We just finished dinner in the room and figured we would keep going and try to get this report done. Today started out just like normal, we got up early, had breakfast and left. The only difference was that our next stop was only 2 miles into the town of Reggio Emilia to visit the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Ghiara. This shrine we had never heard of (as most of the townspeople). GB2 told us about it and we were excited to go after doing our research.
What we found and experienced was nothing we had expected. In the center of town we parked right at the front of the Basilica and went in. The mass was in progress and we were disappointed since the only mass on Saturdays was supposed to be at 7 am, it was 9, we could have made it if we knew. We knelt in time for the Our Father and happily gave the sign of peace to those around. Being so late we were not going to go to communion but a feeling came over both of us that we should so we did and we were grateful and at peace. After mass the old priest who was very hunched backed, so much so he couldn’t give out communion, walked by us and I touched his arm and said God Bless Father. He stopped and looked up at the two of us and smiled and gave us his blessing. It was a beautiful moment and the rest of the morning just got better.
We finally looked around and saw the stunning beauty of this Shrine to Our Lady. I can only describe the feeling I was having as that we were in a very special place. We explored every inch and try to absorb the beauty of all the frescoes and paintings in the apse.
The icon was stunning and mesmerizing of Her and Her Infant Son. It was here, in 1596, that a young orphan, who was born without a tongue and was deaf as well, was praying before the fresco of the Madonna and child and was suddenly able to hear and grew a tongue. The miracle was approved by Pope Clement VIII shortly thereafter and many more cures were reported over the years.
We couldn’t leave without saying our prayers for an indulgence and we sat before the Madonna and Son and very intently said our rosary for all of you. We were both filled with the spirit of Jesus when we left and on our way to our next stop we spent the whole time reading aloud all the intentions we had brought and have received each day. Some we were able to take off the list but the list keeps growing as we added the new ones we have received. The emotions flowed as we realized how so many people we know are suffering, yet a great peace came over me as I felt that ours prayers were being heard. Convinced I told Susan how I felt and she said there were too many prayers for Our lady to handle in one day, I said no, She loves all of us, she can do it and then we both laughed for nothing is impossible for God.
The 70 minute drive was over as we put the intentions away and we entered the parking lot of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Piratello another 600-700 year old structure. We arrived at 11:30 knowing we would not get mass and thankful for this mornings communion. Totally at peace we went and bought a rose for Our Lady to thank her for this day and the graces we had received for all of you. There were 4 large stands with flowers there and I wondered how many people come here to visit Our Lady. (Duh, it’s right next to the cemetery which are part of the grounds, and I only figured that out later when in the Sanctuary there were only two small vases near the altar and no place to put your flowers).
This was a very small and old church and but the feeling that we had this morning hadn’t changed. The icon was stunning and the fresco brilliant even though it was dark and hard to see and there is an incorrupt body of a Saint that we have to research.
Still holding onto our rose we looked for a place to leave it when Sue reached up and placed it in the hand of the statue of Jesus. How fitting, I think Our Mother wanted that. We offered up our prayers and lit another candle for all of you and left, just as they were closing for lunch.
We stopped for supplies and headed for the Agean and our hotel. The room is beach town type and comfortable and we can even see the sea and feel the wonderful balmy breezes. We typed yesterdays report and I then made this huge sandwich for tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch.
I needed to write this report so I could relive the wonderful day we had had and just as I finished this I broke down in tears as I remembered the feelings of today and the love and peace we felt with Mother and Son. It doesn’t happen often but we have felt this before and continue to try and live a good life and pray so as to feel it again. I hope you have all experienced this and if not don’t lose hope, it is beyond words yet attainable for all, just pray and pray, for this life without God is meaningless.
Good night and God Bless Susan and Tom