We had breakfast, mostly coffee after last nights late dinner, and met Carmine at the foundation a little after 9. I got lost driving since most streets are one way and the 1 minute drive turned into 15, but we made it.
We went to the foundation to meet with Anna, who runs the foundation and we spent almost two hours there looking at the photos and testimonies of many people and listening. The photos were actual pictures of the Blessed Virgin and Son as they had appeared, although not as clear as actually seeing Them.
We watched a DVD of the miracles of the sun and the red cloud that was seen by all within 6 miles, as well as testimonies from the parish priest and others who were touched by these events. Carmine and Anna then told the whole story as it first happened in 1985.
Anna’s two children were both part of the twelve that saw her. It was incredible. We also heard of the latest apparitions and miracles that have happened here, all as we stood looking at the shrine of Our Lady of the Castle.
Carmine then gave us a tour of the former castle and the museum and we learned of the history dating 1000 years before Christ. The valley is rich in history which includes ancient stories of Spartacus and Hannibal, as well as some Greek influence.
At one point he stopped and paced then went to his knees told us that this was the spot were he saw the Blessed Mother the second time, when there were only 4 of them. Susan asked where she was standing and he said where Tom is standing and I almost jumped out of my shoes and moved to the side.
This was all very special just as much as the next hour we spent at the site of the first apparition where we went at noon to pray the Angelus, which is part of the whole days events. It started to rain and I got our 2 umbrellas from the car and we went to the site of the first apparition just past the gate, which Anna opened.
As we stood there and were beginning to pray other pilgrims joined us and before we knew it there were 12 of us, all in deep prayer. We each took turns to say a prayer or give testimony of the reason we were there. Carmine translated and we were in awe at what we heard. After each testimony of faith or a miracle we prayed holding hands and finished with the Angelus. It was beautiful and peaceful and we all felt such a close bond to each other as we all departed.
Carmine was off to a wedding and we told Anna that we would be back at 3 for the rosary (if it’s raining they usually forgo the rest of the day and the procession).
We went back to our hotel and watched the rain come down so hard and the clouds move in so at times we couldn’t even see in front of the hotel let alone the castle. So here we sit hopping for a break in the weather to continue our pilgrimage and as Susan so eloquently said during the prayer service that we come here to pray for those whose intentions we have carried with us.