Blessed solemnity of the Assumption! How many beautiful blessings we have received today from the hands of Our Lady on this powerful dedicated to her honor. What a gift it was to end our time in Lourdes on this blessed Solemnity.
Our day began early with Mass in the Grotto. Despite the crowds early in the morning, we were miraculously able to seat ourselves in the very front row. The Mass was celebrated by an Italian bishop, and con-celebrated by a multitude of other priests from all around the world. What a beautiful sign of the universal Church, represented by many nations. It was truly a representation of all that is Lourdes and all that we will enounter more powerfully in World Youth Day.
Even more miraculously, after the Mass ended, we all were able to go forward and kneel at the feet of Our Lady in the Grotto, and recite the prayer of Consecration to Mary together. What a powerful moment of great grace, as we gave ourselves fully to Mary, so she could form us and lead us to union with the Heart of her Son. It was the most fitting way to end our time with her in Lourdes, and a perfect preparation for our entrance into Madrid and our encounter with the Holy Father. We left Lourdes both sad to go, but truly joyful and grateful for the time we were able spend her "home."
We then boarded the bus and were on our way to Madrid!
Our ride to Madrid was a very beautiful one, both in our enjoyment of the Lord's beautiful creation as we passed through the Pyrenees Mountains, and our time of sharing together on the bus. We began our ride with a Rosary of thanksgiving to Our Lady for all the graced we received. Following the rosary, Fr. Adam gave an explanation on the scapular and enrolled all those who were not already enrolled. We also had a time in which we shared our stories and experiences of the pilgrimage thus far. Jack and Katie also shared the story of their relationship, which.was a great joy and edification for our hearts.
Upon our arrival to Madrid we went to our home parish of Santa Maria del Pinar, where we were given a warm welcome by the beautiful priest and all the parishoners. We then were assigned to different families in the parish to begin our home stay experience. We are very grateful for the generous and open hearts that have received us into their hearts and homes.