Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 4th, 2013

Harper's Ferry, West Virginia is one of my favorite places in the world.

Why? I don't really know. Maybe its the rustic, civil war town feel that captures my imagination. Perhaps its the bustling train station where passenger and freight trains mosey by. It could be the scenery, with the mountains surrounding the small riverside village. Whatever it is, I love Harper's Ferry.

I went there on July 4th, to spend a quiet day reading and exercising. So, I trekked down there, laden with A Man of the Beatitudes,my journal, prayer book and my trusty Bible (NAB), some water, my flat cap and a pair of cool shades, and spent the day relaxing. I saw on the map that there is a blacksmith shop nearby, so I went to check it out. To my dismay, it was closed. That will wait for another time, another time!

However, I climbed the hill that leads to the churches above the town, and got a tour of the quaint and majestic St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church.

This crucifix was imported from Italy, and is an approximate match to the Shroud of Turin. It was hand painted and serves as a beautiful devotional piece at the rear of the church.

This Sanctuary lamp dates back to before the Civil War, and is beautifully adorned in the style of its day. It survived the war and the remodeling done in 1888 (or thereabouts).

The altar featured a carved relief of the Last Supper, and behind it shows the tabernacle, flanked by three rows of candelabras. The ones in the middle, with the porcelain roses, are from the early 1800s.

Showing the whole sanctuary in its splendor. The marble is imported from Italy, and truly shows the faith of the builders of the church.
After touring the church, I nestled myself down in the ruins of the old Episcopal church and began to read. After a few hours, I got up, hiked on the Appalachian Trail to my car, went to St. James (the sister parish of St. Peter) for a visit. Afterwards, I traversed to Shepherdstown WV to visit Nick and O'Hurley's for another Thursday Jam Session.
Then, back to MD and to bed for me!
What a great Independence Day! 

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