Bon Soir, (good evening) … we are a day late with Tuesday’s Report …
we were informed they did not have Internet after we checked in to our B&B.
Will send today’s report out to you tomorrow. Sorry!
As I lie on my bed after a truly, truly exhilarating day, Susan is typing
this as we re-live it … how good is that?
After 10 glorious hours of sleep (wasn’t enough but that’s okay), we do feel rejuvenated. The swelling in our legs, hands and feet have gone down from traveling. But we our legs still feel like we are on an airplane!
We came down from our room this morning to turn on the coffee, but it was
already brewed and breakfast was on the table. Just love Bed & Breakfasts. Our hostess was wonderful. We nominated her for the Angel of the Day.
We re-loaded the luggage in to the car which was organized this time
(thanks to Susan), and it all fit into the trunk. I would definitely have hated
It was colder this morning … in the low 40 degrees. Big change from
South Florida. So we layered-up and headed out.
Our first stop was about two hours away and we truly enjoyed a relaxing and peaceful drive up and down the hills of the French Countryside on wonderful back roads. We made a pit-stop in a small town on the way to our first Shrine. We had our first Cafe Oulette (coffee with steamed milk) and, of course, a toiletten. Getting out of that small village was a problem. There was construction. And as much as I now love “The
Queen”( the auto GPS), she kept running us around in circles. So, I followed a police van and, when he stopped, I politely asked him for help to get out of the village. He and his female partner didn’t speak English, but they understood and they “escorted” us out of town (see photos).
We arrived at our first Shrine about an hour later … a beautiful Marian Shrine just off the mountain road (see photos). We went in the wrong way on a one-way road into the Shrine because we saw another car do that! Wecame to find out that HE WAS THE PRIEST OF THE PARISH! But, he was very gracious and let us into the Shrine where we parked. He even opened up the toileten for me … too much French Coffee and Water!
We entered this spectacular and small Shrine to Our Lady of The Oak (yes, another to Our Lady of the Oak … please read the story!). As pretty much always happens to us, we were all alone in this small Shrine … except for Jesus in the Tabernacle and Our Blessed Mother. We know that She was there, because, as we sat and Prayed for all of you and your Special Intentions, there was such a great peace that came over both of us … it is difficult to explain.
We spent a lot of time in this Shrine … not just Praying … but conversing with Our Blessed Mother about each of you and about your Special Intentions for those you love. We finally got up, lit our candles on your behalf, and Susan placed our Intentions and yours in the Intention Prayer Book in the Shrine. We then tried to go to the Religious Store and it was locked. I rang the bell and, lo and behold, our Priest-friend who had allowed us access to the Shrine, opened the door.
We learned that Father was from Madagascar and that he has been in France for 5 years. He is a Priest from the Marian Shrine at LaSalette, France, were he have been blessed to visit 3 times. (Since we can’t remember Father’s name right now, we are going to name him Father Madagascar). He took us into the Religious Shop where we purchased a memento for our “Pilgrimage Curio” at home. Susan asked him to Bless our purchase. We don’t know what he said, but it was very beautiful.
Before we left this Shrine, we walked the grounds and made one last stop
to Our Lady in the Chapel. We sat once again and talked with her a little
more (had a little more to ask from her for a few more things on your
We then headed on to our next Shrine … The Grotto Sanctuary of Remonot (Cave Chapel) which was about an hour’s drive away … AND INTO THE MOUNTAINS! I must say that for me, as always, it was a spectacular drive. And I must say that for Susan, as is not the norm … SHE WASN’T AFRAID (well, maybe once or twice but not bad!).
It was a majestic and peaceful drive. At one point, we drove “through the clouds” that we had been looking at from a distance. There was no fear because, along the way, there were numerous statues of Our Blessed Mother, facing the road, as if She was watching over all of the travelers along the roadside. It was amazing.
We arrived at Remonot Cave/Chapel and parked right in front. This Shrine is in a cave in a mountain! Again, please take time to read this story of the Shrine. We entered this Sacred Shrine and we were immediately filled with peace and awe as we explored this small and sacred Cave/Chapel.
