On the last weekend of October, the annual meeting of Accoglienza Pellegrina hospitaleros voluntarios took place in Pietrasanta and Valpromaro. During the event, about sixty volunteers from Italy, Holland and Spain, as representatives of Hosvol Spain, were hosted at San Francesco hostel and Casa Diocesiana della Rocca in Pietrasanta. During the day, other hospitaleros joined in to take part in the planned activities.
On Friday evening, after dinner, hospitalero Filippo organised a leisure activity aimed at getting participants to know each other and bringing them together. On Saturday morning, a tour of Pietrasanta was led by Gabriele Veschi, a passionate connoisseur of history and art, to discover the monumental beauty and history of the city. After lunch, taking advantage of the sunny day, the participants went for a pleasant walk to Marina di Pietrasanta to enjoy the beach and each othe’s company.
In the late afternoon, the annual meeting was held, during which the Accoglienza Pellegrina Board of Directors summarised the activities of the Association for the year 2023, commenting on the various points together with the numerous members present. Late evening, hospitalera Marinella, led a group activity with a focus on hospitality.
On Sunday morning, the participants moved to Valpromaro to attend Holy Mass in the Church of St. Martin. After Mass, the twinning of the pilgrims’ hostel “St John the Baptist” in Grañon and the pilgrims’ hostel “Giuseppe Mancino” in Valpromaro was celebrated live on Zoom. The Spanish parish priest, Father Alejandro, and Marina Saiz exchanged moving words with Iacopo Menchetti, Enza Bini and the parish priest of Valpromaro, Father Alessandro, and hoped to meet in person soon. The celebration continued with the testimonies of the people of Valpromaro, the Spaniish hospitaleros voluntaries represented by Anai Barreda and Manuel Oliva, Herman Velvis, hospitalero from Holland, and the AP hospitaleros.
The celebrations continued in the pilgrims’ hostel, where the participants cheerfully welcomed the banner that marks ten years of collaboration and a large wooden muñequito with dozens of replicas of it inside, on which the participants had written their names.
A rich lunch, prepared by the local people and attended by the Bishop of Lucca, Paolo Giulietti, was shared in the old village school.
Joy, generosity, fraternity, sharing, emotion and enthusiasm accompanied the participants throughout the meeting.