Day 2 - Digest

Today began with a train ride to Kamakura, a 12th-century city on the coast. The first stop was the Zen Engaku-ji Temple, founded in 1282 by Mugaku Sogen to honor those killed in wars against Mongolia. The quiet and peacefulness of the temple grounds, meditation rooms, and garden were palpable.

After a lovely lunch, we visited the Great Buddha of Kamakura. The national treasure began in 1252 and completed approximately 10 years later. Our group remained in the shade as we are still acclimating to the incredible heat and humidity (Japan just experienced its hottest July on record!).

We then visited the Sisters of the Visitation and they welcomed us with cold towels, iced tea, warm smiles, and a delightful homemade welcome banner. Hailing from Japan, Vietnam, East Timor, and the Philippines, these ~25 sisters live in a community dedicated to living the values outlined in Laudato Si, specifically to care for the earth and the poor. The joy exuded by these women was inspiring!

We prayed the Novena together and celebrated Mass with them in their chapel. After Mass, they prepared a meal for us, and we learned about each other and our shared desire for peace. We exchanged gifts, and they sent us on our way with beautiful songs expressing their gratitude.

Our Lady of Peace, pray for us; St. Francis, pray for us.