Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A Very Special Blessing at Downside Abbey

Relic of St. Vincent de Paul in Downside Abbey

How special it was to be given a Pilgrim's Blessing by Fr. James Hood in Downside Abbey with this beautiful relic placed upon the Sanctuary! Fr. James has walked the Camino himself, so his Homily, and the Blessing itself, made us truly reflect upon the journey we were about to undertake. It would be easy to think that it was just a long walk, but it is so much more, as no doubt we will discover.
Our little group being Blessed by Fr. James Hood at Downside Abbey
The day was then spent in frantic packing, and last minute jobs, before our evening flight to Porto. There was a bit of a comedy trying to organise taxis here to Arcos, as no one seemed to know the whereabouts of our hotel. On our eventual arrival, our host came out to greet us, and what a wonderful place the Vila d'Arcos is! He is a chef, so the food was amazing, and we are sad to be leaving.

The group with our host in the Villa d'Arcos, Portugal
A few people are out in the pool as I write this, and the weather is already hot. It is predicted to go to 30C today, so it is going to be a tough 9 miles to our next destination. I just have time for a quick breakfast, and we will then be off. Do keep us in your prayers (especially my left foot, please!), as we will be keeping you all, in ours.



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