Last week I wrote part 1 of a 3 part Narrow Gate series based on my pilgrimage with Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Harvest Journeys to Portugal, Spain and France. Portugal was the first part of the pilgrimage and this week I share with you the second part of my pilgrimage adventures, Spain.
This pilgrimage was the first one ever for Parousia and hopefully, just the beginning of many more pilgrimages in conjunction with our partners at Harvest Journeys. After a beautiful time in Portugal we travelled by bus from Fatima into Spain. We stopped at a beautiful city called Salamanca for lunch before staying the night in Alba de Tormes.
It was in Alba de Tormes that St Teresa of Avila befriended St John of the Cross. We saw St Teresa’s heart and arm relics, amazing. She was the first female doctor of the Church and her spiritual director was St John of the Cross! It was such a privilege to have Mass in the Convent of St Teresa. We also got to see 2 relics of the original cross of Christ when visiting the town of St Teresa.
While spending two days in Avila we got to see the grand Cathedral and the very cell of St Teresa.
The city of Avila has a high wall all around it and it clearly defines the town. I got to go to the top of these walls and walk along them. I found the people all across Spain to be very friendly and helpful.
St Teresa was a powerhouse of her time. I promised myself to make time to read her life story again and refresh myself on her famous writings in her timeless book, Interior Castle.
I encourage you to get a cd set of her life. St Teresa of Avila the true reformer, pray for us.
Next stop on the journey.
Our next stop was Segovia where we visited an amazing Gothic Cathedral and then went on to see the remains of St. John of the Cross.
We also had Mass in the Church and what a blessing it was to be there among the remains of another doctor of the Church. To think that St John of the Cross was regularly meeting with St Teresa you can just imagine what conversations they had!
The historical city was a real treat to see! By walking around the city I could really picture what things were like for these great saints and their surroundings. Another great cd set about this saint is by Ralph Martin called Transformation in Christ: The Wisdom of St. John of the Cross.
St John of the Cross, pray for us.
From Segovia we visited the birth place of the famous St Dominic which was Caleruega. One stand out for me was not just the remains of St Dominic but his mother, father and siblings as well!
His whole family lived a life of holiness!
What a true inspiration for me as a father. I pray we all can see more families live out holiness so that entire households are saved not just individual family members.
From the Church where St Dominic would have grown up, we then went on to Santo Domingo de Silos where we prayed Vespers with the famous Gregorian Chant experts in the Benedictine monastery. It was amazing to visit these monks and witness in person their heavenly chants and reverence.
From Santo Domingo we travelled to Loyola where we got to visit the birthplace of St Ignatius of Loyola.
St Ignatius was famous for writing his spiritual exercises. He was a wealthy man who got hit by a cannon ball which made him bedridden for a very long time. During this time of convalescence he read the lives of the saints, which inspired him to be one himself. He gave up all his riches and moved to a cave in Manresa, Spain. What a joy to be able to visit it.
Although we travelled from Loyola to Lourdes we came back through the Pyrenees mountains to visit Montserrat where the famous choir and Black Madonna is held. This town at 4000 feet high and the monastery is built on the cliff.
Such a special journey we had to visit all these saints of Spain. I personally feel closer to them now than I have ever been in my entire life. I love this particular CD, St. Ignatius and the Company of Jesus.
St Ignatius of Loyola pray for us.
More to come on our Marian pilgrimage.
I hope you have been inspired by these saints of Spain as I have.
I have only scratched the surface as there is so much more to say and learn. I encourage all of you dear readers to learn more about these saints and also view my other photos in the galley below.
In the next fortnight I’ll have the 3rd part of this Narrow Gate post which will be on our time in Lourdes, France, which is my new favourite place. I look forward to sharing that experience with you soon.
Please pray for our upcoming Fighting for the Faith conference this week as we welcome four Catholic Answers speakers, Chris Check, Cy Kellet, Tim Staples and Karlo Broussard.
Please share with me, in the comments below, your pilgrimage experiences too!
PS- I posted some more pictures below, and plenty more photos on our Parousia Facebook page at www.facebook.com/parousiamedia