An annual pilgrimage initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1978 leads faithful followers from Macerata to Loreto, on foot. The 28-kilometer walk draws thousands of pilgrims on what is a "symbol that life is a journey, a walk". Accompanied by songs, prayers and candelight, it is a physical and metaphysical journey that also demonstrates that we find companionship along life's road.

For forty years, the annual trek marks the end of the scholastic year and draws thousands of young people giving thanks to the Madonna for their year of studies. It occurs in June on the Saturday after school closes (generally the second Saturday in June). Departing from the Macerata stadium at about 10:30 PM, the pilgrims walk through the night, with stops in a few hamlets and sanctuaries along the way, to arrive at the Piazza della Madonna in Loreto just after sunrise. There is a Mass, a televised message from the Pope, and then breakfast.

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