- Slides: 4
Father Laval (1841 -1864) Father Laval arrived in Mauritius from France in 1841 and worked here until his death in 1864. He devoted himself wholeheartedly to the moral and spiritual uplift of the emancipated slaves. The different miracles related by chroniclers and historians or handed down from family to family and the holiness of Father Laval attract more and more pilgrims to his shrine as years go by
The Holy Church of Sainte Croix & the Museum In 1965, the mausoleum containing the sarcophagus of Father Laval was pulled down to make room for the building of the more spacious Sainte Croix Church. In 1979 after Father Laval had been beatified in Rome by Pope Jean Paul II. A museum next to the church has been created and personal objects of Father Laval can be found.
Pilgrimage and Faith At each anniversary of his death, on the 9 th of September, but even every day, ‘like an endless chain with unbreakable links, pilgrims of all ages bring flowers, wreaths, candles and pray over his remains to ask for this protection’.
Every year towards the hour of sundown on 8 September, men, women and children from every part of the island, leave their houses and start on a long march to the shrine of Father Jacques Désiré Laval at Sainte Croix, in the suburbs of Port-Louis. The crowds consist of motley groups. To all these thousands of pilgrims this is a night apart from all other nights. They are marching to the spirtual centre of Mauritius where they have an appointment with a man of God who brought their forefathers out of the darkness of man-made barracoons into the light of Paradise. They are communing with their father who taught them that their heart too can become throne of God.