|Archangel Michael Protector of the Vulnerable www.etsy.com/shop/thefrenchmadonna|
The small lead-stained glass windows made blue rainbows of light in my hand. As I turned the icon, the silver wings glistened and the sword reflected gold sparkles. I could sense the essence of the Archangel Michael statue and deep inside of me a part of me welled with a sense of yearning and I declared to all who cared to listen “From wherever this statue has come, that is where I am going!!!”
And this is how my very first pilgimage started and my life long passion to discover and uncover
more about the power of myth and the our relationship with the sacred.
A friend brought me the San Michele (Saint Michael as he is known in the Roman Catholic Church) icon from Italy. The little statue found its way into my hands via another friend. I had no idea where it came from other than somewhere in Italy. I decided that the September school holidays would be a good time. As I had to ask Granny to help with the house-sitting and taking care of my children, I moved the dates a week earlier so as to avoid taking her away from the rest of her family for her birthday!!!! I had no idea at that time how important this shuffling of dates were!!! As to the location of the San Michele sanctuary: that I left up to The Universe.
Three months before my departure date I discovered that the annual San Michele festival takes place on 29 September in a small town called Monte Sant’Angelo in the province of Foggia in Italy. On the same day I discovered that this is indeed the shrine where my statue came from!!! By having moved the dates of my trip to a week earlier, I had given myself three days to travel down to Monte Sant’Angelo to arrive in time for the festival!! The annual festival takes place on the Saint’s day and it is dedicated to the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
Monte Sant’Angelo forms part of the Gargano Pilgrim Way. The Gargano being that part of the Italian continent that looks like the spur of the boot. The landscape, soil and vegetation in this part is completely different to the rest of Italy and it is believed that this section broke off from another continent with the moving apart of the continents.
I visited the sacred grotto in Monte Sant'Angelo where Michael appeared twice to
many villagers. We participated in the festivities of the Archangel Festival
and we decided to change our holiday plans and to complete the Gargano Pilgrim Way
which included the Basilica of Padre Pio.
This wonderfully impulsive act of mine altered the course of my life.
I learnt about the Michael and Mary leylines and followed Michael
to England where I continued to follow the leylines for six consecutive years.
It meant many changes within myself and challenges to be overcome
and the adventure still continues.
Thus, this piece I created in celebration of
Saint and Archangel,
Protector of the Vulnerable and Defender of the Feminine
If you would like to read more about my pilgrimages
please visit Cloister of the Heart