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A Tale of Two Saint Dominics…a Little-Known Connection

Most of us know of Saint Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Dominican Order.  We celebrate his feast day on August 8.

But there is another Saint Dominic from whom he got his name. That saint’s name is Saint Dominic of Silos. He lived in the 11th Century and became known for his gifts of healing, among other things.    People came from far and wide to beg his intercession.

Tradition tells us of a woman who had a dream before her son’s conception in which she saw a hound racing through the world igniting everything with a flaming torch.  Troubled by this dream, she went to pray at the Benedictine abbey of San Domingo de Silos where Saint Dominic of Silos was buried. When her son was born, the parents named him Dominic, and he grew up to become Saint Dominic de Guzman, who founded the Dominican Order.

You can find his tomb in the Basilica of  Our Lady Help of Christians in Bologna. This dream was indeed prophetic. Dominic did ignite the world with sacred truth through his preaching.

Saint Dominic de Silos is buried in the Abbey that he helped re-build: the famous monastery at Santo Domingo de Silos.  You have no doubt heard the hauntingly beautiful CD of the monks performing the Benedictine Chant….they are from this monastery!

Let’s pray for the intercession of these two great saints.

 

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The Latest on the Wildfires in Greece

The worst wildfires to hit Greece in more than 10 years are burning in the country’s Attica region around Athens, evacuating many residents from the region. As of July 24, at least 74 people have died in the wildfires, and more than 100 others have been injured.

Many travel insurance policies have coverage for natural disasters, including wildfires, but in most cases you will have to have bought the insurance before the fire started.

The Greece Wildfires Travel Insurance Information Center explains coverage for the fires. This resource is regularly updated by Squaremouth’s travel insurance experts with answers to frequently asked questions, official provider positions statements, and more. Information is subject to change at any time.

Questions? Squaremouth’s travel insurance experts are on hand to answer your questions about coverage for the fires. They are available from 8am to 10pm ET daily by chat and by phone at 1-800-240-0369.

If you are currently in Greece and affected by the wildfires, contact your provider’s 24-Hour Emergency Assistance for help.

You may be covered to cancel your upcoming trip to Greece, or return home early, if you meet your policy’s requirements.  You can get more information here.

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Five Surprising Facts You Should Know About Trains in Europe

5 Surprising Facts You Should Know About Trains in Europe | Save A Train

Trains in Europe are a big thing; we love our rails, and we’ll choose them over any other type of transportation at any time. Apart from getting from point A to point B in a swift, comfortable and reliable manner, there’s so much most of you aren’t even aware of about train transportation.

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Ever wondered what a pilgrimage is like for deaf people?

Many of us who travel on pilgrimages are used to hearing the priest celebrating Mass in holy shrines around the world, listening to local guides explain various sites, and enjoying the sounds of a new location.  But what if you are deaf?  To be honest, we never considered it before….and yet there are many Catholics who are deaf.

So, do they miss out on much of the pilgrimage?  Yes, presumably they do.

Unless, of course, you could go on a pilgrimage led by a priest who is deaf himself, and uses sign language as he celebrates Mass.

Pretty long odds that you could find one, unless it happens to be Father Michael Depcik, who is actually deaf himself, and who currently ministers to deaf Catholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Here is a link to his story.  And here is his blog.

And probably even longer odds that he would be accompanied by a religious sister who also knew English sign language.  But, again, they beat the odds with Sister Kathleen Monica Schipani, the Director of the Archdiocesan Office for Persons with Disabilities and the Deaf Apostolate and who is an expert in signing.

Here is a link to Sister Kathleen’s story.

And……..then we found a pilgrimage offered by Select International Tours which has both of them leading the group.

Unfortunately, even though it is not until October 2019, we have been told that it is already sold out!  But we found the story so interesting that we wanted to share it with you anyway, and hopefully there will be more pilgrimages for the deaf in the future.

As we said, we never had considered the difficulty a deaf person might have in fully participating in a pilgrimage..or in the life of the Church in general.

