Where in the World is Jillo?

Day 7
Off to see the Black Madonna and a healing well in Limoux. We actually saw several Black Madonnas. I had heard of her many years ago when an old priest friend of mine retired and moved to Montana to live with his sister and was getting rid of some of his things. He gave me a picture of the Black Madonna. I had no idea who or what she was until this trip. Now I understand. One of the stories we heard was that some farmer was digging in his field and he uncovered the Black Madonna. He brought it to the priest and the priest put it in the closet. The next day it was out in a tree. This happened seven or eight times in a row, put it back in the closet and the next morning it would be back in the tree. Finally the priest decided it was a message that he should build a church there, which he did. There are many more instances of the Black Madonna appearing like that and mysterious things occurring.
The original Black Madonna is in a locked area of the church, which we were allowed in to to view her. She is behind a glass, but when you put your hands near the glass, the energy is enormous.
Later in the day, as we were driving back to our hotel, the vans pulled off the road and Finbarr led us up an incline into a clearing in the forest where we could view Mount Bugarach. This is a very holy mountain and a place where many unexplainable things happen. Finbarr actually went into some caves there with a guide last spring, something he’d been wanting to do but couldn’t find a guide until this year. He had some experiences that changed him and now he will be doing a tour to them in the spring of 2013 with a handful of people. He pointed out the spot where the cave was that he went in. That night, some of Peter’s group who were from Canada and a few others went back to that spot and had some interesting experiences themselves. Some of what happened to them was evident to those who didn’t go, without them telling us anything.
Day 8
Today we spent three hours plus on the road to Lourdes.  Finbarr took us to the Grotto and showed us where things were and then we had some free time to shop before dinner. The Grotto was only a short walk from our hotel along commercialized streets with many shops selling things concerning Lourdes. I bought very few things at the shops, my main purpose was to view the Grotto and the church and experience the place.
When we got to dinner I learned that Horst and his daughter had gone into a shop by our hotel that sold rosaries. He bought Nina a beautiful white gold rosary which she had around her neck. Nina, a wonderful 26-year-old fairie of life was one of the most inspiring persons on the trip. She had had cancer in her leg and was still recovering from the surgery and radiation. They were truly an inspiration to me. Nina had invited her dad on his first ever spiritual journey; she has been on a spiritual journey for most of her life.  Horst reminded me of myself about a year ago on my first journey. As I watched the two interact and grow closer, I was grateful to be a part of their journey for these two weeks.
After dinner, we all went to the Grotto while the procession was taking place in the streets so it would not be so crowded for us to walk by the well. It had begun to mist and got a little heavier as we neared the grotto. The line was moving along more quickly due to the rain. Horst and Nina were up ahead and Finbarr, AhNa and I were behind them a ways.
Before we even got to the well, at the start of the cave like rocks I could already feel the energy from the water. Finbarr had told us to hold out our hands and we would feel it, he was so right. When we got to the well, the three of us moved very slowly. The well is covered by glass and there were lights on it. Roses were strewn all near the well along with pictures and other items. Someone came along regularly to collect them and put them in a container. There were places further down where you could take a candle and light it according to countries.
As we neared the well, the energy was stronger. I was fortunate to have had something happen at the well that made me believe strongly that miracles do happen there. The three of us went through the Grotto three times in a row. Horst and Nina stopped by us after we’d gone through the second time. I had a message for Nina that she needed to ask Mary about the rosary her dad had bought her. She did, and she got an answer. At this point she gave me a pink rose to lay at the well on my third time through. It was awesome to leave the rose there for her and leave an intention with Mary for Nina. Horst and Nina came back at 3 a.m. when there were only about 15 people there and they had an amazing experience. All I can say is Nina is blessed. The message I got is still to be explored by me, although Finbarr knew what it meant.
The next morning we again returned to the Grotto and went through the church above. The thing I noticed right away is that the bottom part of the church has a huge gold crown with a cross at the top of the lower level of the church which looks like a space ship. Seriously, almost everyone in our group noticed this fact right away. We then pondered it all day. I went into two of the chapels, one was the chapel of Bernadette, the girl who Mary appeared to. I also went into the chapel of Mary where I meditated and experienced some great things. There were thousands of people there and Finbarr told us that the next week there would be double or triple what was there then as it is an annual time for big pilgrimages to Lourdes.
All of us had bottles that we filled with the holy water from the well several times while we were there. It was the best tasting water I’ve ever had. It has been tested and is of the highest quality vibration in the world. I can believe it. I felt really great all the time I was drinking it. We all bought little glass holy water bottles to fill up to bring home.
On that morning before we left there were long lines of wheel chair bound people that nurses and helpers were bringing to the well. This is an every day occurrence. All are looking for a miracle cure. Some receive it. Why only some, I have no answer and neither does the church as far as I know.
It is a beautiful place. It is a holy place. It is a place of miracles. It is a place to go within your soul and feel close to where Mary appeared. The sides of the Grotto are worn smooth by the hands running along them. There were masses going on in different languages at all times of the day in different chapels. Even though it is commercialized, I BELIEVE that miracles do happen here. I BELIEVE that people experience the Holy Mother in different ways here. I BELIEVE.

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