Yesterday in the late afternoon, (10th July) we decided to climb Apparition Hill. We donned our hats and took a bottle of water and off we set. It was about a 20 min brisk walk to the bottom of the hill. The first 200 metres were paved cobblestones, but quite steep. Our dear 78 year old friend “Moses” came along with us. I said I was worried about the steepness. He said to just take one step after the other, and before you know it, you’d be at the top. Wise advice.
The road was very rocky- not just gravel. The rocks were all shapes and sizes – smooth and jagged. You had to be very careful. To think that when Our Lady appeared to the then children, they ran up this hill trying to get to the beautiful lady and they were not harmed In any way. There is no way you could run up this hill. Unlike now, when the path is well worn, there would have been thorny vegetation as well.
About every 200 ft (65 m) there was a brass depiction of each of the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary. We would stop at each Mystery and say a decade. This gave us a chance to rest. In this way we reached the top. Between the 2nd and 3rd Mystery there was a Cross.
This was the place of one of Our Lady’s apparitions. We took the opportunity to touch our special handkerchiefs to this sacred spot.
At the top, there was a statue of Our Lady surrounded by a star shaped base (Star of David) and also a star shaped fence. People had hung rosaries on the fence and had dropped little notes in the garden around the base. There was a priest at the top and I wanted to touch our handkerchiefs to the Statue of Our Lady but we couldn’t reach through the fence. This wonderful priest decided to climb over the fence! While he was there some pilgrims handed him their rosaries and medals around their neck. One Irish lady had a big bag of Rosaries. When he climbed out he gave the items a proper blessing with holy water.
While we were up top, there was a Crucifix (a Tyrolian Cross, such as are found in Germany and Ausria.) I wanted to go over to it. There were some bigger rocks, and I rushed to get there before we all started our descent. I was probably a little too keen and not being careful, and before I knew it , I was on my posterior, wedged between some rather large rocks. I had my camera in my hand, and accidentally took a photo of myself. My left arm and left leg were grazed and bleeding. The strange thing is, is that I didn’t call out as I fell or even make any noise. I tried to get up but I was stuck. It seemed to take a minute or so, then the others turned and saw me and rushed over to help. Someone said I was bleeding. Big drops of blood were falling from my arm onto the rock beneath it. I couldn’t feel a thing. It was not sore at all. My brother had a clean handkerchief and I had some water to clean my arm. I think my guardian angel must have cushioned my fall .
Left: The Cross before which I fell.
(Right) My skirt and the rock with my blood on it taken accidentally while I had my camera in my hand.
Our good friend Moses had some herbal ointment to put on. The strange thing is that I didn’t really feel anything. I offered it all up, however.
We started back. After descending carefully back down the stony path, we decided to return a different way back to town through some fields. Along this dirt path, there was an old lady and her grandson selling beautiful, hand crocheted doilies and table runners.
One of our group wanted to buy one and the young boy said 10 Euros but the grandmother chipped in and said 15 Euros. The lady pointed out the beautiful handiwork. We decided that it was worth it and that they were probably very poor. Then she started to point out others. So our prayer group friend gave her 20 Euros for 2 items. Then she gave us each crocheted Rosary beads. We had never seen this. She was so grateful.
We walked off and Moses stayed behind at the lady’s stall. A bit later he caught up waving in his arms 3 crocheted Rosary beads in different colours of white, brown and red saying joyfully ” Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” He had bought 3 Rosary beads out of compassion for the lady.