Dear Family and Friends,
We spent Sunday on the cruise ship and making two port stops. The first was at the the Greek port of Heraklion on the island of Crete. During this stop we visited the Knossos Palace, known as the first civilization in prehistoric times, dating back to the Minoan period around 1100 BC. As such, it's considered the most important archeological site in Europe. It was amazing to see the ruins and the sophistication of this city, with elaborate sewer and water systems that rivaled many periods much later in time.
We boarded the ship and then sailed for the Greek island of Santorini, but first we were really blessed to celebrate Mass with the Corpus Christi group again, as well as one other Catholic group traveling on the ship. We also welcomed some of the friends we had made on the ship to join us for Mass, including one couple, Diego and his lovely wife Angelina, from Chile, who we dined with on Saturday evening. The Bishop's words were very fitting for our group of many pilgrims from many cities and countries--we are all one family joining together to give thanks for our many blessing and to nourish ourselves with the Holy Eucharist. In his final blessing during Mass, Bishop Mulvey promised to take our prayer petitions with him as his group continues their journey to the Holy Land where he will place our intentions at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. We are so thankful for his prayers for us.
Our last stop of the day was on the Greek island of Santorini and what a stop it was! Santorini is so beautiful, perched high atop the edge of the caldera. We enjoyed a walking tour of the city of Fira and basked in the sights and sounds of the village, including the cable car and donkeys that provide transportation up to the townsite. We even had 4 or 5 hearty souls in our group that shared the trail with the donkeys and made the trek up the mountain in 20 minutes! After enjoying some of the local fare and doing some shopping we made our way back down the mountain to pack bags and prepare to disembark the ship early tomorrow morning. Once we get to a hotel tomorrow, we'll start posting pictures for the last several days, as I know you all are anxious to see your loved ones and know they are okay!