Pilgrimage Part 4: Lanciano (the Journey)

Lanciano- the Journey

We commenced our journey from Assisi by car to the station. When we got there a nice man with his granddaughter tried to help us sort out the train timetable and the time and platform of the train.
We hadn’ t had lunch and couldn’t see any place nearby to get any food. We thought we would just grab a piece of pizza or a bread roll with prosciutto – these were the only choices.

Our nice man returned and tried to tell us something. None of us understood a word of Italian. Finally he took us to the entrance and showed us a restaurant across the road. We didn’t want to leave our luggage and we still had to lug it all down a flight of stairs, through a tunnel and back up another flight of stairs to the other platform.  It was hot and it was going to be a 2 hour trip, but we didn’t investigate his advice.

'Angel' helper at AssisiAbout 15 minutes later our “angel” reappeared carrying a bag of “goodies” – cold rockmelon sliced up, bananas, cold water … He wouldn’t take any payment. We took a photo with him “Sergio” and his granddaughter.

Our dear Lord is so kind and is definitely with us! He knew that some of us had to stand in a hot train with air conditioning that was dripping water all over the seats and the floor for 2 hours. We were very grateful and it made the trip much more bearable.

Pilgrimage Part 3: Loreto

Trials and difficulties:

We had to get 3 trains from Assisi. The trains in Italy are not at the same level of the station platform. Then when the train doors open, there are 3 steps up into the train, and there is only a very narrow doorway – nothing like we are used to . Sometimes we only have a couple of minutes for 8 of us to get up/down with our big heavy suitcases. On the train, water was dripping water all over the seats and floor from the air conditioner. On top of that, it was a very hot and humid day – it felt like the high 30’s (°C).

A half hour before our final stop at Loreto, I prayed that my angel would have a taxi waiting for us, to accommodate all of us and our luggage. Lo and behold, there was a lovely man with a taxi with large luggage space who was there, as if waiting for us! The price was very reasonable.

I think Our Lord was watching over us. One of our group had lost an umbrella and another person found it. I had lost my toiletries bag and the cleaners found it just before we left Assisi (-would you believe behind the curtain on the window shelf? ) I have also lost my medal twice, but found it again.

We are all wearing our Seal scapulars and have the Seal prayer* in all our luggage.Seal Of The Living God Image

Our Special Hotel:

It is called ” Hotel San Gabriele” I think it was an old convent. There is a beautiful chapel, but the tabernacle was empty. I imagine that if there was a priest staying, he could say Mass. We didn’ t choose it – our travel agent did. It is only 5 minutes walk from the church.

Painting of the Angel Loreto Hotel Chapel
Painting of the Angel Loreto Hotel Chapel
Painting of the blessed Virgin
Painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Chapel
Chapel in the Hotel San Gabriele, Loreto
Chapel in the Hotel San Gabriele, Loreto

The Church at Loreto:

We went to Mass this morning . It is a beautiful church. But during Mass I felt sad because all the church pews had been taken away and replaced by seats. There were no kneelers and no carpet. During the Mass, people either stood or sat. I was sad that they could not kneel for Jesus.

After Mass, the priest led the people in a beautiful prayer. I could only recognize the words ” Jesus, Mary and Joseph” and ” Holy Family of Nazareth” which was repeated at the beginning of each verse.

We returned to our hotel for breakfast and to pack our bags then return later, for a closer look at the church.

The church is beautiful with many chapels and side chapels and beautiful high altars. It was built in 1587. The walks, domes and ceilings are covered in paintings (as they were at Assisi).

The Holy House of Loreto is inside the church completely enclosed by the solid concrete structure. We could walk through and we touched our handkerchiefs through the bars to the holy house itself -a beautiful relic.

We presented our petitions for the prayer group, lit candles and prayed before Jesus exposed in the Blessed Sacrament on the altar of one of the side chapels. It was enclosed by a curtain to shield it from the comings and goings of people in the church. We also wrote our names in a book and gave an offering for Masses to be said for our families.

