Lionel Messi is known for his impressive soccer skills and his deep faith. In fact the Argentinian forward has often spoken of God in his pre- and post-match interviews.
During one interview from 2018, Messi shared that if his team won this year’s World Cup he “would walk from his home in the town of Arroyo Seco to the Basilica of San Nicolás,” according to the National Catholic Register.
The route would be roughly 24 miles, and would lead Messi to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolás, where a number of Marian apparitions took place.
While at the time the soccer star shook the journalist’s hand as a sign of his commitment, we’re not sure if and when Messi will go on the pilgrimage — he’ll definitely need a bit of time to relax those muscles after the arduous tournament!
However, regardless of his plans, Messi’s promise invites all of us to consider our own lives, and how we can show our gratitude when things go well in our lives.
The benefits of a pilgrimage
Although we may readily turn to prayer to thank God, we might also consider embarking on our own pilgrimage, as a physical and spiritual sign of gratitude.
The great news is, even if there’s not a pilgrimage site close to your home, you can always take a little tour of the churches in your local area, one at a time. You could learn a little about their history and any of the works of art they hold, and offer up prayers and light a candle in each church you visit.
Meanwhile, for those enroute to the Basilica of San Nicolás, don’t be surprised if you see a world champ walking by.