Well we arrived safely from our overnight flight, well-fed and a little rested. Sleep is never easy on a plane. We got to the car rental and Susan went to take our picture but the camera was missing. I am not going to say who left it on the plane, so I won’t embarrass her, of course she blames me, so we decided to let it go. I continued to rent the car and Susan and Sam went to lost and found, 4 times sneaking thru security. Two hours later, we had retrieved the camera and my cell phone that I left in the camera bag. (editors note: this may have been the first miracle of their pilgrimage)
At the car rental I waited 1/2 hour to get the first car, that was a stick shift, and I rented an automatic. I told them and they said they would get me the right car. A half-hour later, a 9-passenger van pulls up, but I wasn’t going to argue so I switched the luggage over and went back to the terminal rental counter where Johna waited as the go between.
Finally after 3hrs in the airport, we were off undaunted by our hold up, anxious to get on our way. We had to modify our plans and after dropping off our luggage at our hotel we went to Our Lady of Prado Nuevo to meet our friend Consuela. We were one and one half hours late, but she was there in the chapel with Eucharistic Adoration.
We hugged, we kissed and we cried and then we went to eat. Hungry, since the bread and croissant at breakfast was harder than the coffee cup! We drove into town where there have to be 100 tapas bars and restaurants, but we only found a few parking places that would fit 1/2 of the van….and forget the parking garage.
We ended outside of town at the Spanish version of Chucky Cheese with 30 kids screaming and partying. They had parking and we enjoyed the pizza anyway.
It was raining hard so we went from there to the Ship……the home for the elderly without families and destitute. We go every year we are here and the Sisters have an open door policy for us. Again there were lots of tears and hug and kisses and Sam and Johna got right into it, especially with the elderly women. They all love to hug and kiss, pretty much anyone. Most are in their 80-90’s and suffer from some dementia but they are warm and loving.
The sisters took the kids on a tour of the facility and to the chapel where the statue of Our Lady of sorrows is protected and kept. The statue was attacked one evening and hacked in the face with a hatchet. During the following 8 days after the attack 6 of the sisters witnessed the statue weeping real tears. These sisters are so holy….this makes you understand why.
We bid farewell, Susan and I will return on the day before we come home, more hugs and kisses. Our plan was to stay for the Rosary at the ash tree where the Blessed Mother appeared and then go to Mass, but the rain changed that as well as jet lag, which was setting in hard. We needed sleep. We bid Consuela good bye. We would have dinner with her and Umberto, her husband, on Sunday.
We said our rosary on the way back, as well as Divine Mercy, and then got lost 3 times because I was not very attentive and missed several turns. But we finally made it and Susan and the kids got the luggage out of storage and I parked the truck in the garage.
Still hyped somewhat, we opened a bottle of wine and had a glass for a toast. We planned the next day, and after another glass of wine, it was lights out, 8:30 pm, 2:30 pm EST in the U.S.
God Bless all of you.
Love Susan, Tom and the kids.
May God Bless Each and Every One Of You!
Tom & Susan Melillo
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418 (USA)
Prayer before a Crucifix
Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel and, with burning soul, pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity; true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment.
While I contemplate, with great love and tender pity, Thy five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me and calling to mind the words which David, Thy prophet, said of Thee, my Jesus: They have pierced My hands and My feet, they have numbered all My bones.”