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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Impressions of Ignatian Pilgrimage

(Maria Luna shares with us her thoughts on the pilgrimage and that of her father - Papa Antonio, sister - Pili and our driver companion - Javier. Except for Barcelona, Pili joined us throughout the Spain leg of the pilgrimage. Papa Antonio was with us up to Rome. And Javier who drove for the group from Madrid to Manresa was very much part of the pilgrimage too.)


I am very, very happy to have joined this trip. I found all the participants to be good people, very kind to me and relating well even if we did not share same language. They expressed in many ways that they appreciated my being there that is why I felt very comfortable being with them. Thus, I was inspired to write some good wishes for all of them and I was impressed to see their reaction of welcoming to those simple words.

Personally, the trip has been an encounter with Ignacio de Loyola, a saint I have heard of but I did not know much about. During the trip I have been getting pamphlets everywhere we passed by, by now I have read all including the 2 good ones you gave me as a gift in Rome about the lives of Ignacio and Javier. All that made an impact on me, I would like to be a better person and help others to be the same. I do what I can among the old people of the Day Care Center for the elderly where I spend most of my time.

Thanks to all of you for allowing me to have this experience. I also requested my daughter to tell you that I asked her that I will be seated on the place where I was in the bus because as an old person I have some quirks, there is where I feel more secure when I travel.


The best about the trip has been to know you all! There have been thousands ways of communication between us. I found you happy, simple, generous and prayerful people.
I will always remember you and even more because you all wrote something to me and from time to time I read the translation of it all. You left in me unforgettable memories.

Together, we have discovered more Spain, Ignacio and Javier and also the Jesuits and how well they work and treat people. Ignacio has imprinted a footprint in me and I remember him everyday. I notice since the trip I want to give a special value to every person and circumstance I encounter for not to fall in superficiality of worldly things.

Hasta pronto y hasta siempre amigos!


This trip has been very special to me. I have never brought a group like that. They are all happy, very well mannered, treating me like one of the group, they are quite young and beautiful and still they pray, they give importance to things of the Church even if they are learned people. I am an ordinary young Spanish person who even if baptized in the Catholic Church, has not been mindful of it. That is why I was very surprised to see this group. They made a big impact on me, so much that after leaving them in Manresa, I cried and I thought there are things of my life that have to change. I started to pray the way I know and now I am telling my wife we have to pray together.

I was very happy to know the place after which I am named: Javier. I got some information about Saint Francis Xavier and I am reading it.

Regards to all peregrinos.


I am very happy and very grateful for having joined the Pilgrimage starting from the months of preparation up to the end. All throughout it has been a good learning experience and deep spiritual one of self-knowledge and encounter with God in many different ways.

It was the first time I had been in the organization and acted as a guide of a trip. This helped me to get to know how to get places, contact people, make and change certain decisions, look for funds to contribute to it, find cheaper but good places, get along a group… A times, during the trip, I felt tired and I saw myself in charge of almost all that was going on. That, even if hard, made me see and understand other aspects of the group and of my person that I took for granted before. But in that and through that, God made Himself present and very close to me. I really felt He was guiding us all the time.

Getting closer to Ignacio has also been of great spiritual help to me. At the same time I was feeling proud of such a Spanish saint, I was absorbing more his spirituality, his ways, and his impetus to work and pray. Getting in contact with his places and his people encouraged me a lot in my own life.

I like to thank you all for your collaboration, for making the whole trip a good one, for sharing your lives and for praying the way you do it. You are good people and that is what makes the difference! It has been a pleasure to be with you during this May 2006. I also like to ask for forgiveness for my impatience and my pushing you hard.