In conjunction with the start of the Light Festival in the city of Manresa, coinciding in 2023 with the 500th anniversary of the farewell of Saint Ignatius to the city, supposedly between February 16 and 18, 1523, the city has given an end to the celebrations of this Second Jubilee Year of the Ignatian Way 2022, coinciding with the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrim in Catalonia and especially in the city.
The motto of this Jubilee Year was, for the city of Manresa, transformation, emulating the experience that Íñigo de Loyola experienced in 1522-23: Manresa, the city that transforms. After his 11 months of continuous transformation, in February 1523 Íñigo continued his journey to Barcelona and then Italy, where the Society of Jesus has already begun to celebrate his arrival, with a first pilgrimage last January from Gaeta to Rome, following the steps of San Ignacio. Other activities are scheduled throughout 2023.
Last Saturday, February 18, the Manresa town hall offered a reception to all the institutions that have collaborated in the development of the almost 200 performances that have given life to the jubilee celebration in Manresa, from concerts to theater and Ignatian awareness in schools, going through popular festivals and sports events, as well as congresses and seminars linked to Ignatian spirituality and the value of personal transformation. The Sanctuary of La Cova and the Pilgrim’s Office were two of the many institutions invited to the act of gratitude and tribute to the citizens.
At the end of the act, a spectacle of light and music filled the main square with citizens who expressed solidarity with the expression of mutual gratitude for the effort made and the good taste in the mouths that the Jubilee Year leaves in everyone’s lives. The mayor, Marc Aloy, opened the door to the new Jubilee Year, the third, which will arrive in 2029. Confirming his words, the final musical show with fireworks underlined this desire of the citizens: We will continue walking (“Seguirem Caminant”), with the logo of the Sun, referring to the Ignatian Way, on the facade of the town hall. The musical and light show, which used the façade of the town hall as a projection screen, was given by Alba G. Corral and Björt Rùnars, with the title “A taste of nature”.
With 2,079 pilgrims registered at the Manresa Tourist Office (against the 349 registered in 2019), this year 2022 has been the year of the launch of the Ignatian Way. The pandemic stopped the machines that would have helped to get a good promotion of the Camino, but even so the results have been very good.