“Popular piety as space of encounter with Jesus Christ” is our topic for sections 258 through 265. We’ve covered popular piety in the 2001 Vatican document here on this website. Pope Benedict XVI also had a high regard for popular piety:
258. The Holy Father emphasized the “rich and profound popular religiosity, in which we see the soul of the Latin American peoples,” and presented it as “the precious treasure of the Catholic Church in Latin America.”(Introductory Address 1) He called for it to be promoted and protected. This way of expressing the faith is present in different manners in all social sectors, in a multitude that merits our respect and affection, because their piety “manifests a thirst for God which only the simple and poor can know.”(EN 48) The “religion of the Latin American people is an expression of the Catholic faith. It is a people’s Catholicism,” (Puebla Document 444) deeply inculturated, which contains the most valuable dimension of Latin American culture.
259. Among the expressions of this spirituality are: patron saint celebrations, novenas, rosaries, the Way of the Cross, processions, dances and songs of religious folklore, affection for the saints and angels, solemn promises, and family prayer.
It is interesting that the Aparecida bishops would highlight the pilgrimage:
We highlight pilgrimages, where the People of God can be recognized in their journey. There the believer celebrates the joy of feeling surrounded by myriad brothers and sisters, journeying together toward God who awaits them. Christ himself becomes pilgrim, and walks arisen among the poor. The decision to set out toward the shrine is already a confession of faith, walking is a true song of hope, and arrival is the encounter of love. The pilgrim’s gaze rests on an image that symbolizes God’s affection and closeness. Love pauses, contemplates mystery, and enjoys it in silence. It is also moved, pouring out the full load of its pain and its dreams. The confident prayer, flowing sincerely, is the best expression of a heart that has relinquished self-sufficiency, recognizing that alone it can do nothing. A living spiritual experience is compressed into a brief moment.(152 El Santuario, memoria, presencia, y profecía del Dios vivo. L’Osservatore Romano. Spanish edition, 22, (May 28, 1999).)
The location of their 2007 conference is the Brazilian national shrine at the municipality of the same name. I’ve seen citations that with millions of annual visitors, it is one of the principal pilgrimage sites of Latin America. For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.