Travelling in Europe without knowing the language and being unaware of a few other things

My brother was in Italy and wanted to get to a railway station.  He communicated with some of the locals by making train sounds (Thomas the tank!)   It did the trick. They pointed in the direction of the local railway station.

I was also in Europe and into my third week. It was my first chance there to use the internet. At a hotel in Lourdes, France, I was given a computer to use for the purpose.  It was in the foyer and the lighting was very poor. I started to touch type and it came out all wrong.  This was my introduction to the French keyboard! I never knew that the French keyboard was laid out differently to the one I use.  My first internet session is Europe was a dismal one.

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Devotion to Maria Bambina

In some countries there is a devotion to Maria as a baby, just as many of us pray to Jesus as an Infant.  This statue is in a church in Italy.

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Painting of the Holy Souls in Purgatory

purgatory

In the left hand corner of this picture is depicted the souls in Purgatory.  (Note the angel in blue, who is pulling a soul out of Purgatory to take it to heaven). This painting is in a chapel in Rome, Italy.

Our Lord dictated the following prayer to St Gertrude the Great to release many souls from Purgatory each time it is said.
Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great.
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son,  Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family.   Amen.

Our Lord dictated the following prayer to St Gertrude the Great to release many souls from Purgatory each time it is said.

Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son,  Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family.   Amen.

St Rita (The Saint of the impossible)

This Friday May 22 is the feast day of St Rita, the saint of the impossible. I thank St Rita for favours received; especially for the healing of a family friend from a serious health problem without an operation nor any other kind of medical intervention and also to promote devotion to St Rita. St Rita was a model daughter, wife, mother and religious. As a wife St Rita suffered patiently the rough ways of her husband, as a mother she tried to help her two sons curb their tempers and prayed that they would die rather than avenge their father’s murder by committing murder themselves. They both became ill and repented of this evil intention before they died. St Rita then applied to enter the Augustinian Sisters in Cascia but was refused entry.  Because of her persistent prayers she was at last admitted to the order. She often meditated on the passion of Christ and was noted for her obedience to her superior. Once when she was praying before a crucifix she asked Our Lord for a share in his Passion and a thorn detached from the crucifix and pierced her forehead causing a wound which remained for the rest of her life. This wound caused Rita great suffering.  After St Rita’s death she worked such great wonders and miracles that she well and truly earned her title of Saint of the Impossible. St Rita’s incorrupt body is in her main shrine at Cascia in Italy. Her feast is on May 22.

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A cappuccino culture shock

In Australia a cappuccino is a large cup of frothy milky coffee, which I am very fond of. I thought cappuccinos in Italy would be even better. On my first day in Italy I ordered a cappuccino at a café and I was brought a little white pot with a covering over it. That must be the milk I thought, then I waited for what seemed like an eternity for the coffee. Finally I lifted the cover of the little pot and it had strong black coffee in it. It was a real culture shock.

The Bambino of Aracoeli (Rome), Italy

Aracoeli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture was taken by my husband Chris during a trip to Rome.           

This statue dating back to the end of the 15th century is a wood carving made in Jerusalem from an olive tree from Gethsemane by a pious Franciscan Friar.

According to tradition, the friar did not have the necessary paints to complete his work so it was miraculously completed by an angel. During his return trip to Rome a severe storm on the sea forced him to throw overboard his small case containing the precious treasure, but the case arrived at the port of Livorno by itself in the wake of the ship. 

Proceeded by the fame of unusual miracles the holy image was received with great joy in the Eternal City and was accorded special veneration. One day during the Christmas season, while the Bambino was lying in the crib, a noble Roman matron stole the statue and carefully hid it in her home. However becoming gravely ill she was obliged by her confessor to return the statue. 

A popular tradition has it that it left her house by itself during the night and returned to its place on the Campidoglio as the bells of the Basilica rang joyously announcing the miracle. 

Rich gifts of gold and precious stones give witness to the gratitude of the faithful for the innumerable graces received. These gifts were always furnished abundantly whenever the statue was sacrilegious despoiled. In 1798 a noble Roman citizen, Serafin Petrarca, saved the statue from being burned by the troops of Napoleon, by paying a huge ransom. 

The chapel of the Holy Bambino is continually visited by pilgrims from all parts of the world.  Mothers, before giving birth, visit Aracoeli to receive a special blessing and also bring their children to be consecrated to the Divine Child.  From time immemorial, the Bambino has been carried to the sick-bed of the faithful and oftentimes one could see in the Campidoglio Square a long line of carriages awaiting their turn. 

The ever-increasing fame of this miraculous image moved Pope Leo XIII and the Vatican to order its coronation which took place with solemn rites on May 2, 1897. This fame is attested to by the numerous letters of petition and thanksgiving which the Divine Infant receives daily from devout people from all corners of the globe; the little ones and the great of the world write to Him as to a dear friend. During Christmas time the children of Rome uninterruptedly come before the crib to sing jubilantly to the new-born Babe. 

  Learn about another devotion to the  Child Jesus   (The Infant of Prague)