Home to reap benefits of pilgrimage.

Well now that the physical pilgrimage is over and I am back home, resting and getting over the jet lag, it’s time to reflect on all the graces received during the trip. Like my sister says, I have brought home the greatest treasure – her!!!  We always had fun whenever we are together. This pilgrimage provided all that and more …praying, laughing and laughing some more and allowing our Heavenly Father to touch our souls individually and together is a wonderful grace.  This is a trip neither one of us will ever forget.

As I look over the days traveling around Italy I realize how grateful I am to be Catholic. I am better able to appreciate the tremendous sacrifice our ancestors made to preserve our Catholic roots and the heritage of our faith. To be able to go up the Holy Stairs was a humbling experience….the stairs brought to Rome by St. Helena that Jesus walked up and was condemned to be crucified.  Actually we didn’t walk up the stairs. They are to be ascended on ones knees. There are 28 steps.

Another highlight was viewing the actual painting of the Last Supper by Leonardo De Vinci. I never realized it was a mural on an entire wall.

The highlight of the trip for me was visiting San Giovanni Rotundo and praying at the tomb of Saint Padre Pio. I must admit I was disappointed that we were not able to view his body in the glass casket because last year he was placed in a silver casket and placed in the new church that was completed last year. As I was thinking about not seeing him, I heard a “whisper” from him, saying, “You don’t have to see me for us to work together for the good of your soul.” I quickly agreed and we got to work. This proved to be a blessing because instead of focusing on the material aspect of seeing of his mortal body, I was freed to allow God to move my spirit.

By the time we got to Rome and visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major, I was ready for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, found an Italian priest who spoke English and had the best confession in years. As I shared with Gale, I felt like I was freshly baptized. I believe this to be partly because of the intercession of St. Pio.

I believe God will continue to reveal the graces of this pilgrimage as I share this experience with family and friends. I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to visit these holy places and find God there; but especially in the everyday ordinary things of my life at home.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Molly Hernandez
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 10:45:35

    Welcome home Joan. Enjoyed your writing about your trip.
    God bless.
    Molly Rose <


  2. Jenny Galvez
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 09:07:03

    Sounds like you had a wonderful experience. I enjoyed reading about your trip and seeing the pictures. Would love to see more pictures. Thanks for sharing!


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