We arrived at the John Paul II Institute, and Tommy asks the receptionist if there is a museum, etc. I overhear her (as I am across the room, ready for flight since I am not sure this is the place to be with 5 kids) say that yes, there is, but you should go upstairs to see the Relics first.
We get upstairs, and are late, sitting in the back of a long room, and they are in the middle of a meditation. I look at the booklet and see that there are 8 relics - mostly FIRST class - all from the Passion of Jesus. I start to melt, and just can't believe how the Lord has drawn us here. I am thanking Tommy's angel who helped get us here, and my angel who nudged me not to fight. It was unbelievable. There aren't that many people, but we are able to sit in the back, I get my heavy zoom on the camera, and tell Tommy to help us out.
This lady has a stack of Holy Cards, and has given some to Patrick and told him (gave him a mission, more like) that if he touches the cards to the relics, his card would become a 3rd class relic. He is ready and more focused on that than anything else, but I am so pleased that the kids are behaving.
The 8 relics were:
A piece of the table from the Last Supper
A piece from the pillar where He was scourged
A piece of the thorns from the crown of thorns
A piece of the True Cross
A bone of Saint Longinus
A piece of a cloth that touched the Shroud/burial cloth
A Picture that was touched to the St. Veronica Veil
A piece of one of the nails
Unbelievable. They tell us it's time to venerate the relics, and I see a lady come all the way to the back, look at Tommy, and say, "Would you like to hold a relic?" Just like Simon, pulled from the crowd to help. He got to hold the thorn relic while everyone was venerating it, as well as the picture. I was thrilled for him, but nervous how I would manage all the kids and the lines, but I look up and Patrick and WIlliam are on their mission with the holy cards, and I have the stroller and Lucy. I start to worry a bit while I look for a way to get around the columns and chairs, and I pick a spot that I can do, and it turns out to be perfect. I get Emma and James in the line with me, and we are able to venerate the first 7, and go around to the True Cross in the middle.
I am a blubbering mess by this time, and James keep asking me why I am crying. I am so overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness, and I just can't believe we are here. God is so good!
We get to the middle, and James decides he wants to do what the big kids are doing, and put his holy card on the relic. I just caught that moment, and then I told him to give Jesus a kiss. He reached up and kissed it no hesitation. I'm not sure any of my other kids kissed or touched the relics, but they had their mission with the holy cards.
I still can't believe we were able to start our week on such a beautiful note. Not only that, but we got to do a little exploring in the museum, which will need a trip back, definitely.
And, the way home? Questions about the Shroud of Turin, saints, miracles, and my heart just expanded so much the more.