|The people of today are nomadic, not just in their ideas but also physically. They travel a lot. But the nomad also requires reference points. In the desert we need to know where to find water holes.
This is as true for the Christian as for everyone else. This is why, today, pilgrimages and Sanctuaries are so important; they are resting places and an oasis in a busy world which can, so often, be a spiritual desert. Each Sanctuary has its own particular atmosphere. Pilgrims find a source of enrichment in one Sanctuary or another. This booklet is intended to give you a taste to go, see and verify this.
The European Marian Network links twenty Sanctuaries the same as the number of decades in the Rosary. Many of them are situated behind the former «Iron Curtain».
Almost every European country is represented in the European Marian Network. The best known Sanctuary of each country was chosen.
Under different titles, the Blessed Virgin Mary is venerated in every country in different ways and by different Christian confessions. May Mary help nations to grow in union with each other and bring unity between all Christians.
The European Marian Network was formed in 2003 with the encouragement of Rome. The Sanctuary Animators from the members of the Network meet each year to get to know each other better and, above all, to understand better the needs of the millions of pilgrims and visitors who frequent these Sanctuaries.
The gathering in 2003 took place in Lourdes, in 2004 it took place in Fatima and in 2005 it took place in Mariapocs, Hungary. It was there that it was decided to produce a booklet that would be available in each of the Sanctuaries. The 2006 gathering will take place in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Knock in Ireland and the theme will be «The role of Sanctuaries in the new evangelisation.»