…At Elele community, the sick receive healing after a drink of holy water
Having heard of the monthly rush to the place by persons from all walks of life, the healings and miracles as well as solutions to several life problems, not a few would want to be part of the pilgrimage week which takes place at the place every first week of the month.
The National Pilgrimage Centre has come of age. The place dedicated for prayers and other pious activities is a place to behold. It is large enough to take the crowd which gather at the centre monthly to be part of the pilgrimage.
Elele may not be Israel or Mecca, but the Pilgrimage Centre is a religious centre, a holy land where Christians gather monthly for prayers and other religious activities.
People come from within and outside Nigeria in their thousands for various reasons, ranging from prayers, Eucharistic adoration, reconciliation, consultations and Marian devotion among others. Thousands of people converge on Elele for this monthly spiritual ritual.
On this occasion which was very recent, Rev. Fr. Oliver Udeaya, an official of the centre, addressed pilgrims at the jubilee podium and reassured them that whoever finds himself at the centre will certainly achieve his purpose for being there.
He reminded the congregation that Jesus Christ is the saviour of the whole world- a saviour for old and young, rich and poor, privileged and less privileged, stressing that an encounter with Him is without segregation, as Jesus attends to believers and non-believers alike.
After an all-night adoration, Fr. Udeaya again presented an exhortation to the pilgrims. He assured them that their petitions had been handed over to God whom he noted knows best how to solve problems. The priest also charged the pilgrims to be strong in their faith and be of good behaviour.
Anyone who participates in the monthly pilgrimage, prayers and other activities of the week would not help but marvel at the humility, patience, commitment and dedication displayed by the founder of the National Pilgrimage Centre, Very Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Edeh. He took his time to counsel people with different problems.
The consultation with Fr. Edeh is another interesting part of the pilgrimage as he patiently listens to complaints from individuals, friends, families and communities with a view to finding a lasting solution to issues.
At the end of each consultation, those involved are usually disposed to solutions proffered by the founder.
This time there were genuine reconciliations for families who hitherto were at each other’s throat over some family issues.
Also communities at war found solutions to their problems just as people with spiritual and material problems got a way out of their predicament.
The poor in the congregation also had smiles on their faces as the founder of the centre, Rev. Fr. Edeh, took his time to present practical and cash assistance to them.
Some regular pilgrims who spoke to this reporter said: “Fr. Edeh’s life is one of charity to the poor, to the abandoned members of the society, the handicapped, the needy and other less privileged members of the society.
But in a chat with the reporter, Fr. Edeh himself merely smiled and said: “I learnt it from my late mother who lived her life helping the poor.”
Through charitable activities and establishment of renowned institutions in Nigeria and overseas, Fr. Edeh has touched the lives of millions of people bringing about joy, peace and happiness to many homes.
And as the weekly pilgrimage winds up, there is a rush for the holy water by pilgrims. It is the height of the activities as the crowd rushes to get the holy water which flows from the pilgrimage fountain in Elele.
Those who spoke to our reporter expressed their faith in the efficacy of the water which they said is really holy and heals the sick. “Even spiritual problems are taken care of just by the sprinkle of the Elele holy water,” some of them insisted.
At the end of the pilgrimage, hardly was there any pilgrim that left the National Pilgrimage Centre, Elele, without at least a bottle of the holy water.