Set out on an adventure yesterday. A pilgrimage of sorts. My sister-in-law and three friends along for the ride.
In a little place on the bayou, a few hours from where I live, the Blessed Mother appears to Claire -Rose. Apparently, Claire Rose and the Blessed Mother go WAY back; she's been appearing to her for years. But for the past many years, the last Saturday of every month has been a "public" apparition. Not that anyone else can see Our Lady, but there is a message for the public. This is within 200 miles of my home, yet the first time I ever heard about it was last month. As luck would have it, today was the last public apparition. So we went.
The morning started off with not being able to find my keys. This is a favorite trick of Satan's at my house, I believe. After several minutes of fruitless searching, I grabbed the extra set from the safe, and was on my way.
I should say - the morning started off with hubby cooking me breakfast. Today was our 17th anniversary, and although we don't usually make a big deal out of the day, I felt more than a little guilty for not spending it with him. But it's not every day that Mary is this close.
After eating lunch at the Olive Garden (yum), we went on the location of the apparition.
|Draw bridge along the way. Nothing quite like a see-through road.|
|Claire Rose's house. It was raised after being flooded with nearly 5 feet|
of water after Hurricane Rita. They lost "nearly everything" .
|Most of the activity took place under the house.|
We got there in time to stake out a place with our chairs and to look around.
|Confessions were heard by a couple of holy priests.|
|Well of healing water. But not for drinking.|
|Roadside shrine to Our Lady of the Bayou.|
|The weather and surroundings were beautiful.|
The cross was erected as a place for people to pray for holy priests. It is open at any time, day or night, and everyone is welcome.
There were quite a few images of the Mother of God.
After a while, the children were asked to gather at the foot of the cross and given roses to bring. There, Claire Rose prayed with them. She said that the Blessed Mother has said that three Hail Mary's prayed daily from the heart of a child are enough to save the soul of a priest. After they prayed three Hail Mary's, she gave the children a message from Our Lady. She reminded them of her love for them, and told them to remember that their bodies are living tabernacles.
|Claire Rose praying with the children.|
|Stations of the Cross around THE Cross.|
After this, we gathered back under the house and prayed a chaplet for priests. There were probably 300-500 people in attendance. It was also noteworthy that there was nothing for sale. Not food, nor drink, nor religious articles. This was not a money-making endeavor.
Then we settled in to pray all 20 decades of the Rosary. For each decade there was a meditation relating to holy Priests. There were decades led in Latin, French, Spanish, Italian and another language which I couldn't guess during one set of mysteries. This took quite a while (praying 20 decades) and it was during that time that Our Lady was appearing to Claire Rose and 2 others.
After the Rosary, they shared the messages that Our Lady had given them. Again, this took quite a while. It was all a little overwhelming. All three began by describing what she was wearing, and their descriptions were some what different. However, there were several things that ran through all three:
- she loves us
- we need to pray
- we need to repent; convert; make use of the sacrament of mercy
- gratitude to her priest sons
- gratitude to those religious, her "little doves" who wear their habits
- she wants us to pray for holy priests, and she wants us to gather on the last Saturday of each month in small groups to do this
- each person who was there was blessed with an "angel of protection" which would go with us always and everywhere
- mention of a "new springtime" or a "new Pentecost"
After that, Mass was quickly celebrated. The website had given the impression that Mass would begin at 2:00, but it was nearly 6:00, and we were feeling a combination of overwhelmed and tired by this point. Daylight was fading fast, and there didn't appear to be much in the way of outdoor lighting. Mass is always wonderful, and we were all grateful that the homily was meaningful, thoughtful, and brief.
10-1-11 Editing to Add: Mass was delayed because the priest celebrating it had a wedding at 2:00 an hour away. Claire Rose notes that it was God's schedule and plan - not ours. Very true. She said that the priest (and others) saw the "miracle of the sun" when he was consecrating the Eucharist.
Holy Communion was distributed at the foot of the Cross. There was something very powerful about receiving Jesus there.
We were sent on our way, as the sun was setting over the bayou. We stopped for a bite to eat at the first hint of civilization. It was much later than we expected when we arrived home. My dear husband was so good about it. Perhaps another gift given to me. And I found my keys after some searching. Something told me that they were in my bedroom, and I found them there - between my jewelry box and the window - knocked there by the cat.
The ride home was lively - five women in a Suburban trying to process the events of the day. We joked about the five extra angels who were now riding with us, but felt comforted by their presence and appreciative of the gift.
In the end, it's all about Love. A Father who sent His Son because He loves us. The Son who gave us His mother, because He loves us. And a Mother who relentlessly tries to lead us to her Son because she loves us.