Monday, 9 May 2011

"At a boy!"

The title of this post is the closest equivalent in English to a favourite Russian expression, "Molodyetz!". My Russian isn't great, but it's been useful in the Ukraine, especially as i moved further East, and for example in the city of Kharkiv/Kharkov, where i was kindly put up by the community of the St. Vincent de Paul centre which is part-funded by Mary's Meals. St. Vincent was a phenomenal exemplar of apostolic charity in 17th century France, whose biography includes abduction by pirates (though best not to 'go there' again for the time being), and my impression was that the centre is a worthy heir to his wonderful work. Early on the next day i was on a train to Berdyansk, on the Sea of Azov, where another very kind priest allowed me to stay; he is someone who as-it-were had temporarily disappeared from Mary's Meals' radar.

Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation
Actually, Ukraine has been not quite a "Roller-Coaster" ride, but i must confess to having used almost every other conceivable means of transport, short of air travel, to get to where i am now; Rostov-on-Don, Russia. So from that point of view "Molodyetz" ought not to be directed at me, but i've found it necessary to be a little bit flexible...

Tongeren, Belgium
There is lots more i could try to cover, but i must mention the truly wonderful town of Tongeren in Belgium, which "no one has ever heard of". There is a beautiful Basilica at the top of a hill, with other lovely mediaeval churches on the surrounding streets, and i think it is no exaggeration to bill it as a sort of 'Belgian Chartres' - do visit if you happen to be in the vicinity.

Here is Our Lady's message, dated 25th April;

“Dear children! As nature gives the most beautiful colors of the year, I also call you to witness with your life and to help others to draw closer to my Immaculate Heart, so that the flame of love for the Most High may sprout in their hearts. I am with you and I unceasingly pray for you that your life may be a reflection of Heaven here on earth. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

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