Friday, August 26, 2011

Remembering our day at Loyola and Burgos

Hola, (Oh sorry...hello!)

As I was choosing the photos to share with you today I was taken back to the day that we traveled by bus through the amazing French countryside to the grounds of Loyola (spelled Loiola in French) where St. Ignatius was born and then came back to recuperate after being wounded in battle. The saint had a conversion that changed his way of life after reading a book on the life of Christ and a book on the lives of the saints. He founded the Jesuit order and was named one of the patron saints of WYD.

When we arrived we were directed to a hall where we shared lunch with those from the Diocese of Harrisburg. (Remember the great fries I spoke of in an earlier post?)

Following lunch we visited the Tower House where St. Ignatius lived, and then gathered for Mass at the Shrine of St. Ignatius. The ancient buildings are majestic in their glory and we knew we were treading on holy ground.

The setting for Loyola across the bridge made for wonderous photos.

The ancient statues that lined the halls of the holy house were almost as amazing as the pilgrims who viewed them.


Following Mass in Loyola we ran to our bus (some of us literally did) to head to Burgos. 

Before we departed, Bishop Rhoades posed with these pilgrims in his official WYD cap.

You will recall that this ancient city hosts one of the oldest intact cathedrals in France. Our hotel was across the street from this holy place. 

This is where we were treated to that delectable five-course French dinner with that local favorite — blood sausage. Yum!

Yes, that little dark disk is blood sausage — made with blood and rice.

We enjoyed the sights of Burgos that evening and fell in love with the architecture! Did a little slap happy posing in our luxurious hotel as well.

One pilgrim, Emily, who had just become engaged, was playing the "Flat Stanley " game with a cardboard cut out her fiance gave her to remember him by on her trip. We took this shot in Burgos. Look closely and you'll see "Flat Alex" in her hand. 

With morning came Mass in the exquisite 13th century cathedral. Notice the sunlight that shone directly on the front of the altar.

The celebration of Mass was a reverent and solemn occasion. Then as we bade Burgos farewell we settled enthusiastically in our bus seats in anticipation of our arrival in Madrid. The landscape continued to surprise us!

That's all for now. Next blog will highlight Madrid!

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