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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Commercial Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 9 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Monday, December 21, 2015

{St. Maria Goretti came from Italy to 54 US Cities - We got to see her too!}

Just by accident did I read about this UNIQUE EVENT, when Pope Francis arrived in the USA, only two days later than this Italian Saint.
Learning about her travel schedule to 54 US Cities, starting out at the East Coast, also Atlanta was on the list. But that day we could not go.
So I was delighted to find that on October 28, she would come to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Jacksonville, Florida, which is only 3 hours and 35 minutes driving distance from us!
Yes she flew from Italy to the USA and traveled along the East Coast like this...
USA 2015
This is a prayer card that I have since I was a child, given to me by my most favorite Great-Uncle and Priest Dr. Sjang Nelissen, who went to the Vatican Council.
Yes, there had been an Italian connection between 'Heeroom' (Great-Uncle Priest) and me, going back half a century.
He studied Church Law in Rome and I was so delighted when I received special stamps from the Vatican Council, that he brought back for me. 
Don't know where they are now... I always passed on everything to my siblings!
But before we too started living and working in Italy, there was this special connection.
This is the beautiful Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Jacksonville, Florida.
Just click on the above hyperlink to see a Pdf about it.
We arrived around 5:00 PM so we had ample time for the public veneration and would find us a spot for the Solemn Mass at 7:00 PM.
We only had to walk 8 minutes for the 700 m from our Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront so that was very convenient and the weather was 29°C or 84°F that day.
The Angels from heaven were supporting those pilgrims, coming to see St. Maria Goretti!
The Basilica is in the shape of a cross and you can see where we managed to have a seat.
Such beautiful architecture with 37 stained glass windows!
We had ample time for admiring this beauty and taking it all in...
As much as I love ANGELS, I certainly had come to the right place!
And here is the glass coffin with the skeletal remains of St. Maria Goretti...
Her face is created out of wax.
Loved the Angel Heads on all four corners of her glass coffin...
And Angel heads on top...
Angels are everywhere, up on each pillar are carved Italian Angels with trumpets.
Overlooking the choir loft you notice a large window with the Immaculate Conception figure, surrounded by Angels singing.
Those stained glass windows are made by the Mayer Stained Glass Company in Munich, Germany.
The Basilica is filling up its approximately 560 seats with lots of people ending up standing in the isles...
Daylight is fading and the interior looks even more magical.
Mass is about to start and the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard is lined up...
This is a photo from 2 November post on the FB Page: Pilgrimage of Mercy: Tour of the Major Relics of St. Maria Goretti and husband Pieter and I are visible to the left of the purple hat..., I am standing next to the pillar and adjusting my iPhone.
Here in the center you see Celebrant: Reverend Edward Murphy and St. Maria Goretti remained to the right in the front of the Basilica before the high altar of Italian Carrara marble. 
There were maybe close to twenty Priests in this Solemn and partly Latin Mass that was such a blessing for being able to attend. For us it felt like being back in The Netherlands, or being back in Italy where Mass sounded a lot more similar. Sure the beautiful Basilica added to the incredible experience as well.

The sad fact however is that when I picked up a thick, local newspaper the next morning, anxious to read about this rare event, there was nothing. From Fr. Murphy I did learn that it got sent out to all media outlets in the north Florida area but quite unfortunately they did not pick it up. Even when his Church became a Basilica some years ago, they ignored the crowds and dignitaries that came.
Citizen Journalism is ALL that is left...

May our Angels and Saints pray with us for this World and especially at this time around the birth of our Prince of PEACE...

Related links:
Body of St. Maria Goretti Arriving in the U.S. | Pdf with more info about the Saints life

Basilica of the Immaculate Conception | video about this incredible building!

in English:

Just watch on YouTube and it automatically will go to the next version at the end; total of 15.


  1. It's wonderful that you got to attend the event in Florida. Sounds like it really meant a lot to you. The Basilica looks beautiful in the shape of cross. Such gorgeous stained glasses...and I love the glass coffin very much.
    Have a wonderful weekend, Mariette xoxo

  2. Dear Mariette, I am just back from reading the interesting story of St. Maria Goretti.
    I like the prayer card you still have since your childhood! You were blessed to be able to attend the mass in Florida, in that beautiful basilica!
    I wish you a lovely Sunday!!!!! Many hugs to you!!!!!

  3. Oh, how beautiful this must have been, my Dear Mariette! Such a lovely basilica and all those amazing angels standing by! Such a shame that there was no mention in the media. Lovely and peaceful events are not their usual repertoire, I regret to say. Such a blessing to participate. Sending wishes for a peaceful week for you both, leading up to Christmas. Hugs xo Karen

  4. Dearest Mariette,
    florida in Jacksonville the nethrland back in Italy mass sounded Basilliea adled experience as will.
    You did learn all media outlets in the North Florida area but unfortunately they did not pich it up, They ignored the crowed and digin itarley that came,
    You both of Hugs and Love time in Christmas.

  5. Dearest Mariette; Wow, it is fascinating to see the outstanding basilica; never knew what "basilica" was :-) And the angels 'which you love' look sweet and peaceful. I'm happy that you've visited the perfect event for you♪ Such majestic inside of the church and event; Thank you SO much for your sharing with us, Dear friend.

    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend in America, xoxo Miyako*

  6. Very interesting history,Mariette!!!!. Great woman. She rests in peace.

  7. Yo estuve este año en Italia y visite santa María de Goretti una santa que murió para salvar su honor

  8. This was fascinating and as I am always interested on historical facts, it was very appealing as well.xo

  9. Dearest Mariette,
    thank you for this wonderful post!
    Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas !
    Sending Love and hugs,

  10. C'est magnifique Mariette.
    Bonne fêtes de fin d'année à toi aussi et à ta famille.
    Grosses bises

  11. Hi Mariette: May I wish you, your husband, your family and your friends the very best of everything for 2016. May you have a year filled with joy. Big hugs from Canada. David


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