Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

Camino de Santiago - page 16

A Pilgrim's Progress: Fr. Stephen Sanchez, OCD, on the Camino de Santiago – 2018 - page 16

Aug 14th

We all got up with the early morning sounds of Avila waking-up and taking to the cobblestone streets. We prepared ourselves the best we could and headed out the door about 8:30 to attend the 9am mass at La Santa. We prayed as we waited. The subprior once again celebrated - St. Maximilian Kolbe. After mass as we sat and made our thanksgiving there was a swarm of pilgrims that came in - about 30 - with cameras and video equipment and a lot of excited chatter. It was a Chinese community that was going to celebrate mass in this shrine. As they prepared for their celebration I went and said goodbye to Our Holy Mother in the separate side- chapel. I commended our Province to her and told her not to forget us because we are small but to pay extra attention to us because we are small.

Again - the search for coffee! I had coffee n toast while others had some protein with their carbohydrates n caffeine.

We headed back to the apartment and prepared to leave for Madrid now that our mini-pilgrammage to Avila was done.

Peter placed himself in God's Hands and went in search of the car and trying to find his way back to the apartment through the narrow and winding streets.

After packing the trunk with the three backpacks and the suitcases of Lisa and Jocelyn - which took some maneuvering and prayers - we headed out to now do two days of 'tourist stuff.' The previous evening I had suggested to Lisa that if we wanted to we could go El Escorial monastery since it was on the way to Madrid. She suggested it to the group as we headed out and everyone thought it would be a great opportunity. I had visited it when I was studying in Avila and told them it was a beautiful place to visit.

Parking was a challenge but Peter's determination found us a spot. We opted for the audio tour. You could pick the two or three- hour tour - we looked for the two- hour tour. The chapel is impressive! No pictures allowed - sorry. It could easily take 4 hours to really enjoy the sacred art. You also tour some of the old royal apartments of Phillip II. The Royal crypts are ABSOLUTELY amazing😯!

Since it is dedicated to St. Lawrence it is shaped like a square grill.

After the tour we headed out to Madrid and in search of our hostal. It was just a couple of streets off of the Puerta del Sol - the main plaza of Madrid. It was a little crazy getting there because of construction but be made it. We off loaded our luggage and Peter and Jocelyn went to return the car since we wouldn't need it in Madrid.

We rested and went out to the Puerta del Sol to meet our 'food' guide. Jocelyn had signed us up to do a 'tapas tour'. Our guide was very nice and hospitable - we then went to three different restaurants. The first for some gazpacho and paella, at the second we had some Iberian ham (its VERY expensive in the USA?!) with cava, and at the third restaurant we had sangría and fresh spanish tortilla (egg and potato fritata). We went home happy with our 'food tour.' Praise God for a comfortable bed, no noise, and AC!!

Main altar of La Santa church
Main altar - La Santa
La Santa altarpiece
La Santa - detail
Main altar and altarpiece in La Santa church
Main altar and altarpiece - La Santa
Side chapel of La Santa
La Santa side chapel
Detail of side chapel in La Santa
La Santa- side chapel detail
Court of Kings - El Escorial
Court of Kings - El Escorial
Cloister of El Escorial
Cloister - El Escorial
Murals in El Escorial cloister
El Escorial Cloister - another view
Painted cornice, ceiling murals above stairs of El Escorial
Murals, cornice and ceiling above stairs - El Escorial
Stacks Image 63325
Detail of ceiling above stairs - El Escorial
St. Lawrence interceding - ceiling detail
St. Lawrence interceding
Ceiling detail - El Escorial
Ceiling detail - El Escorial
Monument in Puerta del Sol Madrid
Puerta del Sol - monument
Street scene in Puerta del Sol
"Tourists" in Puerta del Sol
Monument silhouetted against the sun - Puerta del Sol
Monument silhouetted against the sun - Puerta del Sol
Nuestra Señora del Carmen - Descalzas Reales in Madrid
Nuestra Señora del Carmen - Descalzas Reales, Madrid
Maria de las angustias - Descalzas Reales, Madrid
Maria de las angustias - Descalzas Reales, Madrid
Maria de las angustias - detail
Maria de las angustias - detail
Jesús de la salud - Descalzas Reales Madrid
Jesús de la salud - Descalzas reales
Jesús de la salud - detail
Jesús de la salud - detail
Crsito de la Fe - Descalzas Reales Madrid
Cristo de la Fe - Descalzas reales