The Church at Loreto
The Church at Loreto

* The Seal Prayer can be found in “Prayers”

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Huge Altar Loreto Church
Huge Altar in Loreto Church

Pilgrimage Part 2: Assisi

Beautiful statues and sculptures in glass cabinetWe arrived mid morning at this old, but very quaint village, with lots of little places to stock up on Rosary beads, statues, etc

First we went to the very old Church of St Peter and offered up our prayer group intentions to our Blessed Mother and the Sacred Heart of Jesus and lit candles.

Later we visited the Church of St Francis and prayed before his tomb and presented our petitions and also prayed for our church, bishops and priests. We had special handkerchiefs that had been touched to various relics by another prayer group member, so we took them with us on this trip and also touched them to the tomb of St Francis.

We also prayed in another chapel for our prayer group intentions and attended Mass there in the evening. Tomorrow morning we will attend Mass again, before we leave .

Statue of Sacred Heart JesusPhoto of Altar with Statue of Virgin Mary and Child Jesus

Pilgrimage Part 1: Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg St Sebastian

We went to a Traditional Latin High Mass at St. SEBASTIEN’s kirche. We presented our petitions for the prayer group and lighted some candles before the statue of St Padre Pio and the beautiful picture of Jesus’ Holy Face. We met the priest afterwards and some lovely parishioners. The latter commented that we stood out because the ladies wore mantilas .

Statue of Padre PioPicture of the Holy Face of Jesus

As we walked along a main road through town, we passed a laneway, at the end of which I spied a holy picture. I had to go down and investigate. I was astounded at what I saw – that this could be in a public place and not be destroyed or defaced. The laneway turned in a sharp left and led upwards on a rather steep incline. I saw more up the road, so I had to go and see. My brother soon came looking for me, as I had disappeared from sight and it was too steep for the others to follow. We kept going and discovered that they were stations of the Cross, At the top was the twelfth Station (at the top of the hill). behind it we saw a Church. We mounted the steps and prayed there. We noticed a building behind the twelfth Station , which looked like a church. It was the Capuchin chapel (Kappuziner Kirche).

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We went inside and prayed and presented our prayer group intentions.

The Basilica of St Michael, Mondsee.

Later, while on the Sound of Music tour, we stopped off at Mondsee with the beautiful Basilica of St Michael where the

Sound of Music wedding was filmed. We presented our prayer group intentions to Our Lady inside a beautiful
grotto inside the Basilica of St Michael and lit candles.

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A Dramatic Start via an Unco-operative Plane

The pilgrims, seven in number at present, first encountered trouble at the airport with a delay of a couple of hours. Never mind; plenty of time to pray and practice offering up “trials and tribulations”! One of the group is terrified of flying. What happened mid-flight would be enough to scare anyone (at least a little bit!)

Here’s the report from V:

“We just spent our first night in Salzburg It took us 3 days to get here. It was great to get a good night’s sleep. We were exhausted after our “adventure” with the plane… It took off 90 mins late because of technical difficulties. Then we were 4 hours out of Dubai and they were just about to serve breakfast when all our TVs went black. The plane had to divert to Colombo in Sri Lanka 20 mins away to make an emergency landing! There were fire brigades waiting for us at Colombo. (*Editor’s note: I  think old Hairy Legs may just want to break that plane. Hopefully, a sign that this mission will bear fruit.)

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Above left: Some of the buildings in Colombo and the Sumptuous feast that was waiting for us when we fin ally arrived at the hotel.(we hadn’t had a meal for about 18 hours

Right: We waited outside the airport (standing for a couple hours) until they sorted out buses for us. Watching was a security guard/policeman/ soldier???

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They took us to a hotel an hour out of town to stay overnight. They had to organize 500 people onto buses. Later they had to organize people onto different flights back to Dubai and they put us up in a poshy hotel again.

Anyway, we finally arrived at the first stop of the journey; Salzburg ( a day late). We are going to a Latin Mass and a Sound of Music tour, later this afternoon.