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Home > News > In the San Rafael Cabin and the Ribalera Ravine
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In the San Rafael Cabin and the Ribalera Ravine      
On November 28 he celebrated Mass in the ravine of La Ribalera    

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View towards the Ribalera ravine      

As you know, from 22 to 27 November 1937 Saint Josemaría and those who accompanied him were hidden in the Cabana de San Rafael waiting for the warning that they could leave for Andorra when Josep Cirera, the main guide of the expedition.

The Cabana de Sant Rafel was a coal miners cabin located in the forests of Pallerols half an hour's walk from the church of Pallerols, heading north.

José María Albareda, in a letter from 1938, says:

"And they took us to some huts. There were eight of us in my cabin. Pine trunks covered with twigs. And inside straw. Straw and smoke. In this small space there were a kitchen, dining room, bedroom, and recreation or living room. He was fine there, I confess… I spent more than a week there. One night we left."

They had a schedule: Every day they celebrated the Eucharist, prayed for a while, prayed the rosary, walked, bathed in a nearby pond, visited other fugitives who were hiding in other huts in the area, ...

   
     
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The San Rafael cabin in the Pallerols woods
 - The San Rafael cabin in the Pallerols woods
   
   
     
With Bishop Javier Echevarría, in 2015, reading the historical documents in the Cabaña de San Rafael
 - With Bishop Javier Echevarría, in 2015, reading the historical documents in the Cabaña de San Rafael
   
   
     
Celebration of Holy Mass in the Cabaña de San Rafael
 - Celebration of Holy Mass in the Cabaña de San Rafael
   
   
     
Towards the Ribalera
 - Towards the Ribalera
   
   
     
A group walking towards the Ribalera
 - A group walking towards the Ribalera
   
   
     
Advancing towards the Ribalera
 - Advancing towards the Ribalera
   
   
     

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A group celebrating Mass in the Ribalera
 - A group celebrating Mass in the Ribalera
   
   
     

On the 27th at 6 pm they left for the Ribalera Ravine. Manuel Sainz de los Terreros recalls this in a brief personal diary from 1937:

"Mateo came, and unexpected departure at 6 in the afternoon. We went 23 and Mateo and Pallarés to a ravine which we arrived at 6 in the morning. Cold, walking in the dark difficult, annoying and falls. We slept 3 hours in the grotto. Mass in the ravine and eating something and sleeping (impossible, everything is sloping with stones)".

Regarding the Mass celebrated by Saint Josemaría in La Ribalera on the morning of November 28, Antoni Dalmases writes in his diary from 1937:

"Here takes place the most exciting act of the trip: the Holy Mass. On a rock, kneeling, almost lying on the ground, says a priest, who comes with us, the Mass. He does not pray it like the other priests in the churches. He speaks the prayers aloud, he almost cries, and we imitate him, some lying down, others kneeling [...]. Only the Father is heard. His clear and heartfelt words get into the soul. I have never heard Mass like today, I don't know if because of the circumstances or because the celebrant is a saint. "

After the Mass, the people of Juncàs brought them a good breakfast and around 5 pm Josep Cirera arrived and took them in 4 nights to Andorra, where they arrived on the morning of December 2.

Note.- To expand on this brief story, you can read the book "Camino de Liberación", pages 58 to 91, and pages 245 to 253, where you will find the testimonies written by the protagonists of the expedition.




   

   
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Cabana de Sant Rafel, November 25, 2020
©2020. Associació d'Amics del Camí de Pallerols de Rialb a Andorra



   
Associació d'Amics del Camí de Pallerols de Rialb a Andorra.   Av. Diagonal, 620, 1er. 2a, 08021 - Barcelona (Spain) . Tel.: (+34) 629 910 612