These past two weeks I've been in Lourdes. I've ensconced myself in a rather threadbare but very cheap hotel, with balcony, ensuite bathroom, and a very friendly Kabyle staff. Until last Sunday, the last day of the pilgrimage season (which extends from Easter through the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which is to say last weekend this year) there was a nightly rosary procession at 9 pm and then vigil mass in the grotto of Mirabelle where the apparitions occurred every evening at 11 pm, that I joined in praying.
It's been an excellent retreat, all told.
But I haven't been much in the mood for blogging at all, despite your divers requests to post. Tonight, I have been planning the next week's itinerary, have bought some tickets, and laid plans that will take me eventually to Maryam Ana in Ephesus, if all goes well. I'll try to post much more frequently now, as I will be moving about more or less every other day this coming week or so.
One good - or utterly horrible, really, depending as you look at it - excuse I have for not blogging is that I managed to destroy my laptop by dumping a drink on it when I first got here, which means I am left resorting to my iPad to get online. Sorting and storing pictures is thus much harder, and since most of what I've taken here has been crap, most likely due to my having jacked up my camera and wide angle by dropping it (nay, smashing it wantonly) upon the hard marble floor ein Sacré Couer a couple weeks ago.. well..
|interior upper basilica|
|view of grotto from above|
|the royal keep guarding the pass|
|The Grotto of Mirabelle|
|the basilica by night by the grotto|
|the evening procession from above|
|Slovenia! Or Slovakia! Or Croatia! Or whatever!|
|the candle alley|
I'll only note in closing that I think - no exageration - that probably 80 - 90% of priests i've seen here have been wearing cassocks, something that prior to experience of the Legionarries would have made me ecstatic, but now merely makes me quizzical and mildly amused.
Rue de la Grotte, Lourdes, France