On Sunday 22nd November 2009, the Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., blessed a new icon entitled Madonna della Speranza (Our Lady of Hope) in the Carmelite monastery of Ravenna in Italy. The image depicts Mary seated and presenting Christ, the wisdom of God, to young people gathered at her feet. The icon is the work and gift of the Carmelite nuns in Ravenna to the European Carmelite Youth Pilgrimage of Hope, which will take place in Rome in July 2010 (see CITOC 59/2009). It will now travel, throughout the Carmelite provinces of Europe at gatherings of young people in preparation for the pilgrimage in 2010.
The icon was presented to Fr. General by the Prioress, Sr. M. Anastasia Cucca, O.Carm, and then entrusted to Bro. Luca Sciarelli, O.Carm. (Ita) a member of the Pilgrimage Committee. The Prior General was accompanied by the Councillor General for Europe, Fr. John Keating, O.Carm, and Fr. Mario Alfarano, O.Carm.. Secretary General. While in this region, the Prior General, Frs. Keating and Alfarano took the opportunity to visit the Carmelite nuns in Sogliano al Rubicone.
The icon is presently being taken to gatherings of young people in Italy. On Monday 23rd November, the first meeting with the youth of the Florence area took place in Prato, where some 70 young people were present. Contact regional committee members are: Fr. David Oliver, O.Carm. (Arag) for the Iberian Region, Brothers Thomas Feiten, O.Carm. (GerS) for Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Luca Sciarelli, O.Carm.(Ita) for Italy and Malta, and Dave Twohig O.Carm. (Hib) for France, Britain and Ireland.