The Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference are in Rome for their Ad Limina visit from 21st to 27th May 2023.
An essential part of the Ad Limina visit is to pray at the tombs of SS. Peter and Paul.
The Bishops are expected to be on this pilgrimage on May 22.
The pilgrimage to the tombs of the Princes of the Apostles, an essential aspect of the visit, is realized through a liturgical celebration that firmly unites all the bishops in ecclesial communion and builds them up in it.
The veneration of the “trophies” of the Apostles Peter and Paul and pilgrimages to their tombs have been practiced from the earliest Christian times. These practices have retained their deep spiritual meaning and their significance for ecclesial communion. This is precisely why these practices were institutionalized for the bishops.
Indeed, both the pilgrimages and the veneration express the unity of the Church, founded by the Lord on the Apostles and built upon blessed Peter, their head, with Jesus Christ Himself as the chief cornerstone together with His “Gospel” of salvation for all humanity.
When the bishops gathered at the tomb, they renew their profession of faith and oath of fidelity to the pope. When they make that profession of faith, they make it on behalf of the people they serve.
Bishops pray at the tombs of popes as a sign of respect and honour for the pope who has passed away. There is not a moment of prayer where our bishops don’t hold the people in prayer. As bishops and as shepherds, they always hold their sheep both weak and strong, in their prayers. It shows we are dear to the heart of the bishops.
Praying at the tomb is also a way for bishops to connect with the history of the Church and to remember the contributions of past popes.