My cousin is currently touring Paris and her experiences she’s been sharing, made me think of our time there.
Before going to Paris, I of course, checked off the places I wanted to visit. My husband only had one desire and that was the Latin District because of their food. We for sure went there…twice!
On the day we visited Galleries Lafayette, we headed out of this magnificent shopping center to find a place to eat. We walked, walked, slow walked, fumbled, and began finding ourselves frustrated. From leaving the Galleries, we thought for sure we would run into a nice bistro, but for some reason we kept making turns into more buildings that didn’t provide any food or drink. We were lost!!!
So as my husband said “let’s just go down this way and if we don’t find anything, we’ll find a cab and go back to an area we know”. Fine. I agreed as I was dizzy and hungry.
So we walked and found some passers-by. Shops started to appear here and there. Next thing we see, is a cafe. Meats and cheeses. Breads. Olives. Jams. And of course, wine!! We had no idea that we were now in Montmarte.
We felt like we died and gone to heaven. Right away, the waiter provides us a table facing outward to the street. Sets us up and gives us full attention. The bites were delicious!!! My husband and I couldn’t believe how delighted and joyful we were at what we stumbled upon. And while we were almost done, I remember peeking out towards the right and looking up in between some high trees and noticed a steeple. I couldn’t believe what my eyes were showing me. So I focused again. Then I asked the waiter, “is that Sacre-Coeur?????” He said, “Yes!”
I jumped out of my seat and told my husband, we got to go! It’s not that far and we are already so close. We can’t let go of this opportunity. Good thing the food refueled us. We were now on our way to this historic church that I only read about and had marked down on my planner to see, but due to time and it appearing that it was not going to be in our radius to visit, I had scratched it off and figured, we wouldn’t see it.
We arrived in about 10 minutes.
It was everything I thought it would be. We stood there at the bottom of the steps and admired it. My husband was ready to move on and I said…”we have to go inside.” He said, “the only way in is by these steps.” I said, “let’s go!” To reach top, it took 270 steps. The views were amazing. There were many visitors around just enjoying this spot. You could see the city clearly on this late afternoon.
We get to the line where people are forming to go inside the church. And as we get closer, there’s a big sign stating “NO CAMERAS, NO VIDEO, NO PICTURES PLEASE!” I wish I could’ve taken pictures inside. Even now, it’s hard for me to remember what I saw and wished I would’ve written it down. But I do recall it’s design and thinking it didn’t look like most cathedrals from that time. The altars made me wonder who had come to pray at them. The main altar glistened in gold. The candles flickered in every direction. The respect inside was evident. You were in a sacred space. My husband and I prayed and thanked God for bringing us here.
How is it that we ended up in this spot? All the wrong ways we thought we were taking and yet they were not. The recognition was fully there that Our Gracious God had led us to Sacre-Coeur. To experience not only this basilica, but to embrace its name as well. This basilica is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. What it is, what it stands for, speaks to our visit there more than just taking in its views. But from what my husband and I experienced in our time of marriage, what I experienced in my 40 years of life (trip was a birthday and anniversary celebration) was hallmarked in this adventure.
How I ask in my prayers that our marriage be consecrated in His Most Sacred Heart.
Thank you Jesus for the glories, the graces, the adventures you have given us to not only experience for travel sake, but for the soul and our relationship to You in them all. +++