Milan/Linate Airport: When you need to pray…

IMG_1445Today is Sunday, a perfect day for a post about praying.  Most of us know that airports have chapels, but how many of us have actually stopped in one. I confess that when I have been in an airport, even with a long lay over, I have never sought out a chapel. In fact, never even gave it a thought. My main goal was making sure I made my connecting flight.

IMG_1444So, it was a complete surprise to come across the “Cappella Madonna di Loreto,” chapel in the Milan/Linate airport recently.

It was one of those days where YOU KNOW you were meant to stop in the church and pray.  WHY?  Because when I reached the Aer Lingus counter it was closed. The Italian security guard told me that the counter would be opening in an hour. So, what was I to do, but “wait!”

I thought… OK, might as well sit down. As I went to find a seat, I looked to my right and immediately saw the “Virgin Mary” statue and my mind said, “Wow, you’ve found a chapel, but not any chapel, an Italian airport chapel.”

IMG_1443I say this, because my mother was a born and raised in Florence. So, my next thought was that my Italian grandmother who is in Heaven (well, I am sure she is there and not Hell) was drawing me to the chapel, so we could have a sweet moment together. I admit I got a bit teary-eyed, because I miss my grandmother. She didn’t speak English, but when I visited her we got by. I quickly learned Italian and we sure used our hands a lot to communicate.  She was a TREASURE!

As I lit a candle, I saw this Italian prayer.  There is a similar one in English, see this website for candle lighting and its meaning.

I sat for a few peaceful minutes and began to reminisce about my Nonna. She taught me how to knit. Think about that!! There was the language barrier as she tried to instruct me, but I focused, watched and made my first stitch.

IMG_1448My Nonina LOVED to play the game Bingo. She would go every Wednesday night. We always laughed when she came home, because if she had won, she would have either some olive oil or a big roll of salami under her arm.

Food, she made the BEST bolognese sauce, OF COURSE, she was my grandmother. It was a treat when she would fry small artichokes and we always had biscotti at breakfast, dipping it in our coffee.

Oh, when I would arrive, if I went on the balcony, she would proudly brag to her neighbors that her Italian grandchild was visiting from America!  Then the neighbors would say how I looked like my mother. We all smiled.

IMG_1449For once, I was not irritated for the delay with flight check in. My little Guardian Angel had a surprise for me, the message was “slow down,” take a moment to appreciate my Italian heritage, sit, give thanks and send LOVE up to my Nonina! WHICH I DID!

TODAY is Father’s Day!  I wish all Father’s and Grandfather’s a special day!

 

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