|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.”
we present an interview with the international director of the
Pilgrim Queen of the Family apostolate, Diana Ramos de Lobo.
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
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.
|Fr Apolinar, a diocesan priest from the Congo, Africa, welcomes the Pilgrim Queen to his parish.|
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
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,
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?
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 John Paul II blessed the Pilgrim Queen of the Family apostolate on November 30, 2004.|
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
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
|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
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
|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.
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?
Effectively, we have realized the need to generate more articles
|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
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?
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,
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