Friday, September 16, 2016

Day 11 - Avignon, La Salette, and Lyon

We started off our day driving from Nimes to Avignon, a little town where the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) is located.  That was our first stop of the day.  Avignon became the home of the Popes fleeing the violent chaos of Rome in 1309.  From Avignon we drove through the winding mountains to La Selette, located in the French Alps near Grenoble.  In La Selette, Our Lady appeared to two young children on Saturday, September 19, 1846.  Maximin Giraud, 11 years old and Melanie Calvat, 14 years old, were attracted to a brilliant light in a ravine.  Our Lady spoke to both of them and then to each separately.  The messages that Mary asked these two young children to share with us included:  do not take the name of the Lord, our God, in vain and keep holy the Sabbath.  We celebrated Mass in one of the lower chapels in the Basilica Notre Dame la Salette.  Father John's sermon centered on on faith. If we want courage of faith, we need to act like we have it.  Ask ourself, "What would a man or woman of faith do in this situation?"  If we do this often enough, our faith takes over when we have trials and tribulations.  Father asked us to see our cross for what it is--an invitation to join Christ.  To pick up the cross and follow Jesus.  He asked us to reflect on what are two or three crosses that I carry at the moment--what can I do to embrace them, accept them, and carry them with courage and dignity?  In doing that, we are walking with Jesus and walking with faith.  The drive up to La Selette and back down was breathtaking.  The French Alps are beautiful and help us to see all of God's wonder all around us.  Around the ground of La Salette, we could trace the path of Our Lady's apparition to Maximin and Melanie and reflect on the crosses that we carry.  We left La Selette and drove to Lyon, where we enjoyed a wonderful dinner and fellowship with our group, knowing that our time together is quickly drawing to a close.

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