Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage

Fr Nick James and parishioners from St Frances of Rome and St Mary's

Pope Francis encourages us all to make a pilgrimage in the Year of Mercy as a sign of our ongoing journey of conversion and spiritual renewal.

Parishioners from St Frances of Rome, Ross-on-Wye and St Mary’s, Monmouth responded to this invitation when they came together to organise their own Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage on Tuesday 20 September to show solidarity with the thousands of refugees who are leaving their homes to escape from war, poverty and persecution.

The Lost Family Portraits were shown in the parish room before the pilgrimage began at 5.30 p.m.

Lampedusa Cross on the altar in Ross

Pilgrims followed the 7 stages of the pilgrimage around the church grounds:

Forced out by War,

Forced out by Poverty and Climate Change;

Forced out by Persecution;

The Journey;

Lost Family;

Welcome or Rejection

and finally Cross of Compassion, Door of Mercy which culminated in parishioners gathering around the Lampedusa Cross in church for prayer and reflection and then writing their own personal messages on the prayer cards which will be shared with refugees in the UK and around the world.

Lampedusa Cross in Monmouth

Lampedusa Cross in Monmouth


Fr Nicholas James heard Confession and celebrated Mass following the pilgrimage.

Parishioners donated over 80 items of food including: rice, couscous, bulgur wheat, pasta, oil, flour, tinned vegetables and fruit, fish, sugar, nuts and spices.

Food donations

Donations of food

The items were all dropped off with Claud and Ben at The Globetrotter Café in Ross-on-Wye which is a collection point for Ross For Refugees.

Ross for Refugees drop off point with owner Claud and parishioner Erica Philp

Ross for Refugees drop off point with owner Claud and parishioner Erica Philp



Holy Years normally take place every 25 years and often feature pilgrimages and special celebrations.  They call for conversion and special opportunities to experience grace and mercy through the sacraments, especially the sacrament of Confession.

Let us never tire of asking for forgiveness.”

Extraordinary holy years are less frequent.  Pope St John Paul II called the last one in 1983.  He also called the last Holy Year in 2000 which was called the “Great Jubilee.”

The current Year of Mercy is the only the third “Extraordinary Jubilee” since the tradition began 700 years ago and Pope Francis has said that the time is ripe for the message of mercy.

“In the roughest moments, remember: God is our Father, God does not abandon his children.”   Pope Francis

Find out more about the Year of Mercy here or if you are interested in the Lampedusa Cross visiting your parish, please get in touch.


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