A city break to Milan

I had always heard that Milan is a city of fashion, culture and delicious Italian food. A perfect mixture of all the things that I love. This made my husband and me plan a four – day trip to this gorgeous city and experience all of this first hand. We visited in July, and the weather was lovely and warm with a mixture of clear blue skies, the sparkling sun and also a torrent of rain to cool things down. The moment we landed and after we settled into our hotel, we went out for a walk and to eat dinner at this cute authentic Italian restaurant with the most cozy decor and a huge selection of Italian wine. I was absolutely taken aback by the beauty of the city and the relaxed happy vibe that this city exuded.

IMG_3427IMG_3462

The architecture, the cozy cafes with people sitting outside and laughter rippling through the air, the gentle breeze, the young professionals returning from work in their stylish clothes and accessories, people queuing outside the gelato stores filled with innumerable mouth-watering flavours…. it was truly a sight that warmed my heart and filled me with excitement!

I absolutely love visiting churches and The Duomo (Cathedral of Milan) dedicated to St. Mary of the nativity is one of the most beautiful churches that I have laid my eyes on. It is truly majestic with amazing detail and intricate carvings. We even walked all the way to the top to catch a view of the vibrant city. Sitting inside and praying was a truly humbling experience for me.

IMG_3505
The Duomo – Milan Cathedral
IMG_3547
Inside the Duomo

We were super lucky to have the opportunity to see the Last Supper painting by Leonardo Da Vinci, preserved in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. 

IMG_3529
The Last Supper – Leonardo Da Vinci

Right next to the Duomo is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is the world’s oldest active shopping mall and boasts an iron and glass roof. It is packed with designer stores, jewellery shops, chic restaurants and is alive with talents musicians busking and artists sketching potraits of tourists.

IMG_3507

We also visited the Sforza Castle, which was built by the Duke of Milan and contains several museums, luscious green lawns and a gorgeous water fountain at the entrance.

IMG_3571

Being a food lover, Italian being one of my favourite cuisines, I absolutely feasted on the delicious pastas, pizzas, lemoncello and gelatos! Here is us looking super happy visiting this gorgeous city.

IMG_3563IMG_3544

IMG_3567
On top of the Duomo

Milan was everything that I ever imagined it to be and more. It is a great place for a city break. Have you ever visited? Would love to hear what you loved about the city!xx

IMG_3418

A channel of your peace

Happy Sunday loves!

I hope you’re having a great one so far. Everyday on listening to the news, I always hear about all the suffering and hardships this world is facing. It is an era of unrest and turmoil. But it is also a world of compassion, kindness and love. We must not lose courage and strive to become a channel of God’s peace and love. There is always hope that one day we can all live together in peace and harmony.

IMG_0804

Below is one of my favourite hymns titled “Make me a channel of your peace”

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring you love; 

Where there is injury, your healing power,

And where there's doubt, true faith in you. 

Make me a channel of your peace:
Where there's despair in life let me bring hope; 
Where there is darkness - only light,
And where there's sadness, ever joy. 

O Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood, as to understand, 
To be loved, as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving to all that we receive,
And in dying that we are born to eternal life. 

 

Amen!

 

Miracle Prayer

I have had a sudden urge to publish this and share it with all of you. A few months ago whilst attending mass at my local church, I headed to pray to the sacred heart of Jesus. This is when I saw this beautiful handwritten prayer titled ‘Miracle Prayer’ resting at the feet of the statue. I took a picture of it. I never really prayed using this particular prayer until recently, for a special request from God.

sacred-heart

” Dear Heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked for many favours, this time I ask for a special one (mention here). Take it dear Lord, dear Heart of Jesus and place it within your own broken heart where your father sees it, then in his merciful eyes it will become your favour not mine ” (To be said for 3 days)

Isn’t it just a sweet and beautiful prayer.

Image courtesy: straphaelslifeteen.com

 

 

Do remember this Christmas!

The feeling of cold and crisp winter air on your face, soft snow flakes falling gently and curling on the window ledge, a cup of steaming and delicious hot chocolate in front of the blazing fire, a choir melodiously singing carols in the town centre and children sitting on santa’s lap asking for a present for being good all year round, sparkly christmas trees, lots of mulled wine and egg nog, minced pies, a rush to get all the christmas shopping done, parties, dinners and family gatherings….yup! all sounds like that beautiful time of the year again – Christmas! And I don’t know about you, but yes I do love this festival 🙂

It is a glorious celebration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. However, let us not forget, his parents; St. Joseph and Mother Mary.

Mary was born to St. Anne and St. Joachim of Israel. Joachim was a wealthy man and always made a double offering to God. He was once denied to do so first, as he had not raised a child (Anne and Joachim had been trying for an offspring for a long time). As a result, Joachim went into the desert, pitched his tent there and decided to fast for forty days and forty nights whilst praying to God for an offspring. Anna, who was also frustrated, sat under a laurel tree and prayed to God to bless her with an offspring, just as he had blessed Sarah (wife of Abraham) with Isaac. Suddenly, an angel appeared to Anne revealing that her prayer had been answered by the Lord and that she will be blessed with an offspring. On hearing this, Anna was overjoyed and vouched to dedicate her child to serving the Lord. Nine months later, Anna gave birth to a baby girl, Mary.

At the age of three, Mary was presented to the temple by her parents in order to be educated and serve the Lord. When she reached the age of fourteen, the priest of the temple had a visitation from an angel stating to gather all the widowers of the region and ask them to carry a staff. The one that the Lord points out to, shall be Mary’s husband. The priest did as he was told, and a dove came out of Joseph’s staff ; and he was the chosen one.

Mary through the power of the holy spirit, conceived Jesus. She is a symbol of compassion, kindness, innocence, mercy and is a pure soul.

St. Joseph, was a working man, a carpenter and not well to do. He once offered two turtle-doves (pigeons) as a sacrifice to the Lord, as he could not afford a lamb. He was hardworking, righteous and dedicated his life to serve God and obey his commands. Above all, he loved Jesus dearly and did everything he could to protect his child. When an angel appeared to him and told him to leave the town as his child was not safe, he did as he was told and stayed in Egypt, till he was further instructed that it was safe to return.

Let us celebrate Christmas this year, by remembering the humble parents of Jesus and their life. Let us remember their virtues and strive to imbibe these in our daily lives.

featured image courtesy: filcatholic.org