Category Archives: Pilgrimages

TOLEDO: The Cathedral

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Yesterday I made a brief 45 minute visit to one of the most ancient sites of the Catholic Faith in Spain, the Cathedral of Toledo. Founded by the disciples of the Apostles in the first century after Christ, the Church of Toledo has had a continual succession of Bishops down to our day. And through it all the Church has received the patronage of Saints and Kings, so that it is today without a doubt one of the magnificent treasures of Catholic religious art along with being the resting place of countless Kings, queens, Bishops, clergy and not a few Saints.

I say a brief 45 minutes, because, if you even begin to pay attention to the art in this Church, it would take you days before you surveyed it all with due attention. But when you purchase a ticket they only give you 45 minutes at a time to view it.

Here are some videos and photos I took yesterday afternoon, to inspire you and convince you, if you are even in Spain, to head for the Cathedral of Toledo for a unique and unforgettable lesson in Catholic sacred art.

The style of this Cathedral is Spanish Gothic. And Indeed, I think you can say that the Gothic began here, seeing that Toledo was the capital of the Visogothic Kingdom.

The main doors, now opened only for visits of Popes and Kings.

The side door:

The same door, from a distance, showing its architectural context. This is the door to enter when visiting the Most Blessed Sacrament. While from the inside you cannot enter the whole of the Church, at least here you do not have to pay to enter.

The Choir, that is, the place where the Canons of the Cathedral recited the Divine Office together. Here the camera looks toward the Sanctuary, where the High Altar stands.

Here is the sanctuary:

Here is just one of the side altars dedicated to the Mother of God. The entire Cathedral is consecrated to Her, under Her title as Immaculate Conception.

Here is a fresco of the Last Judgement, from the Chapel of the Bishops. Notice that no clerics are to be found on the side of the damned. (I think the Bishops were not facing reality).

Here are 3 amazing illuminated manuscripts from the Cathedral Library:

Sanctuaries of Iberia: Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel in Exclesis

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

We Catholics who live outside of Europe do not appreciate the tremendous religious treasure which Catholics have built up in Europe during the last 2000 years: the most visible of which are the sanctuaries and shrines were our ancestors have venerated the Saints and adored the Most Holy Trinity.

On my mission to Spain, I therefore made it a point to begin with a pilgrimage, and first of all, to the Shrine of Saint Michael the Archangel in Excelsis, which is one of the oldest in Iberia.

Here is the history of the place:

The shrine can be found on a high mountain top, NE of Pamplona, just inside the Spanish border, after you enter from France. Here are the videos and photos I took yesterday:

Now I lit 9 candles for the intentions of my readers. You can write your petitions below, numbering them by the number of the Candle. And yes, there is no charge, and you can share the same candle.

Here are some photographs of the interior:

There is a church built behind the small carolingian altar, which I featured in the videos. This is it above.

And there are some banners made by the Catholics of the area, which they carry in procession:

Here is the beautiful processional cross of the Basilica:

Here is the main alter of the Carolingian chapel:

Here is the high alter of the larger Church in which the chapel is found:

And here are the horses which dwell on Saint Michael’s mountain:

There was even a little dog, who was glad to see me:


This morning I am at the Tomb of the Apostle, seeking the counsel of the great Saint James, the Greater, at Compostella, until 11:45 A. M., and Tomorrow I visit the sites where the 5 prayers were revealed during the apparitions of Saint Michael and our Lady at Fatima, Portugal.