barely four years old and the expansion has been beyond our dreams. And all because Mary wants to reign in each home, to penetrate each heart and show the way to Christ.
Mary is the path to evangelization and praying the Rosary is a way of uniting ourselves to her. Regarding the Rosary, Pope John Paul said it is the prayer “which has the simplicity of a popular devotion but also the theological depth of
triptychs of PQ
Pilgrim Queen of the Family triptychs on display.
a prayer suited to those who feel the need for deeper contemplation” (Cf. John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 39).

In short, Pilgrim Queen of the Family was formed to strengthen the family as an institution and promote faith through the Rosary, since, as John Paul II reminded us, “The Rosary is also, and always has been, a prayer of and for the family. At one time this prayer was particularly dear to Christian families, and it certainly brought them closer together. It is important not to lose this precious inheritance. We need to return to the practice of family prayer and prayer for families, continuing to use the Rosary” (John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 41).

JORGE: Throughout these years, you, as the international director, have received hundreds of cases and stories that show the action of Mary in families. Which one has struck you the most?

DIANA: We continually receive testimonies regarding Mary’s intercession. All you need to do is go to our webpage to the section on “Roses for the Blessed Virgin Mary” and read all the thank you notes to Mary for favors received.

But it’s the small things that amaze me, since they allow you to see
PQ in Atlanta
Pilgrim Queen of the Family participants from Atlanta.
noble hearts and the simplicity and faith of the people. Once, a young girl was sad because she came in very happy to pray the Rosary with her mother, but the shrine had already gone to the following family. Her mother said she had to wait a month for Pilgrim Queen to visit their house again, but the girl replied: “Mother, I have waited 18 years to pray with you. In 18 years, this is the first time I will be able to kneel next to you. Please, find another image, but let’s pray together.” God is so good! With just one visit he joined mother and daughter in prayer.

I have also been able to see God’s great love for married couples. Through my work, I know many cases of couples that had never prayed together in their married life. They needed someone to remind them about the immense grace received in prayer, the sacraments, etc. Right now I remember the case of a couple that was blessed by Mary’s intercession in conceiving a child, after having miscarried four times. With tears in her eyes, the woman said to me: “Pilgrim Queen was visiting our house and for the first time in eleven years I asked my husband to kneel down together at home and pray the Rosary to ask Mary for the child we so much desired. Three months after that visit of the Virgin Mary, I did the test and found out I was pregnant. My husband and I have continued to pray together at home.”

JORGE: It’s obvious that one of the objectives of Pilgrim Queen of the Family is promoting Marian devotion. For a long time you have had the website www.pilgrimqueen.org as an institutional page allowing people from all over the world to know the apostolate and join it or promote it. Notwithstanding, in the last several months the website has been enriched with abundant material in the area of Mariology as well as other tools that encourage user interaction. What can you tell us about this?

DIANA: Effectively, we have realized the need to generate more articles
home page PQ
Visit the Pilgrim Queen of the Family web site at www.pilgrimqueen.org.
in the field of Mariology, and more concretely in the Guadalupan field. We have a working team constantly writing new articles, trying to supply new material. It’s not an easy task.

Regarding the interactive sections, it is very beautiful to see the family spirit within the Church, the mystical body, where some pray for the needs of others. Particularly in the section Light your Votive, you can almost “hear” the prayers of others, and pray for them and with them.

JORGE: What can someone do to join the Pilgrim Queen of the Family apostolate? Is it necessary to be part of a movement or have a specific family profile?

DIANA:  Anyone can become the guardian of a shrine. The guardian only needs to be willing to have the shrine go on pilgrimage to promote family prayer.

It’s very simple to participate in this apostolate. These are the steps:
1. Acquire a shrine.
2. Form a group of 10 families among neighbors, friends, and relatives.
3. Have the shrine taken to each family for three days every month
4. Affiliate yourself as a guardian and affiliate your group of families at  www.pilgrimqueen.org
5. Attend the monthly Rosary and/or Mass in your city on the first Saturday of the month in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The shrines can be blessed there as well.

To learn more about this apostolate, please go to www.pilgrimqueen.org


PUBLICATION DATE: 2009-01-06


 
 

Related links

Catholic.net web site
Mission Network
Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center and the Center for Family Development
Changing Hearts
Cancun-Chetumal Prelature
Challenge
ConQuest
Helping Hands Medical Missions


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