May 28, Day 2: Tom & Sue Arrive in Spain, off to Prado Nuevo

Buenos Dias,

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)

Our van for the pilgrimage
Not quite what we ordered, but we will take it

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. 

Dinner was at a place similar to Chuck E Cheese
Dinner was at a place similar to Chuck E Cheese

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.

The sisters at "The Ship"
The sisters at “The Ship”

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 statue that wept for 8 days
The statue that wept for 8 days

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.

Buenos Tardes

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.”




May 27, Day 1: Departure from Miami

Friday, May 27
Hello from Miami:
Well we got this far and are finally relaxing in the Admirals lounge.  A drink took the edge off, and boy, did we all need one!  Now I know how it is to have kids!!!  This will be a great experience only because we love our two kids that are with us. 
Johna is okay…..actually, she is great. Sam…..I will get into that later. Both Johna and Sam have never been to Europe and their excitement keeps us calmmmmm.  I am just glad I brought the cane so I can pull him along by the neck as he stops to talks to everyone. 
Going thru security was the funniest since he took everything off he didn’t have to and putting it back together was more than comical. We were so hassled getting out of town and returning the rental car that the first picture I took was of the two girls just as Sam came out of the toilet. 
Johna, Sam and I went to 8:30 Mass today.  Susan had to stay home to finish the e-mail additions and all the prayer intentions.  Thank you for responding and be assured you will be in our prayers.  We have a few hundred and they are all written down and each of us has a copy to carry and reflect upon as we pray.
We are almost ready to board the flight for Madrid so I will finish this tomorrow.  We arrive 7 30 am Madrid time and rent a car. We will drop off our luggage at the hotel and head for the Valley of the Fallen and the to Our Lady Of Prado Nuevo and will meet many friends.  I’ll let you know how the kids do.
Photos attached. Have a great evening
May God bless all of you
Love and prayers
Tom, Susan, Johna and Sam

Sub Tuum Praesidum 

We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.


Send your prayer requests & follow Tom & Sue on another personal pilgrimage

Editor’s note:

We have posted their journeys before and know you will enjoy this one as well.  In the last year Tom was diagnosed with cancer, and having had to go through treatments, and a great deal of suffering, is now well enough to travel.  And believe us, this is quite a bit of traveling!

We invite you to follow them, and even more importantly, send them your prayer requests that they will take with them.

From Tom:

Hi everyone:

The subject title for my e-mail that I sent out was “CYBERKNIFE & THE HOLY LAND PRE-PILGRIMAGE REPORT”, which was quite a title.  The reason for it is that because of the CyberKnife Treatments I recently underwent, we are still able to travel on our 8th “Personal Pilgrimage”

I can’t thank all of you enough for the love, support, Prayers and Masses that you have offered up for me.  Susan and I believe that the path we took treating the liver cancer was a guiding light from above because of you.  We won’t have the results of the treatments until the end of June, but everyone at my Oncologist’s Office feels very positive.   I recently had another blood test that was also very positive.  I feel great, other than old age pains, and I continue to put my life in God’s hands. 

The CyberKnife Robotic Radiation Treatments were two hours every other day for five treatments.  The machine would shoot laser-guided radiation directly into the tumor from every angle it possibly could.  Over 200 beams of radiation at each session.  It was amazing that during these sessions, the “robot” would change it own lens from a table with 12 lenses on it.  If all goes as it should, there should only be a small scar tissue left after a couple months.  We will keep you posted.

Now, as far as the Holy Land, we embark on our “8th Personal Pilgrimage” this Friday, May 27th.  This year, two very dear friends of ours are coming along with us.  Sam and Johna have never been to Europe (nor on a pilgrimage), so we all look forward to the adventure and spiritual experiences we will hopefully share together.  This year’s “personal pilgrimage” will include Spain, The Holy Land (our first trip there!!!!), Rome, Italy and a return to Poland.

Read more…