Day 1: Sixteen People, One Pilgrimage


What do paragliding, reading, hiking, rice, chocolate ice-cream and quidditch have in common? Not much, obviously, unless you’ve met our Magis group.

Today was all about getting to know people in our group. We started with some very basic questions about each other and slowly progressed to gaining more advanced knowledge about others (Just to give you an idea … It involved questions about food we can’t live without and our strange hobbies).

We also managed to make some of the most usual and normal moments (like eating dinner) quite special. We all witnessed an expert evaluation of French fries given from two pilgrims, coming from the land of its origin (Belgium, obviously 😉 ), discussed an American phenomenon – canned liquid cheese (which is for some reason not meant for drinking) and the girls had an opportunity to hear an extremely appealing promotion of warm shower (quote: You have to try this. This water is so perfect … warm and soft. The best shower of my life!)

However, it just seems unfair not to mention this amazing place we visited today. We spent our afternoon in Marian Shrine of Ireland, Knock. During the great hunger in Ireland 15 of its inhabitants witnessed an apparition of Mary, lamb with a cross, st. Joseph and st John at the back of the village church.

I think that what one of my co-pilgrims said sums the beauty of this event perfectly: “What I find really great about this apparition is the fact that Knock was just a normal village. It was nothing special, just a place full of starving people. And this is the place where Mary appeared.” It’s just like the way God is present in our lives – not only in big and spectacular situations, but also in the most trivial, normal and maybe even boring moments.