Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tom and Susan’s Garabandal Pilgrimage Day 2

Tom and Susan’s Garabandal Pilgrimage Day 2 | WHAT IS GARABANDAL?



Tom and Susan’s Garabandal Pilgrimage Day 2

Buenos Dias:
We
slept really good last night and were ready for our climb up the
mountain to Los Pinos.  We didn’t shower since it was warm and we knew
we were going to sweat. I ran down and got a pot of coffee and
after wiring up we grabbed a couple walking sticks and headed out.  We
stopped at the Village Church first to see Our Lady and Pray our Morning
Prayers.





We
walked through the village to the path to Los Pinos.  Every time we
begin our path up the rocky gorge, we remember our first visit to
Garabandal in 2007 when we made our climb in the pouring rain and the
water was gushing over our feet … we don’t know how we made it that year
since it is a difficult climb without rain.  Now we are 8 years older
so maybe the tough climb has something to do with it.  I only had to
help Susan once … see photo … LOL.
We
Prayed the Stations of the Cross, as always, on our way up and stopped
at the Shrine to St. Michael the Archangel (this is always a good place
to “take a breather”).    Susan disappeared behind the Shrine to rid
herself of the turtleneck she had worn thinking it might be cold up
there.  We decided it would become our “towel” because it was getting
very hot during our climb.





We
met “Roberto” on the way up … a new friend and a young man from Mexico
who lives in Holland now.  Roberto pointed out the new “easier” path
when he first met us … do we look that “old”?  We told him that we
always take the aggressive path in honor of Our Lady.  We spoke for a
short time and continued our climb.
Reaching
Los Pinos is always a thrilling moment for both of us.  This is a very
special, spiritual and Prayerful place … you can feel it all around
you.  We finished the last Station of the Cross directly in front of the
Pine Tree where Our Lady appeared numerous times to the four
visionaries.  There were a couple of women up at the Pines Praying their
Rosary … probably 15-20 years older than us.  They had taken the “easy
path” up but we give them credit because they still made the climb. 
They left when we finished our last Station to give us our private time
at Los Pinos.  We told them to stay but they had to get back to the
village.
We
Prayed our Rosary on the bench in front of Our Lady’s Shrine realizing
that, unfortunately, we were not going to be able to make it up the
Rosary Path this year as we did on our last visit here.  Our hearts said
“yes” but my knees and our feet said “no”.
Before we left Los Pinos, Susan was requesting a “pine cone” to
take home with us for our little “Shrine”.  Listening to her request, I
tried to whack one out of the tree and almost broke my walking stick. 
With no success, I decided Our Mother did not want me to take one so I
quickly went over to St. Michael to ask him to pray for me for
forgiveness (LOL).
After
an hour up at Los Pinos, we headed back down to the Village via what we
call the “Saint Padre Pio Path” which is the long way down via a very
narrow road that will allow some small vehicles to drive up to the
Pines.  This path is a very peaceful return to reality with a beautiful
and scenic walk and views of Garabandal and the mountain ranges.  On our
way down, I spotted an elderly woman making her way back home down
another path.  She had a bag in her hand.  I realized it was garbage
after she stopped and threw it into the woods … I caught her red-handed
with a photo (see lady with the blue hat).
Once we reached Garabandal, we stopped at the fountain.  The first
time we visited here, I told Susan that one side was hot water and the
other cold water … she is so trusting that she had believed me.  So each
time we are there, I try to test it again to see if she is still
gullible … LOL.
We
were in time for lunch back at Sari & Papa’s, but we had not made
arrangements with them so we accepted the fact that we had planned to
fast for the day, went up to our room to shower (we knew we would need
it after Los Pinos) and then went down to the Salon at our Posada to get
caught up on Trip Reports done which wasn’t easy with our stomach’s
growling but we survived.
As
we were working in the Salon, we heard loud thunder so we went out to
see what was going on.  There was a tremendous hail storm going on.  The
weather can really change quick here!
By
the time we were finished and ready to attend Mass at 7:30 P.M., the
storm had cleared.  We left early for Mass so that we could stop at the
new Garabandal Foundation Center where we met our new friend, “Michael” …
an American from Philadelphia who moved to Garabandal to work at the
Foundation.  He told us that he had never been to Garabandal, but that,
one day, on November 22, 2014, he got a “calling” from Our
Blessed Mother that he should move here.  He sold everything (his family
thought he was nuts) and he arrived at Garabandal on December 8th … the
Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  I think he told us that he was in
the Seminary for a while and was floundering with his life decisions,
not knowing what to do.  He seemed to be enormously happy and content
being here in Garabandal.  My gut feeling is that Michael will be in
Garabandal for a long, long time.  He is a tremendous young man and we
feel Blessed to have met him and shared time with him.
It
was time for Mass so we all left the Foundation together to walk across
to the Church.  Father Rolando began Mass with a very long dissertation
which, for some reason, I understood him to be telling everyone that
there was not going to be the usual offering of Special Intentions today
because he had done it yesterday when we arrived in Garabandal.  He
also explained that if they looked in the Petition Box, they would see
pages and pages of Special Intentions in English that we had delivered
to Our Lady in Garabandal.
During
Mass, Padre Rolando offered the Opening Prayer and the Sign of Peace to
the Congregation in Spanish and then to Susan and I, in English, as he
had done the day before.  Tonight, we also surprised us with a special
treat … unbeknownst to us, he had arranged for Michael to get up after
the First Reading in Spanish (which was very long) and Michael re-read
it to the Congregation (for us) in English.  No one seemed to mind, not
even us (although we had pre-printed all of the Readings for every day
of our pilgrimage.)
When
Mass concluded, we went in to the Sacristy to than Padre Rolando and he
pulled out this very, very old and special Cross with our Crucified
Lord on it and allowed us to venerate it after he did.  This Cross was
kissed by Our Blessed Mother here in Garabandal over 50 years ago … how
special is that?  Father then gave us a “bath” in Holy Water (I tried to
tell him that we had already showered … LOL).  And he Prayed a very
Special Blessing over us … just incredible to both of us.  A lot of hugs
and kisses later, we left Padre (stomach’s still growling) and headed
back to Sari & Papa’s for dinner.

