Mary is called the Temple of the Lord and the Sacred Resting Place of the Holy Spirit: For by the operation of the Holy Spirit, She became the Mother of the Incarnate Word.
— St. Thomas Aquinas
I was in bed at 8:30 last night and Susan caught up on e-mail and came to bed at 11. The only reason I knew this was the terrible leg cramp that got me up at 10:30. Boy did that hurt. As soon as it subsided I was back in bed and fast asleep until 5:30 AM. (9 hours sleep, perfect). I tried not to disturb Susan so I closed the bedroom door and quietly made a cup of coffee and got on the computer. Before I read my e-mails, Susan was up and we had coffee together and planned our day.
With time to spare I made Polish sausage and eggs for breakfast. It was going to be awhile before we had time to eat since we wanted to go back to the wooden church with the Miraculous Cross of Christ. Almost all packed I got Jag and packed the car as Susan did the final check to make sure we didn’t leave anything behind. Good to go we headed to Slipca, to the Church of St. Leonard that houses the Cross (click here to read the story of the Miraculous Crucifix in Slipca).
We were shocked when we got there with all the cars that almost filled 3 parking areas. This church is small and we had no idea where they put the people.
Just as we crossed the street to the church let out and hordes of people came streaming out. Perfect timing for us so we went in to see the beautiful little Shrine.
The first stop was Jesus of course and the Miraculous old Crucifix. We knelt and prayed before it and then touched our hand to our lips and then to his feet. I don’t know if we were supposed to do that, since the there were no worn-away areas of the cross from being touched by so many people as we have seen before. Just another little treat for us from above.
We took some photos and met the pastor and then got thrown out. Not really thrown out, but they put up the Iron Gate as it was yesterday to protect this humble and holy place. When we came out there wasn’t a car anywhere.
Our next 2 stops were in Gniezno about 40 minutes away and we had mass planned, but things change. The Churches are all crowded and they have 4 morning masses at each. We wanted to go to mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in the Sanctuary of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We got lucky again and found a spot to park almost at the front door.
Mass was going on when we entered and it was at the homily. We were going to leave and realized since we didn’t understand any of the words at the readings or homilies and we had brought our own printed out readings for each day, so we caught up as the Priest gave a very looooong sermon.
After the mass ended they did a Litany and many prayers before the Miraculous Icon of Our Lady.
Some people left and others started to come in for the next mass, so as soon as the prayers ended we went and took some photos and lit a candle for all your intentions and knelt at the altar and prayed to Our Mother for a few moments for all of you. When we turned around we were shocked that the Shrine had filled up and there was standing room only.
Editors Note: You can still send your prayer intentions to Tom & Sue…they will be visiting many more shrines in Poland through June 21. Email your intentions to email@example.com
The main square is right there and I had to use the tolety so we stopped for a cappuccino. We sat next to this couple that heard us speak English and he started a conversation. It turned out that he was born here and moved to Vancouver in the early 80’s via a refugee camp for 6 months in Austria. He was an interesting old salt and I found out why, when he said he worked for several years on the big fishing and processing ships around the world. His girl friend didn’t speak English, and probably didn’t care, because he talked enough for the two of them. He was funny and kind and gave us another great history lesson of the area.
We bid farewell since we needed to get to the Basilica before the next mass so we could see the tomb of Saint Wojciecha (Saint Adalbert) that a good friend of ours is named after, and he had recommended we go there.
We arrived too late so we stood in the back and I took some photos with the telescopic lens and left since we didn’t want to disturb anyone.
We went back to the car and drove to the Lords Tomb Church at the Monastery not far away but too many stairs to climb and too far to walk since I had another leg cramp at Mass. Mass was going on and there was no place to park so I pulled on to the large side walk and we went in and stood in the back for the last blessing. The people left and we took some picture as the lights started to go off. We did meet the priest from there and he was very gracious but we could tell it was time to go.
Our next stop was Poznan where we rented a studio Apartment for 2 nights. There is lots to see in Poznan and that will happen tomorrow. We found the building, and after calling and getting thru to the owner, we had the door codes for the building, apartment and the parking garage. The apartment was great and had everything you could think of and then some, she even had fresh lemons for the bottled water she left and candy for Susie, so we didn’t need to bring up our emergency supplies, only the 2 small suitcases and our computer bag (Did I tell how much I love the way Susan packs?).
Settled in we were hungry so we headed for Old Town just a 15 minute walk away in search of dinner. We picked out one of the many street cafes and took a table in the corner but my back was to the street so we moved to another table where I could at least see. The waiter had already taken the order and laughed when he saw us and then told us to move to a front table that was just vacated because our table was at the end of the umbrella. We listened and we moved again and 2 minutes after our food came out the sky opened up and it poured. (Now we understood the move). Everyone went inside but we had the best table and the rain didn’t touch us but it did get cold until the waiter brought us a blanket and that how we enjoyed this fabulous meal.
I paid the bill and asked where I could buy an umbrella but they didn’t know so I saw a large plastic garbage bad pointed to it and he went and got me one, as well as to small green bags for our heads. (What a show we were going to be) As we stood there and tried to open the large bag the waiter came out and handed me another blanket and told Susan to keep hers. We promised to bring them back tomorrow but he wasn’t worried.
The blankets were a life saver and we made it back to our Apartment just as the rain stopped. We took hot showers to get the chill out and settled in and planned our next day. That’s all I remember…
God bless you all
Susan & Tom
My Spiritual Mother, please remain in my conscious awareness always. Inspire me when I am weak, gently speak to me when I am stressed, sing me lullabies of the wonders of God’s Providence when I fall into fear, graciously cover me in the warmth of Jesus’ Divine Love for you and for me forever. Spiritual Mother, please Pray for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit of Love upon me. Bring anew the Holy Spirit of Courage to my days and nights on Earth. Pray fervently that I may be made worthy of the Promises of Christ.
May God Bless Each and Every One Of You!
Tom & Susan Melillo
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418 (USA)