Sorry we are so late with this first report. We are just happy that we made it. We are in Garabandal and I type this as I sit below the Pines for inspiration. But I won’t get ahead of myself and start on Sunday, May 21, the day we left.
I picked Sam up at 1 PM and we were off to Miami by 2. Everything was finally packed for or 33 day Pilgrimage. Sam had only 1 medium suitcase and a small carry on since he was only going to be with us for our week in Spain. I had a medium suitcase and Susan had 1 large (heavy, it weighed in at 64# at the airport) bag and 2 others plus we had that just in case bag. I think this was the most stuff we ever brought.
The ride to the airport, turning in the car and check-in was as smooth as can be and we had a martini in the Admirals club in hand by 4:15. At 6:30 we went to our gate to board only to find out that they couldn’t find our plane and were trying to get another from a hanger and they didn’t know where that one was. Oh Boy!
Over 2 hours later a plane pulled in to pick us up. I think the 9:40 flight took off first. We settled in and had a nice dinner and I went right to sleep only to wake up to Susan shaking me because her cracked rib was hurting and she needed a pain pill. I worried about her all night and sleep evaded me excepts for some twilight moments.
We arrived in Madrid and had our car, 3 hours behind schedule, but we were happy and headed out for our first stop, Our Lady of Fuencisla in Segovia, about 1 1/2 hour drive. On the way we stopped for cash and some soda, water and wine of course.
The shrine re-opened at 3:30 just as we arrived. Susan and I had been here before and we were happy to be back. Sam was just warming up but we could see his excitement since Susan read the story on the way. The church was empty of people but full of the spiritual auora that we remembered from before. After a few short prayers we did our touristy thing taking photos and then spent the next half hour praying the Rosary for all the intentions we brought with us. It was very peaceful and emotional looking at all the needs of so many people. ( a short history of Our Lady of Fuencisla is below)
As we left we got healing water from the fountain that has been there for hundreds of years and where many miracles have happened. Our next stop was our hotel in Palencia, about 2 1/2 hours away. We only had to stop 2 times so I could wake up and arrived there around 7.
Hungry now we went to the town square with so many restaurants. Unfortunately the didn’t start serving until 9. Panic set in and we tried some side streets and happened across a rest. that wasn’t opened but took us in and fed us. Even though there was total lack of communication we had the evening plate du Jour and it was great and there was so much food we couldn’t finish. I think they thought we didn’t like it so I left a big tip and they kissed us as we left.
Editors Note: If you are traveling to Spain, many restaurants do not open for the evening meal until around 9:00 p.m. So this was not unusual.
I was done and we couldn’t get back to the hotel fast enough. Sam went for a walk, I laid down and was gone and Susan was 1 minute behind me. I think it was around 8:30 and Sam knocked on our door to wake us at 6:30. Refreshed we had breakfast and paid our bill and it was off to Santo Toribio, but that will wait for the next report.
(Tomorrow, I promise) Photos in the second e-mail.
God Bless all of you;
Susan & Tom
Gate of Heaven, Pray for us.
Morning Star, Pray for us.
Health of the Sick, Pray for us.
Refuse of Sinners, Pray for us.
Comforter of the Afflicted, Pray for us.
Help of Christians, Pray for us.
— From the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Nuestra Señora de la Fuencisla, Spain, was found in 1019. Supposedly, the statue originated in Antioch from where St. Peter sent it to Spain in 64 AD. In 714 it had to be hidden from enemies and was found again in 1019. The statue was in excellent condition, still dressed with garments customary at the time of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Allegedly, St. Peter sent another statue of Our Lady similar to the one from Antioch, which was carved by Nicodemus and painted by St. Luke, to Madrid, Spain. In 720 it had to be hidden in a well from where angels rescued it and brought it to a field where shepherds found it in 1242. Repeatedly, the statue returned to the well via a path of accumulated clouds. Eventually, a spring developed close to the site and a small church with the name ‘Wells of living water’ was built there. In the thirteenth century Nuestra Señora de la Franquerra, Spain, was found on a rock next to a healing spring.11