I’ve been back from my trip to Fatima and Lourdes about 3 weeks now. If you’ve been following along in previous blog posts, you know I jumped into my cousin’s trip at the last minute. I’m not really a church person but I thought these places would be an interesting experience and a cool place to meditate. And who knows, if there was some Miraculous Healing going around, I could use some too. My autoimmune conditions seem to be multiplying and my pain has been miserable.
The trip turned out wonderful on so many levels (see previous posts). But there have been a few twists to my adventure that keep rolling around in my mind. I could really use some opinions about this. Maybe there is no story here but to me, it feels like something. Tell me what you think.
Just before I left on the Pilgrimage I barged into another one of my cousin’s vacations. Her masseuse talked her into attending what I called the Hocus Pocus Convention. It was all kinds of Spirituality based classes and activities. When I say Spirituality, I mean Tai Chi, Meditations, Mayan Calendars and Tofu.
The day before it was over I signed up to see a Hypnotherapist / Intuitive. I had no idea what that meant, so I immediately signed up. It turned out to be sort of a long guided meditation with some dead family members popping in. Lori and I had an amazing session. I think she helped me get some closure on my Dad’s death and focus on the positive. When we finished, Lori handed me a quartz crystal about the size of my palm. She told me how she had brought it with her from Ohio because someone was meant to have it. She told me she had held onto it for the two weeks she had been there. She put the crystal in my hand and said I was the person that was meant to have it.
I was so touched. We hugged and she sent me out the door with this beautiful crystal. I didn’t know what to do with it but it felt like a tiny spark of Lori’s energy was in that crystal for me to take home.
Two days later I left for the Pilgrimage. First stop Fatima. One afternoon while the group was at Mass, I meditated for a while in the shade of the massive Cathedral and then decided to shop. I wandered into a small piazza full of souvenir booths. It was a mid afternoon on a hot day and I was the only one in the square. I looked through some stands and eventually found one that had crap that I felt I somehow needed. A very old pocket sized woman got up from her stool behind the booth. We both smiled and quickly realized she spoke no English and I certainly did not speak Portuguese. I picked up my treasures and held them out to her. She nodded. Then I put out my hand fill of change. She gently picked coins out of my hand and I nodded. We both smiled and nodded together. Then we broke out in giggles.
I started to go but she waved a finger at me to montion that I should wait. She rummaged around under the counter. Then she motioned for me to put my had out again. I did. She placed a tiny Our Lady of Fatima statue into my open hand and closed my hand around it. She smiled and gently tapped the hand and motioned for me to go. I thanked her and left the square. I felt Ihad gotten what I came for.
Two days later we arrive at Lourdes. We spend 3 very busy days in Lourdes, touring religious sites and even taking the Lourdes Bath. (see previous blogs). During those days there was a lot of going to Mass. When the group turned the corner toward the Chapel, I made a quick dodge behind a car and took off on my own. Today it would be all shopping. I strolled through shop after shop and finally found a jewelry shop that called my name. I purchased a pin shaped like a small silver sun. In the center of the sun was a round piece of Amber. I knew it was mine and when the smartly dressed French woman approached me I pointed to it in the case. I put it on my credit card which turned out to be a little complicated with no common language but we got it done. Just as I turned to leave, the French woman held up a finger for me to wait. Darn, was there a problem with my credit card? She spoke to a young girl in French and the girl disappeared into the back. She came out and handed my saleslady something. She motioned for me to put my hand out. I did. She placed a tiny Our Lady of Lourdes medal in my hand and closed my hand around it. She smiled. I thanked her.
Did this happen everywhere to everybody? I asked around with our tour group. Nope. No tiny statue gifts. Each time I was given these small gifts, I felt such kindess. It felt really good. Hmmm.
A few days in Paris and it was time to fly home. I boarded the plane alone. I want seated with the rest since I had joined the group after the tickets were purchased. A woman behind me asked for the time and we started talking.(see older posts) She had just finished volunteering at Fatima and was on her way home. She had a gentle was about her and our conversation flowed easily. When she stood up to let another passenger get to his seat, I got to see who I had been talking to. She was dressed in dark clothes and wore two distinctive necklaces. One was a large broach painted with the Blessed Mother and the other was a cross that I was immediately taken with. She told me it a St Benedict Cross and very special. She said it had many blessings upon it. I couldn’t stop looking.
Then the woman said, I have another at home. I would like to send it to you. If you really like it, you should have it. I was shocked beyond words. She took my card and told me to give her a few weeks but she would be in touch. Hmmm.
It was something like this-
I went home and I keep thinking about these gifts. They felt connected but how? Why? I’ve been busy getting my Mom ready for her upcoming knee replacement surgery. Doctors to see, things that need to be done. I haven’t had time as much time as I wanted to meditate and think about my gifts. Maybe I am just tuning into my little Italian Mother. To her, everything is an omen or a sign from Heaven. It was probably just a bunch of coincidences.
Yesterday as I was leaving work, I saw a familiar face walking into the hospital as I was walking out. I hadn’t seen him in a long time but I knew it was my parent’s long time friend Father Manion. We stopped and chatted. Yes, Mom was doing well and we were all fine. I mentioned my trip and he smiled. Funny you should mention Fatima. He reached into his pocket and brought out a handful of Our Lady of Fatima pins. He said that should be enough for you and your gang. I thanked him and gave him a hug.
As I walked to my car, I started to think. It was funny running into Father like that. Of all the Saints, his pocket was full of Our Lady of Fatima pins? More coincidences I guess.
Then I thought of what Albert Einstein said-Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.