Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What a Country!

I've seen very little of New England so a trip to the northeast was very appealing. Larry and I started in Auriesville, NY at the Shrine of the North American Martyrs. What holy ground! To walk where men were actually struck down and killed for the faith is to be linked directly to those saints. The ravine at the shrine is just such a place and like Rene Goupil and St. Isaac Jogues who prayed the rosary there, so did we. Rene was killed by an Iriquois brave because he had made the sign of the cross on the head of child and the superstitious Indians thought it was sorcery. Fr. Jogues held him as he died fully expecting to be the next victim, but God had work for him to do still and he was spared.
Rene Goupil instructing an Indian child

One of my favorite spots on the grounds was "Theresa's rosary." Theresa was a young Indian girl who learned the faith from the Ursulines in Quebec. She was captured along with Fr. Jogues and his companions and Indian guides. Theresa was staunch in her faith and when her captors confiscated her rosary, she made another from rocks so she could pray it walking alongside the "beads." She later married one of the braves from the tribe, but never abandoned her faith. Like Kateri Tekawitha, she was one of the beautiful Christians baptized and taught by the blackrobes.

Theresa's rosary
First chapel at Auriesville
We also visited the Shrine of Kateri Tekawitha in Fonda. Kateri was born in Auriesville, but was raised in the Indian village located in what is now Fonda. The shrine includes the excavated site where metal posts mark the actual double stockade and the outlines of the long houses where Indian families lived. Not far from the site is "Kateri's spring" where she would have gone to get water for washing and cooking. Our two days in Auriesville were an opportunity to begin our trip as a pilgrimage. We prayed the 20-decade rosary both days and attended Mass at the second chapel built on the grounds in the 1800s. The first chapel is tiny, like a small gazebo, but it is lovely and reminds one how eager people were to honor the martyrs even when they could only build a tiny shrine. 

From Auriesville we visited Vermont and Maine passing through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. What a testimony to the glory of God. If Auriesville was like being with the saints washed clean in the blood of the lamb, driving the highways and byways of the northeast was like watching "the word" creating in all his glory. I'll post just a few pictures to illustrate. The glories of God's world made me pause often to sing How Great Thou Art! 

Sailboat on one of Maine's "ponds"

Scene from an overlook in Jamaica State Park, Vermont

One of the amazing examples of Vermont flora

Nature "reflects" the glory of God!

We met this German biker who visits the U.S. twice a year to bike around our wonderful country with friends. (There were half a dozen of them.) He said his favorite trip was following the Lewis and Clark trail from St. Louis to Portland. 

A New York honeybee collects nectar from asters. Beekeepers say aster honey is terrible, so the bees can have it! LOL!