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Msgr. Gänswein to preside over the celebration of Our Lady of the Lake at Castel Gandolfo

August 22, 2013: Preparations are underway at Castel Gandolfo, for the 36th anniversary of the inauguration of the Church of Our Lady of the Lake at 18.30 next Saturday, August 24th with a Mass in the garden of the Church, presided over by Msgr. Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Papal Household,.

At the end of the celebration, the statue of the Virgin is carried in procession to the shore of the town's lake and from there it will be placed on a boat for a second procession, followed by boats and canoes. So, the faithful will move toward the pier, at the height of the Church, to attend a performance by the Choir and Band.

Finally, on the beach, the sculptor Alessandro Romano will donate a bronze statue of the Guardian Angel, to the local parish priest, Fr. Pietro Diletti, which will be placed in the Church of Our Lady of the Lake. The initiative for this day of celebration is sponsored by the Pontifical local parish, dedicated to "St. Thomas of Villanova", entrusted to the Salesians, who just thirty five years ago received the mission of pastoral service in the church of Our Lady of the Lake from Pope Paul VI.

The origin of this festival dates back to the 50s when the then parish priest of the Church of St. Thomas of Villanova, Fr. Dino Sella, who, even before the construction of the Church, decided to dedicate a moment of prayer and thanksgiving for Our Lady. Thus was born the tradition of the procession on the shores of Lake. In the '60s, then, Paul VI gave a stimulus to the construction of the church on the banks of the Lake and on August 15, 1977 Pope Paul VI inaugurated the church "Our Lady of the Lake" and exhorted the faithful to admire and to fully understand the meaning of spiritual meeting place, to see in it a sign of the Church's eagerness to do everything in one body of prayer, feelings, intentions, balance, development of civil order, peace and unanimity. The Pope greeted the faithful, saying: "I wonder if I'll still be with you - old as I am – so it is good to celebrate with you this feast. I see the threshold of the afterlife approaching and therefore I take the occasion of this meeting to greet you all very happily, to bless you, your families, your works, your labor, your sufferings, your hopes, your prayers. May Our Lady grant these my prayers efficaciously and the reality of what I desire to have. Be blessed in the name of Mary."

On September 2, 1979 John Paul II also visited the "Lady of the Lake" and celebrated the Holy Mass.


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