(Please see photos).
As happens often, we were all alone the entire time we were there. So we
sat and Prayed our Rosary aloud to Our Blessed Mother. We lit candles for your Special Intentions and placed those Intentions in their Prayer Book. One candle, we placed in front of a statue of an unknown source of God Our Father Holding His Slain Son In His Arms. The beauty of this statue was thePain depicted in the Eyes of God, Our Father with his dead Son in his arms. It helped us to somewhat understand the love that God has had for us to give us his Only Begotten Son, God Himself, to save us all.
The other candle was lit and offered in front of the statue of Our Lady Depicting the Pieta. We gathered Holy Water from this Sacred Site which flows from an unexplained cave fountain. We rubbed our eyes (and I rubbed that leg that didn’t fit in my seat on the plane … LOL). For this Holy Water has been known to cure the blind, those with eye problems, the lame and the paralyzed as well as many other Miracles. We filled their Intention Book with your Intentions. It had been so quiet and we had been so alone. As we prepared to depart, about 10 people came through the small door of the Chapel/Cave.
The first thing that Susan and I said to each other after was exactly the same … “How peaceful it was as we Prayed our Rosary together … it was almost like we were lost in time”. It truly was not like at home and in our daily lives when you try to Pray peacefully but so much is on your mind. Nothing mattered there today at this Shrine … except Praying our Rosary!
It was awesome.
As we left the Remonot Cave/Chapel, we stopped on a curve on the side of the road and ate the wonderful sandwich that I had made from our left- overs last night. It was just after 3 and we prayed Divine Mercy first.
We then headed out to our next Bed & Breakfast which was about an hour
away from Remonot. It was a beautiful drive and “The Queen” brought us right to our destination. Our Hostess at the B&B did not speak a word of English … except she was mortified when we asked for the Wi-Fi Code … it wasbroken. We learned tonight that she was very upset we could not get this Trip Report out to you and we told her not to worry.
As we took over the Main Salon of our B&B as we did last night … and thinking that we were the only guests, couples began arriving back at their B&B to change for dinner in the Dining Room. We had completely forgotten about ordering dinner as our new found B&B friends dined on the homemade foods of our hostess and we chomped down on our store-bought cheese pizza. I am already checking on our upcoming B&B’s to remember if dinner is offer…….because tonight’s dinner looked awesome and we missed out.
One of the guests this evening spoke a little English. We called him Santa
Claus and he liked this. During the course of this evening, as everyone conversed in French, he tried to speak to us in English. He tried to explain to everyone else what we had answered to him. He understood and we could tell that the other guests could not believe our endeavors. He asked what magazine we worked for……he was truly amazed we did this on our own and for so many others. As we were standing outside during our “dirty smoking deed”, we could hear him aggressively explaining our pilgrimage and spiritual endeavors which they, apparently, had so many questions about. It was quite fascinating. Near the end of the evening, he said to us … “thank you for having met me … I had many questions.” In short, we felt he was telling us that we helped him to understand American Citizens much more and that we are not what “news” makes of us. He gave us his email address so that we can send him our Trip Reports and he will translate from French to English and send them to the others. We will all be sharing breakfast in the A.M. … knowing that we are certain we have helped in repairing French/American Relationships … ha-ha!
Well, it is 10:30 P.M. here … so it is 4:30 P.M. your time … enjoy your evening and know that as soon as we finalize this, we are off to never-never land and our individual beds.
PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF THE OAK
Our Lady of the Oak, you chose to manifest Your presence in this place at
a particularly difficult time, in order to remind us of your maternal
protection. Look kindly upon our needs and concerns, those of our family and
friends, of the world and of the Church. Your power and goodness are
infinitely greater than all of our needs. We confidently await this day, our
Loving Mother, Your help, light and protection. In Your kindness, hear and
answer us. Amen.
Lights out … see you tomorrow when we arrive at our next hotel and get
this out to you.
God Bless You All. Love, Hugs & Prayers,
Tom & Susan