Day #2 Tuesday October 24 th
The day began with our Mass in the Blessed Jane Chapel following the friars Mass. Continental breakfast followed. The superior of the Colombian Sisters was delightful. She waited on us and tried to learn a few words of English and teach a little Spanish. To my tired and jet lagged brains, it was hopeless. The friar in charge of hospitality Fr.? gave us directions to Osma. We either heard wrong or he likes scenic tours as we took a most circuitous route. It took us 2 hrs to get there and 30 minutes to return! There are few route signs, just names of local villages, which leave you in great need of a detailed map. Father had brought one from home, but as navigator, I could have used a magnifying glass to read! Nevertheless we saw some magnificent scenery, changing quickly between pines, to rock with variation of colors and small streams. And it gave us a better sense of Dominic's homeland. There are remnants of ancient castles, and towers here and there on high points. The land is called Castile, which means land of Castles. When we arrived at Osma we were able to visit the cathedral. There is where Dominic became a canon of St. Augustine after his studies in Palencia. (There is nothing remaining of St. Dominic in the present city of Palencia.) We were able to see the choir stall of St. Dominic, painted in gold leaf. There are multiple images of him throughout, the difference is that he is dressed as a canon in most, rather than the Dominican habit. Osma is where Dominic met and worked with Bishop Diego and Bishop Diego is buried here. We returned by a much more direct route!
I kept seeing a beautiful large black and white bird, first here and then also in southern France. Very Dominican. The other pilgrims didn't believe me at first, but then they too started seeing them, but weren't quite as enamored with them!
We took a little rest after dinner and then were off to the Monastery of Silos. This was a 30 minutes drive through some of the most spectacular scenery — very rocky and mountainous. This was the trip that Bi. Jane had made as a pilgrim when she was expecting Dominic. She went to consult the monks regarding the strange dream she had had about giving birth to the dog with the torch in its mouth. She had great devotion to St. Dominic of Silos, founder of this monastery. She most probably venerated his tomb. Of course she was then told that she would give birth to a great preacher. We took a tour of part of the monastery cloister, still in use. There are a few pictures of the cloister; known for it's great beauty. Renovations continue with the assistance of the government. The monks also live off of the income of the sales of their recordings of their chant. We purchased a few CDs then had tea in a local “bar.” We then enjoyed an hour of quiet prayer as we waited for Vespers. The chant was a piece of heaven! We returned “home” for more discussion and the late meal of 9:30. Their whole day seems to be structured late, but follows the daylight hours.