As we entered the dining salon, we were pleasantly surprised to see
that Michael and Barry (whom we met yesterday at lunch) were seated at
our dinner table.  The food began to come out.  Michael Prayed Grace. 
No one spoke for a while as we chowed down … I guess we were all
famished.  After our stomachs quit growling, we all began what turned
out to be wonderful conversations.  We got on the subject of The
Mystical City of God.  Michael told us he had the books back in
Philadelphia but had never read it.  He had a lot of questions about it
which I gladly answered and shared my thoughts.
Another table of eight came in for dinner around 9:30 P.M.  The
four of us continued to sit and chatted for another 30-40 minutes until
it was time to go to bed.  Michael told us that he would open the
Foundation Center early for us in the morning after Mass and we all bid
each other farewell for the evening.  On the way to our room, Susan and I
stopped to talk to the people at the other table.  A few of them spoke
English and they told us that they were from Madrid and were visiting
Garabandal until Sunday.  They told us that they saw us at Mass and they
confirmed what Father Rolando had said at Mass.  We shared a few laughs
and left to retire after a long and beautiful day.
Buenos Noches
Holy Virgin Mary, there is no one like thee born in the world among women,

Daughter and Handmaid of the Most High King, the Heavenly Father,

Mother of Our Most Holy Lord Jesus Christ,

Spouse of the Holy Spirit:
Pray for us with St. Michael the Archangel

and all the powers of Heaven and all the Saints

before thy Most Holy and Beloved Son, the Lord and Master.


Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, …

Amen.
Love
Susan & Tom