Well these 2 days were very busy and extremely special to both of us. We were out and running at 8 AM and getting back to our hotel at 9 PM. It was still light out so it didn’t feel so bad, until the morning.
We had breakfast at our hotel (more vulture eggs) and headed towards Madrid to finally meet Consuela and Humberto. We found a parking space on these packed, narrow streets right in front of their home. It was a wonderful moment after 3 years of communicating, and Consuela being our messenger to Florita, and all the people at Prado Nuevo.
I wasn’t sure what to expect today since the translations that we sent each other were not the best. I was down right amazed at the English they could speak and the Spanish we could follow. We laughed and joked and had the best time with them, we never stopped talking. Consuela was preparing lunch for us and we brought the wine.
She made a wonderful Paella of chicken and calamari with lots of onions and tomatoes over a small pasta noodle.(it was enough for 10 but we managed to leave them a few leftovers). It was hard to leave but we had to find our hotel and get to Prado Nuevo in time for the Rosary and Mass that began at 5.
Our hotel was unbelievable with your own private garage, a king size bed and a dumb waiter in your room for room service so they didn’t bother you. I felt like a cloistered Nun. Of course no one spoke English but they were warm, friendly and helpful. We dropped ALL our bags after we lugged them up the stairs from the garage, not realizing they had an elevator in the lobby. DUH.
We then headed out to Prado Nuevo running just a late since we made the wrong turn onto the highway and had to go 10 miles before we could turn around. My fault not the Queens’. (ed note: the Queen is what the Melillos have named their GPS device)
Father Guillermo saw us coming thru the field and ran to greet us. We hadn’t seen him in 3 years, when he was a Deacon and spent so much time telling us of the miraculous stories that happened at this Sacred Shrine. Our Lady told Amparo, the visionary and stigmatist, that this shrine would be one of the greatest in the world, the likes of Lourdes and Fatima and people would come from all over to visit. We believe it……it is so very Holy and special and seems more so on this our 3 rd visit.
Fr. Guillermo introduced us to his parents, who were assigned as our guides. He warned us that neither spoke any English but it didn’t matter we all made do. The woman talked and Tony and I laughed. They were to stay with us for the Rosary and Mass and then take us to visit the grave of Florita. That we opted out of until the next afternoon, we wanted to bring her flowers.
Mass was special in this little chapel packed with the devout, not to mention the 100 or so people outside in chairs that couldn’t fit in the chapel. They are going to have to expand soon with another larger church especially since the approval of the apparition is moving forward rather quickly. They need prayers, so please remember them even though I know Our Lady is watching over them.
After Mass we went with Maria Del Carmen and Antonio AKA Tony, the parents of Fr. Guillermo to the old church and gift store and then headed to the Foundation, and the home for the aged that the Blessed Mother requested from Amparo, were we first met and made Florita part of our family They now have 5 such homes.
Sister Pilar met us at the gate and took us in to the residence to see and introduce us to everyone. Most remembered Florita and we remembered a few of them from our last visit, especially Thomas I think is his name.
He is the only man in residence, since he lives with and helps take care of his wife. 3 years ago we had a nice conservation, he reminded me of my mom and dad and the love they had for each other.
Sister was great and we got to talk to many of them and exchanged lots of hugs and kisses. You can see the joy on the Sisters’ faces as they serve the residents. We stayed until Fr. Guillermo came and we made our plan to meet his mom and dad on Mon at 4 PM at the Shrine to go to Florita’s grave, then the Rosary and Mass.
We bid them all a good night and made it back to our hotel just as the sun was going down, 9:30 p.m., with lots to do to get organized we poured a glass of wine and managed an hour before it was lights outs.
My Queen, My Mother, I offer myself entirely to thee.
And to show my devotion to thee, I offer thee this day, my eyes,
my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve.
Wherefore, good Mother, as I am thine own, keep me, guard me as thy property and possession.
In Loving Memory
Thank you for sharing our 2015 “Personal Pilgrimage” with us!
Tom & Susan Melillo
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418 (USA)