Tom & Sue’s Excellent Adventure in Italy Day 11 Rosa Mystica & Monte Berico

We slept until 7:00 A.M. this morning and it wasn’t easy getting up. We both could have slept the whole day with the way we have been feeling. But trooper pilgrims that we are, we got up, had breakfast (3 Cappuccinos each) and headed to our next destination after saying “ciao” to the lovely couple who owned the hotel. They didn’t speak a word of English, but I could understand a lot of what they were trying to communicate to me (not Susan, though). And as we departed, they presented us with a nice bottle of wine. Maybe we should have it now? It was early, so we decided to fit in Rosa Mystica – Fontanelle, even though we had been there before in 2010.

Rosa Mystica – Fontanelle is a very special place, located out in the middle of a wheat field. It is very peaceful and serene and allows your spirituality and love of Jesus and Our Blessed Mother to run rampant. We took the long way, of course, even though it is not in the mountains, it is still hard to find as most of Our Blessed Mother Shrines are (she has a great sense of humor to challenge us to find her Shrines). What should have been a 20 minute drive took a little over an hour. When we got there, we got a parking place in the exact same spot as the last time we were at Rosa Mystica in 2010. The only difference was that on our last visit, it was storming with severe lightning but we persisted then and we persisted today.

The Cross of Jesus on the way to the Shrine of Rosa Mystica
We stopped at the Cross of Jesus on the way to the Shrine of Rosa Mystica

We first passed the Cross of Jesus and we stood to Pray for a short while. We then made our way into the Shrine of the First Apparition of Our Lady at Fontanelle (after her appearances in Montichiari). After we greeted Our Lady and quietly prayed to her, Susan wrote today’s Special Intentions in their Intention Register and I lit a candle to accompany those Intentions to Our Lady. Today, we had a couple of very special requests for Special Intentions at Rosa Mystica and we were more than happy to come there to present those Intentions, hoping that the requests and Prayers will be answered.

Climbing the stairs at the Shrine of Our Lady of Rosa Mystica
Climbing the stairs according the tradition here….not easy when we are already sick! But we are pilgrims, so we carry on.

We then made our way to the main Shrine of Our Lady of Rosa Mystica which is covered with a tent-like structure and contained another Apparition Site as well as the Holy Fountain of Miracles and the Miraculous Pool. Here, after entering, we knew to follow the “procedures” that Our Lady of Rosa Mystica had requested … first visit the stairs of the Shrine. Walk to the top of the stairs (about 10 of them) … kneel and kiss the first step where Our Lady stood during the Apparition … Pray to Our Lady. Going down the steps on your knees, go to the second step where Our Lady Stood (mid-way down the steps) … kiss the step (marked in red) … Pray to Our Lady. Continue on your knees back down to the first step which is the third step Our Lady Stood (marked in red) … kiss the step … Pray to Our Lady.

At the bottom of the steps and just to the right, there is a Crucifix with a Kneeler. Procedure is that one will kneel, Venerate the Cross and Pray for Forgiveness of our sins. Then (and only then), according to the Requests of Our Lady during the Apparitions, you then proceed to the left of the steps and to the Chapel of Our Lady of Rosa Mystica’s Fountain where you can obtain the Miraculous Water.

Then, you can (and we did, once again, … are we crazy? WE’RE SICK!), walk through the Healing Bath Waters of Our Lady of Rosa Mystica.

It is quite an awesome experience. Today was no different and we stripped off our sneaks and socks and waded in the ice cold waters of the healing pool. (the last time we were here Sue had Panty hose on and we had to rip them off at the knees, that was a sight to behold LOL).

Finished with our honoring of our Blessed Mother (along with Jesus Christ, St. Joseph and Padre Pio), we sat down in front of the Chapel of our Lady of Rosa Mystica’s Holy Fountain and Prayed our Rosary. We then purchased a Statue of Our Lady of Rosa Mystica (with the Cross around her neck) for a friend who asked us to get one for her home.

Knowing exactly where to drive to the “Bagno” for a pit-stop, we then set “Princess” and “Honey Bunny” (our two GPS’s) to get us to Monte Baldo.

This Sacred Site we arrived at just right (about a one hour drive). However, we neglected to listen to the two Queen GPS’s and we drove right passed the entrance. After driving up into the mountain ranges for another 25 minutes … and I finally decided to set aside my “manly pride” and got out to ask for directions, we made our way back to the first place we should have stopped. We got to the entrance and realized that you could not drive … the only way to the Shrine was either to walk or wait for the next “bus” to take you where. We started walking … and walking … and walking. We then saw the First Station of the Cross … and then many of the 1,400 steps leading down to the Shrine (we were at the very top). It would have taken one hour to walk down … and TWO HOURS to walk back up to our car (or take the bus).

It was already about 3:00 P.M. and we had over an hour to the next Shrine and then to our hotel and were in no condition to walk anywhere. We hadn’t seen a bus come and not thinking straight we didn’t ask.

i have learned that making sandwiches the night before saves us time on the road.
i have learned that making sandwiches the night before saves us time on the road.

We sat there in the car and had our lunch, a couple of excellent sandwiches I made the night before (like the ones from Bettanuser the loser that many of you remember from last year.) As we enjoyed our lunch we didn’t notice the small bus that was sitting behind us until it passed and started down the mountain. This shrine is the most dangerous in all of Italy and we really wanted to see it but decided that other plans were made for us and we headed to our next stop knowing mass was in an hour.

With no time to spare we got to the Basilica of Monte Berico just before the Priest made the sign of the cross. We explored the basilica after getting the indulgences we promised, took some photos, got trinkets and left. I was done and I knew Sue wasn’t far behind. 20 minutes we pulled into our hotel for the evening. The owners again were very gracious and we settled in for the night. It’s almost 8 pm and way past our bedtime so this is it for today. Good night.

God bless all of you,

Susan and Tom

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