Dear Magdala Family:
October has us hooked on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary. This month, the Church wants us to once more return to those mysteries that embody the life of Christ and for us to contemplate them by the hand of the Virgin Mary, the most important protagonist in salvation history.
Last month you joined us once more in watching our October 2020 virtual pilgrimage; for some of you, perhaps this was a replay; for others, it may have been the first time watching it. Through these unrepeatable scenes of the Holy Land, we would like everyone to fall in love with this wonderful land, which allows us to add color, weather, and scenery to the life of God Incarnate.
In Magdala, we are in “gala” mode this month as TripAdvisor recently awarded Magdala its prestigious “Best of Best” award and ranked Magdala among the major landmarks of the Middle East. I would like to comment on this for those unfamiliar with the subject.
TripAdvisor is an online platform and app that people use when traveling. Users find information about trips, restaurants, hotels, and places to visit, among others. The platform has over 500 million users who can share and rate their experiences. For example, if you go to a restaurant, you can rate your experience on TripAdvisor with as many or as few details as you prefer. So, if you choose a hotel, ride, or attraction, you can check the ratings from others and read their comments. This makes the recommendations and awards that TripAdvisor offers very unbiased and highly valuable as it is people themselves qualifying the site and not algorithms.
For this reason, we consider the recognition given to Magdala as a great gift from our visitors. They are the ones who, through TripAdvisor, have placed us as the top 17th best landmark to visit in the Middle East. We have to admit that the fact impresses us. We deeply appreciate it and also understand the responsibility it bears upon us. We must commit wholly and put 110% of our efforts into continuing to build the entire Magdala project to make it a memorable experience, an encounter that transforms lives, and, finally, an encounter with God.
So, to you, our valued friends, pilgrims, visitors, and family members, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing what Magdala has meant to each of you. Thank you for sharing your review of our site, work, and team. The Psalm says: “The Lord has been great with us, and we are happy.”
We are now heading into the final part of 2022. A year full of blessings. November will be busy as we prepare our next Lenten Virtual Pilgrimage of 2023. We ask for your prayers, so the Lord guides and accompanies us on this journey. I have to confess that perhaps this upcoming virtual pilgrimage, together with the Virtual Pilgrimage of the Rosary, is the one that, personally, attracts me the most. Furthermore, we will have a joyous celebration of “Thanksgiving Day,” thus joining the American people in their Thanksgiving, and we will enter the Advent Season and Christmas with some surprises, which we will share along the way. Stay tuned for our Advent program so that we are may prepare ourselves for a Holy Christmas.
From a busy and buzzing Magdala, visited by numerous pilgrims, we send you our best wishes while asking for your prayers for our ministry.
Fr. Juan María Solana, L.C. and Magdala team.
Would you like to share your Magdala Experience on Tripadvisor? Click here