The Missions: San Francisco and San José

Unless the mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity...Consequently, being missionaries means loving God with all one's heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for him. - Pope Benedict XVI

as you may know, the cave of st. francis houses a large bee hive at the entrance. to date only one group has been assaulted by the hive. today marks the second. a call came in saying that there were people stuck in the cave and they couldn't get up to them to get them out because the bees were going beserk. so, up we went to investigate. when i got to the second landing in the truck the three men and i jumped out and a single bee started making threats. i brushed it off and figured the hike up to the cave would be a piece of cake. as we began our ascent the only sound to be heard was a persistent hum. as we came closer to the mouth of the cave the hum had changed to a distinct buzz. then i heard one of the men say "here's one." i have to admit, the sight of a woman having been stung some 300-1000 (impossible to say) times startled me. she had bees in her hair and stingers covered her entire body. she just laid there barely breathing. so, we hoisted her up and started down. the bees took notice and didn't want to relinquish their prey so easily. having a full on bee attack can be quite nerve racking. they seem to get everywhere and the only recourse is to keep calm. i'd swear in a court of law that they actually entered the back of my baseball cap and knocked it off from the inside twice.

we finally made it down and took her to the hospital, which was already full of 15 or so others who had made it down under their own power. thankfully it appears as if all will be okay.

interestingly, neither i nor the man who was helping me was stung. i attribute that to good ole saint francis.


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