Trials and difficulties:
We had to get 3 trains from Assisi. The trains in Italy are not at the same level of the station platform. Then when the train doors open, there are 3 steps up into the train, and there is only a very narrow doorway – nothing like we are used to . Sometimes we only have a couple of minutes for 8 of us to get up/down with our big heavy suitcases. On the train, water was dripping water all over the seats and floor from the air conditioner. On top of that, it was a very hot and humid day – it felt like the high 30’s (°C).
A half hour before our final stop at Loreto, I prayed that my angel would have a taxi waiting for us, to accommodate all of us and our luggage. Lo and behold, there was a lovely man with a taxi with large luggage space who was there, as if waiting for us! The price was very reasonable.
I think Our Lord was watching over us. One of our group had lost an umbrella and another person found it. I had lost my toiletries bag and the cleaners found it just before we left Assisi (-would you believe behind the curtain on the window shelf? ) I have also lost my medal twice, but found it again.
Our Special Hotel:
It is called ” Hotel San Gabriele” I think it was an old convent. There is a beautiful chapel, but the tabernacle was empty. I imagine that if there was a priest staying, he could say Mass. We didn’ t choose it – our travel agent did. It is only 5 minutes walk from the church.
The Church at Loreto:
We went to Mass this morning . It is a beautiful church. But during Mass I felt sad because all the church pews had been taken away and replaced by seats. There were no kneelers and no carpet. During the Mass, people either stood or sat. I was sad that they could not kneel for Jesus.
After Mass, the priest led the people in a beautiful prayer. I could only recognize the words ” Jesus, Mary and Joseph” and ” Holy Family of Nazareth” which was repeated at the beginning of each verse.
We returned to our hotel for breakfast and to pack our bags then return later, for a closer look at the church.
The church is beautiful with many chapels and side chapels and beautiful high altars. It was built in 1587. The walks, domes and ceilings are covered in paintings (as they were at Assisi).
The Holy House of Loreto is inside the church completely enclosed by the solid concrete structure. We could walk through and we touched our handkerchiefs through the bars to the holy house itself -a beautiful relic.
We presented our petitions for the prayer group, lit candles and prayed before Jesus exposed in the Blessed Sacrament on the altar of one of the side chapels. It was enclosed by a curtain to shield it from the comings and goings of people in the church. We also wrote our names in a book and gave an offering for Masses to be said for our families.
* The Seal Prayer can be found in “Prayers”