On this day November 21, 2001, at 1:20pm to be exact, I took my first steps out of St. Peter's Square, destination Jerusalem, on a journey that would forever change my life.
I'll never forget that day. Earlier in the week, I had learned that Pope John Paul II was holding an audience the very day I was planning to leave. It wasn't the personal audience I would have loved to have, but I was thrilled at the thought of receiving a blessing from a man I truly admired.
Bright and early that morning, I joined thousands of other pilgrims, listening to this man of peace deliver his service. He told the story of Moses, when he had led his people across the Red Sea and it had closed on Pharoah and his army. Moses was marveling at the greatness of his God and expressing his devotion and gratitude for being able to lead his people out of Egypt to the Promised Land.
I didn't know what it meant, and every hair on my body was standing on end, but it sure felt like a #blessing for the journey ahead.
Two weeks later, I would meet up with Alberto in Rieti and we would begin walking together.
Twenty years later, we continue walking together. The form may be different, but the spiritual journey and its message remain the same:
“You are so deeply loved.
And you never walk alone.
I am with you always.
Trust My Guidance and I will lead you Home.”