Our first pilgrimage sites: Montserrat & Manresa
Tuesday 9th August - Montserrat and Manresa Encounter
|My small group at the sanctuary of Montserrat: Jamie, Rachel, Chris, Gerard & Me|
By Lisa Garland, Catholic Youth Parramatta
The Black Madonna
This morning started with a rude wake up call. Some silly boys in the room next door woke us up by knocking on our door for aaaaaages. You know how someone knocks on your door to annoy you then eventually gives up and goes back to their room? Yeah, not this one. It was the longest I’ve ever heard someone knocking at my door. Me and my roomy Rachel were so not going to answer the door, we were still in our PJ’s!
I don’t know why, but majority of people woke up at 6am! Rachel & I woke up an hour later than everyone and still managed to make it on the bus with time to spare? I call it skill.
Departing our hotel we made our way to Montserrat up winding roads. The sanctuary of Montserrat lies at the top of a 4000 foot high mountain. The formation is just amazing as you drive up, it’s one thing seeing it in the pictures but it’s really something else seeing it for real. Up here lies the miraculous statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or better known as the Black Madonna. We were very blessed to have our daily mass in the chapel behind the Black Madonna. Following mass we had free time, some chose to attempt climbing the 700 steps to the top of the mountain (fail), others had lunch, myself and a group of 6 lined up to see the Black Madonna. We thought it would only take 1hr so we could still have lunch as well. We were in line for 2 hours but it was well worth the wait. We all thought there was no way we could come to Montserrat and not see the Black Madonna.
Departing Montserrat on an empty stomach (besides a few muslie bars) we headed to Manresa, where St Ignatius came on retreat for 11 months. We sat in the cave, prayed together and then had silent time to ourselves.
Culture in Spain is very different, their lunches are later, they have siestas & so dinner is served much later, around 8pm so my stomach is still trying to adjust starving an extra 2 hours before dinner. Following dinner, a big group of us enjoyed a beautiful night in Barcelona City.
Posted by Lisa Garland at 7:33 AM