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Pope Francis invited to visit the United Arab Emirates

On June 5, 2018 Pope Francis received Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the U.A.E., who was on an official visit to the State of Vatican City, during which he handed over a message from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, inviting Pope Francis to visit the UAE.and was invited to pay a visit to the United Arab Emirates

Dates for this visit are February 3-5, 2019.

The U.A.E., a federal union made up of seven states,  has about 10% Catholic population (mostly foreign workers), established full diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 2007.

There are several major Catholic churches in the U.A.E.

Source:  IPS News

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Why train tripping is better than road tripping

Why train tripping is better than road tripping | Save A Train

When planning a holiday for a family, couple or group of friends, it’s often difficult to get everyone to agree. One thing it will be easy to agree on, however, is whether to rent a car or go by train. Here’s why train tripping is better than road tripping.

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Fr. Leo Patalinghug leads a Holy Land tour with a culinary twist

We want everyone to know about this unique opportunity to travel with Fr. Leo Patalinghug as he journeys to the Holy Land and Jordan.  Many of you may know or have seen Fr. Leo on EWTN where he hosts “Grace before meals“.

Learn more about this magnificent part of the world where Jesus walked, preached, was crucified and rose from the dead. You will visit all the holy places:  Bethlehem, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, Mt. of Olives (just to name a few)…..and even cross over to Jordan (“the other Holy Land”), the place where Jesus was actually baptized, visit the world famous site of Petra, and the capital city of Amman.

Father Leo will celebrate Mass daily with your group and lead you on some great culinary adventures as well!  You will dine with the locals…and even be involved in the cooking!  You will truly immerse yourself in the Holy Land experience.

You will enjoy dining with locals
You will enjoy dining with locals

Picture dining in the highly regarded Magdalena Restaurant  along the Sea of Galilee; have lunch  at the famous Bedouin Tent Restaurant in Bethlehem with a food presentation by Fr. Leo and Tent’s chefs including local bread and za’atar (great for dunking bread);  dine in the homes of local Christian families of Bethlehem for “Sharing the Bread” home-cooked meals.

You will visit the local chapter of the ‘Slow Food’ network for a cooking class: Bait al Karama is the first female-run cooking school in Palestine, run and managed by disadvantaged women living in the Old City of Nablus. Observe a local chef prepare some classic Palestinian dishes. Enjoy your creations over lunch and discover what life is like for women in this small Palestinian town.

As an expression of our solidarity with the local Christian population, the group will shop in Bethlehem to help support the local Christian families and visit the Crimson Winery, operated by the Salesian Community, where you will enjoy a wine tasting.

In Jordan you will dine at the famous Tawaheen al-Hawa restaurant in Amman;  visit the Beit Sitti cooking school, known as one of the most innovative developments in Jordan’s dining scene. You will get to cook (and eat) an authentic meal under supervision.

Then, the question we get all the time:  is it safe to travel to the Holy Land?  Yes it is probably safer here than anywhere.  Last year saw a record number of visitors to Israel….and all of them returned safely.  Check this blog article about safety in the Holy Land.

We discovered this unique pilgrimage a bit late (it take place June 17-28), but there are few spaces left.  Don’t miss out…..see this exciting itinerary and sign up at Select International Tours.

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Want to help the Christians in the Holy Land?

Select to Give is a not for profit foundation, founded by Select International Tours.

Select is an award winning, thirty year old, faith based tour operator specializing in group trips to Europe, the Holy Land, Canada, Mexico, South America and the USA.

The Faith Travel Association awarded the “Impact Award” to Select International Tours for innovation and quality in travel.

Select to Give Foundation exists to help the Christians of the Holy Land and the Middle East!  Through the funding and creation of programs and partnerships, we support innovative community efforts to help Christians achieve a safer and more prosperous existence.

Palestinian Christian children in the Holy Land
Palestinian Christian children in the Holy Land

Their organization’s goal is to recognize and maximize human potential in Christian communities by offering assistance in establishing programs that provide opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, social justice and community building.

For more information check out their website.

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