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Sudan: Italian pilgrims follow in the steps of African slaves

 A group of Italian Christians will following 'the route of the slaves of Sudan' next January as part of their pilgrimage on the 'Paths of Suffering and Sorrow." The group plans to enter Libya, pass through Chad, and then Sudan along the oldest route of slaves once bound for Italy. St Josephine Bakhita, the first canonized Sudanese woman, followed the route. Some stretches of the pilgrimage will be on foot, others by jeep. The initiative by the Roman Work of Pilgrimages, an institution of the Vicariate of Rome, is in response to a proposal from Bishop Antonio Menegazzo, apostolic administrator of Sudan's El Obeid Diocese. "It is like going with the cross of Christ Liberator on the ancient paths in which man enslaved man," said Fr Caesar Atuire, director general of the Roman Work of Pilgrimages. "The Diocese of El Obeid touches part of Darfur, and we will pass through these places that are literally forgotten, carrying the cross as Christ, who takes a message of peace and solidarity," Fr Atuire said. He said that the same route is used today many Africans who leave their native countries to look for work in Europe. they often have to pay a great deal of money to people-traffickers. "Many die on this journey" Fr Atuire said. Source: CISA