Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Day 2 - Our France journey begins in Paris

Most of the group arrived in Paris today--tired, but thankful for arriving safe and sound.  We were introduced to our guide, Gerard, a kind-hearted Frenchman who charmed us with his quick wit and impressed us with his knowledge of French history.  We all met up near the famous Louvre on Rue de Rivoli and grabbed a quick bite to eat for lunch.  Next we departed in the bus and toured many parts of the city, including sights from the time of emperors Napolean I and III.  After seeing several sights and making one stop at Hotel Sully gardens, we made our way to the  Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris.  Ground breaking for this midevil cathedral was  in 1163 and in 2013, celebrated its 850th anniversary.  We celebrated Mass in the Pieta Chapel, located in the Sanctuary just behind the main altar of the cathedral.  It is so named because of the replica of Michelangelo's Pieta sculpture above the altar.  This sculpture, depicting the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion, shows all of us the special love between a Mother and her Son.  And it is this special love that calls us to honor Our Lady and ask her to intercede for us to her Son.  And so, as Father John Carney stated at the beginning of Mass, it is fitting that we start our journey with Our Lady at Notre Dame Cathedral and as we journey through France, our love and reverence may continue to grow.  We look forward to growing in faith over the next 14 days.  Our prayers are for all of you following along this journey with us.

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