The day started off in the usual way, with us all processing to Mass in one of the chapels in the domain. It was the Mass of Anointing, and the Anointing was a really beautiful time during Mass. I found it really moving, just sitting, watching all the VIPs who were being anointed, and praying for them as the bishop and priests anointed them.
After Mass, we took the VIPs back to their hotels, and it was time for our day off to begin! After a busy and tiring week so far, we were all ready for some time off to relax with each other and get our strength up for the final couple of days of pushing the VIPs.
The afternoon was so lovely! We went to the Lac de Lourdes and enjoyed our afternoon of relaxing together there.
We spent most of the afternoon just chatting, laughing and catching up with everything we'd all done during the week. A few people enjoyed going out on the lake in pedalos, but I was happy sat on the grass eating ice cream!
Although it was an overcast and breezy afternoon, it was still pretty warm and so a few of us sat beside the 'pool' area and sunbathed. However, we hadn't realised just how strong the sun had been through the clouds… let's just say that a few of us left the lake looking like a cross between a panda and Rudolph – with 'beautiful' pale faces from where our sunglasses had been, but fluorescent noses!!
After we went back to the hotel, we were able to shower and change before Rach, Catherine and I decided to do a bit of shopping and take a trip to the domain to fill up bottles with the grotto water.
We then headed back for tea, before it was back out again for Holy Hour in the Upper Basilica. This was a relaxing time of prayer and adoration led by one of the priests. After the fab day we'd had, it was good to be able to come together again and praise God for everything He was doing on the pilgrimage.
When Holy Hour had finished, we just went back to the hotel for a few drinks to finish off our day off.
[To be continued tomorrow…]