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News 2010

Pilgrimage and Get-together of the SHM in Rome

On Saturday October 2nd we left Rome in direction Ascoli Piceno, where our friends from the Home waited for us, Angelo and Lydia, their children, and Giuliano and Rosella with theirs.

As we had a little more time than usual, the Holy Spirit gave us the idea of stopping at the shrine dedicated to St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, which is on our way to Ascoli Piceno, in the region of "Gran Sasso," a lovely area surrounded by mountains. For most of us, it was the first time we had visited the shrine.

We went first to the old church where Saint Gabriel prayed and was buried before. He was a Passionist who lived in the nineteenth century and died at a very young age. Before entering into consecrated life, he lived a relaxed life.  He liked the worldly entertainments, and he did not decide to completely surrender his life to God until he was 18 years old. While he participated in a procession, in which an icon of the Virgin Mary was carried, he received a grace before the image that led him to a complete change of life. He became a passionist and led an exemplary life as a religious until his death from an illness at the age of 24.

He stood out for his tender love for the Blessed Virgin. We were able to pray infront of the image that he took flowers to every day. Moreover, in this church you can see where he was buried when he died, and the chapel where his remains were kept until they were transfered to the new basilica. Various objects that the saint used during his life, such as a book containing the Passionist rules, are conserved in a museum above the church. We visited the choir where he prayed and the room where he died. There was a painting depicting his death and the inscription in Latin: "Behold how the righteous die."

Finally, we entered the crypt of the new basilica, which was inaugurated by John Paul II, where the saint's remains are kept in an urn inside a statue of him. There we entrusted many things and people to San Gabriel, among them, the apostolate of our community in Rome. We left there with a full heart and eager to return again someday.

We soon felt the effects of the intercession of St. Gabriel. As soon as we got to Angelo and Lidia's town, they told us how to get to a certain parish, because they wanted us to meet the pastor. Fr. Ubaldo, received us very well and was open to the possibility of us coming and giving our testimony in his parish during an upcoming visit.

We arrived at the house of Angelo and Lydia, where we had dinner and talked with them. Then we went to Giuliano and Rosella's house, who generously left it to us and they spent the night somewhere else. The next morning we heard Mass in one of the villages in the area, Ortezzano. The priest we had met on the last occasion from Madagascar celebrated the Mass. He has been in the parish several months now. As October is the month dedicated to the Rosary, we had a meeting speaking about it, which was very enriching.

After a delicious meal and a wonderful conversation, we traveled back to Rome, hoping to make another visit soon and to continue sowing seeds and building up the Home.

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