Tom and Sue Melillo were indepedent travelers who visited many shrines in Europe and the Holy Land. They kindly posted daily reports of their travels and we are pleased to include them here.
Before I begin today’s report, Susan and I want to thank those of you who have sent your well wishes, Prayer request updates, new Prayer Requests and just communications, in general, to let us know you are thinking of us. As much as we are enjoying our “personal pilgrimage”, it is so great to hear from loved ones … makes us feel wanted, I suppose (and, Kler, every time we get an email from a loved one, we say YEAH (as Kler would say!).
So back to Monzon de Campos … 6:00 AM came early … That’s pretty stupid … it usually does. There was no hesitation about getting up and getting going. Beatriz told us she would have coffee and juice and something for us to eat in the salon at the hotel. She’s no dummy getting up at that hour. As she promised it was ready and we made coffee for there and a large shot of caffeine for the road and headed out.
Barring any road delays, we were going to make Mass in Garabandal on time. The drive was two hours and forty-five minutes to and over the Cantabrian Mountain Ranges. The first forty minutes got us more than two-thirds of the way there. The rest of the time you can ask Susan about. I was in Heaven … Susan was much warmer. Susan did manage to take 100 pictures of our trek over the mountains but she has to remember to keep her eyes open. LOL
We pulled into Garabandal with twenty minutes to spare before Mass and we parked at Sari’s and Papa’s restaurant/Posada. We saw papa on our way up walking down the 3 mile drive from Garabandal to Cosio (which he does every day). We laughed later when we found out he gets a ride back to Garabandal from Coscio. He looked great, and Susan decided to walk more, maybe not here but in the next life.
We walked to church for the 10 AM mass and saw Father Rolando out front and got a wonderful warm greeting as he welcomed us. We went into the church to say our morning prayers and when I saw the Statue of Our Lady, the tears flowed. This is a happy place for us and a very, very “special memory of The Virgin Mary” for me!
Just as Mass was going to start Fr. Rolando left the church and a few minutes later he returned with a Monstrance. In the meanwhile, the sacristan was scurrying around to get ready for Adoration and put the Intention box in the Sanctuary near the altar.
Susan and I agreed that we should place all the intentions we have been carrying and praying for in the Intention Box to Our Lady of Garabandal and offer your Intentions to God through her Intercession. Susan filled the Special Intention Box with some difficulty since we had so many. We could both sense something special. Mass that day (and as always with Padre Rolando) was as special and sacred as always. After saying his Prayerful welcome to the Congregation in Spanish, Father turned to us and Prayed the welcome to us in English. We were astonished.
After Mass, Benediction started and we all prayed for twenty minutes for all the intentions left for Our Lady. We knew and later confirmed that this was done every Thursday and people wondered why it was done today on Wednesday. We were very touched because we had emailed Padre Rolando long before our journey to tell him of our return to Garabandal. He knows that on our many previous pilgrimages to Garabandal, we carry many intentions and we knowand are grateful that Father Rolando did this today … especially for all of you and your Intentions. I know Our Mother had a hand in it.
We have some very special shrines yet to go and some very special intentions we will still deliver even though we know that your and our prayers will be answered in God’s way and time. We saw Father after Mass and thanked him for that special moment when we knew him and everyone else in the church were praying for you. We talked a little and, surprisingly, I understood him and he told us Mass tomorrow was at 7:30 PM.
We headed back to the car and Hotel to check in and Sari and Papa where there and we hugged and kissed. It felt like we never left. There was a new addition. Another secret kept from us before our return … BABY Alan, just 2 months old and adorable. I couldn’t find flowers on the way so I gave Sari a present of laundry soap. We all cracked up.
We got everything to the same room she always gives us with a view of the pines and rosary mountain. We weren’t planning on the climb today, we just wanted to have lunch and explore the new developments and changes that hadoccurred since our last visit 3 years ago. The first business was lunch and Sari didn’t disappoint. We could hardly move after lunch but forced ourselves to walk the village and visit the old and the new. After 3 PM Divine Mercy and the rosary in the church we went back to the room and unpacked and rested for a few minutes. We used the Salon downstairs as our computer room and caught up on reports and e-mails.
Before we knew it … it was time for dinner back at Sari & Papa’s wonderful restaurant. We were both still full but we weren’t going to eat again until tomorrow night so we forced it down. All of it! (It was great and we have never hungered at Sari & Papa’s in Garabandal.
After a great dinner, we returned to the “Salon” to continue to do computer work. It was like we were in our own four story home … so peaceful and comfortable and quiet. We worked for a while and went upstairs to retire for the evening …. so happy to be back at our “Casa de San Sebastian de Garabandal” and looking forward to our full day in Garabandal, at Los Pinos, hopefully the Rosary Path and all that Garabandal has in store.
May God bless all of you … Always!
I love thee, most lovable Lady, By the love which I bear thee, I promise
ever to serve thee, and to do as much as I can, that thou be loved by others also. I put all my hopes in thee, all my salvation. Receive me as thy
servant and cover me with the mantle of thy protection, thou the Mother of
Love Susan & Tom
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