Today we went to Marian Valley for this special feast with a lovely blogging friend and her sweet daughter!
This time last year I had desperately wanted to go but I was feeling deathly weak, being in the grip of a nasty heart virus...I was bawling my eyes out and begging Our Lady to heal me in that 150th anniversary year.....here I am today, very well and very much recovered from any heart troubles or complaints, in otherwords, deeply grateful.
The night before I had tried my hand at making the blueberry muffins Jessica suggested over at Catholic Cuisine but I couldn't quite create the 'break open and ooze' look to them but everyone enjoyed them.
I even tried to make a batch with chocolate inside but they definately didn't ooze, so I'll have to re-think how I would do it next year... editing to add, I've found the right recipe for this, Carmel Easter Egg Muffins!
My children and my friend's daughter were part of the beautiful procession for the day. The shrine goes to alot of trouble to dress the children for this honour, they always have so much fun together.
Here they pass... my Faustina was so happy to have her best friend with her, a special treat!
This is a special photo and it was a scene that moved one particular lady that day. This lady came up to me later and said she had made some of the banners for the shrine, the one above - the St Michael banner, is one of them.
When she saw my friend's daughter carrying it, she remembered her own daughter from 18 years ago, one that she did not hold in her arms for long in this world, a little Down Syndrome girl.
It was the passing of her daughter that had brought this lady back to her faith....she'd had a dream that her daughter had come to her saying she was with Jesus...
To see this sweet and lovely girl carrying the banner she made, moved her greatly.
Look at them all! Aren't they too cute for themselves?? What a lovely bunch of children and all waiting patiently for the procession to start...
My Ambrose, holding onto that bell for dear life. He had the honoured roll of ringing for Our Lord.
Francis leading the Eucharistic procession to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The children process by, throwing petals and saying, "I adore you Jesus."
Winding their way to the beautiful nature-filled shrine.
Processing back to the chapel for benediction.
Each year for this feast the Fathers have everyone come up for an individual blessing with Our Lord in the monstrance.
It is truly the highlight of the day.
Father had just given the most beautiful sermon on woundedness - all the different types - spiritual, emotional, physical. It had me thinking, I walked away edified and renewed in my need to pray for healing in all with faith and trust. He had asked us to ask God to heal our wounds as we received the individual blessing and to remember that Our Lady was standing by our sides with her hand on our shoulders (like in confirmation) asking for her Divine Son to intercede for us.
After the individual Eucharistic blessing, each person walked by my Francis and dipped their hand in the bowl of Lourdes water.
....off to have a good time, let me assure you!
My children have blogger names in honour of their confirmation saint, or the saint they love!