Everyone put a huge smile on their face😄…for this update…
Upon our return we went ASAP to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knees. Looks like this pilgrim managed to complete the entire pilgrimage with a broken patella (knee cap) 😁!! I can only thank my beloved husband and all my fellow pilgrims who literally carried and prayed me through to the completion of this amazing journey!! Their acts of mercy were beyond measure!!
The broken patella knee outcome –I now have a three month ‘opportunity’ to live in and adjust to my new full leg, 24 hour a day, immovable brace with the additional perspective of managing it all from a walker-:)!! No weight on that left leg for three months (pretty lousy excuse for me to get out of all that holiday cooking🍗🍰!
Hoping to soon secure a new ‘chariot’ to assist this three month transition to a more sedentary way of life😄!!
Please do not fret or worry …this is such a small blip on the radar screen of life. It is not life threatening and is NOTHING compared to what your fellow blog readers are facing on a daily basis with critical health, emotional and family challenges! Please keep each other in prayer.
Know my prayers and offerings for each of you and may this Thanksgiving be more meaningful than ever imaginable!!
Thank you for following our journey!!!
We started the morning with the wonderful celebration of Mass at St. Anne’s Church. There was not a dry grandparent eye in the place as we viewed the statue of Jesus’s grandmother, St. Anne, depicted with her daughter Mary…
Then the blessed ‘Charioteers’ kicked in as we headed back through the cobblestone stepped paths of Old Jerusalem. Again, I can not thank my fellow pilgrims enough for stepping up to ‘carry the chariot’. It was another day of unbelievable amounts of steps through winding beautiful century old cobblestone paths-but certainly not ADA approved-:)!! They managed the bags (Thank you Kris, Molly and Ruth!) and offered prayerful ‘charioteer’ support from every corner. Their prayers were overwhelming to this humbled soul. Please meet the ‘Charioteers’…our fellow Pilgrims on a mission to make sure that yours truly could experience everything possible!! They even propped me up and held on to me for the picture on the steps to the Agony in the Garden at the Holy Sepulcher Church. I pray you can hear me applauding their unbelievable efforts!! Here are the selfless ‘Charioteers’!!
Then we were on our way to walk the Via Dolorosa, or “Way of the Cross”. It winds along the cobblestone streets of Old Jerusalem from Ecce Homo Convent to the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. This is the traditional route Jesus followed bearing His cross from Pilate’s Judgement Hall to Calvary Hill, the site of the crucifixion. We even carried our own cross to re-live Jesus’s path. Here are Sharon and Jack now leading the first steps of the journey to Calvary.
I have chosen a few pictures, so that you might be a part of the journey. Via Dolorosa winds through the cobblestone streets with vendors doing their daily business along the way as pilgrims fervently and prayerfully walk the Way of the Cross (or Sorrows).
This is the window if the room where Jesus was stripped of His clothes.
Our lunch in Old Jerusalem had some great views from the variety of vendors to the men tucked in a side alley quietly puffing on their hookahs (pipes).
We then headed to Mount Zion to view the Upper Room, where it is believed the Last Supper occurred and to the tomb of David. Some of today’s favorite pics…-:)!!
Looking up to Calvary just as you enter the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.
Within the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre there are many religions with their own personal prayer space area. This is the open area, adjacent to Jesus’s tomb, which hosts the Roman Catholic services. The picture is of St. Mary Magdeline approaching Christ during the Way of the Cross.
My college roommate touching the slab in which Jesus was laid.
This morning was personally the most moving of all. My ‘true confession’ is a traveler’s possible worst nightmare. The ‘mini nightmare’ …I fell on our second night here. It was a bad blow to my left knee and has left me significantly impaired regarding mobility. Since that moment of time ….Bud, Monsignor Hogan and my fellow pilgrims have stepped up with unbelievable support!!! They have carried this lame pilgrim physically, by wheel ‘chariot’ (our new nickname for the wheel chair-:) and prayed abundantly for a miraculous healing!! I share this NOT for sympathy as I remain VERY blessed to be here. I share it because one just never knows what lies ahead and one has to really trust in God that it will all work out. One has to learn to gratefully and graciously accept help–thank you Monsignor!! Little did I know that God would have me participating in this journey as a ‘physically handicapped pilgrim’. What a learning opportunity now exists for my personal growth!!! The experience has been filled with intense humility—as it is not easy for this independent soul to be at the mercy of everyone else’s care. I can not even begin to thank Bud and my fellow pilgrims for all they are doing to allow me to travel into tombs, across layers of archaic steps, over thresholds 5 plus inches high, across cobblestones that are centuries old, physically loading me on and off busses ….not many handicap accessible spots over here-:)!!! All of this immense, unselfish assistance has been given so that this humble pilgrim might share in the shared joy of seeing the mystery of His presence!! And to boot, all this in the midst of yet another tragic terrorist attack in the exact city in which we are staying… In God We Trust….
This morning we arose at 3:45 so that we could head to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Bud and my fellow charioteers immediately kicked into action to get me down back alleys unimaginable to the likes of a wheelchair!! Today’s journey all lead to where Christ died on Calvary, was then laid on the stone slab and then taken to his tomb–all now housed in the huge Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Tears flowed abundantly as Monsignor said Mass right over Jesus’s burial tomb!! Unfortunately, the pictures could never even begin to adequately capture this sacred moment.
The group then walked to visit the Latin Patriarch. An extremely impactful moment for all….I passed on this opportunity, as I wanted to give my ‘charioteers’ and ‘back pack carriers’ ( thank you, Roomie!!) a needed break-:)!!
Then we were all off to Bethlehem and the site where the shepherds heralded Jesus!! Here are a few pics of our day’s journey…with the first picture being the Threshhold of Humility ( how ironic) with the entrance into the Nativity being the absolute smallest entrance I have ever seen…imagine this and it is the actual spot where it is believed Jesus was born!!!
Threshold (Door) of Humility…entrance into the Nativity…..
Actual spot of veneration for Jesus’s birth.
And of course, we turned around and there was St. Anthony of Padua…a family favorite!! And look who Bud spotted headed in for Mass…..a young MC–those wonderful Missionaries of Charity serving all over the world!!!
The laughs of the day were watching our fellow pilgrims and dear Bud ‘parking the camel’ after their rides!!! We were actually suppose to be contemplating the overcoming of temptations by Jesus on the Mountain of Temptations but it was a lot more laughs to see if Bud was actually going to bring his camel in for a landing😄!!