The Roamin' Roman

Benvenuto! You have happened upon the blog of a wandering Catholic American college student studying for a year in Rome, the Eternal City. You will find here my pontifications, ruminations, reflections, images, and ponderings on my life in Rome. Ciao!

Friday, December 9

The Holy Father and our Blessed Mother

I hope everyone's solemnity went well, here I've had a very busy couple of days! As mentioned earlier, our celebration of the feast of the Immaculate Conception started on Wednesday night with a solemn Mass here. Then, on yesterday morning I and a couple of others got up early to go to the Papal Mass at St. Peter's.

Amazing, we've only been here a few months but we've already reached the point where we can go to a papal event at the Vatican and actually FIND people in the crowds that we know. We've got nothing on Fr. Carola's contact list, but hey, we all have to start somewhere! We were able to get fairly decent seats, which put us just off of the center aisle, and just across the aisle from a group of girls studying here from Franciscan U in Steubenville that we know, and the wonderful Little Sisters of the Lamb, an active Dominican order from France. The seminarians and deacons from the North American College served for the Mass, we were thrilled to see them on this special feast day, the feast of the patroness of the United States. The Pope's homily was wonderful, though I had to wait until Amy found this English translation online to get the full details (Fr. Carola sat with the NAC guys instead of us this time, so we were left to our own meger mental translations powers - "What'd he say?" "uh, something about the Immaculate Conception." :)

After Mass, I stuck around the Vatican to attend the Pope's Angelus prayer and address, it was a surprise to hear him bless the Olympic flame (I couldn't see the Swiss Guard holding it, didn't know that part until later!). Text of the Angelus message can be found here.

After going home for a bite to eat, a group of us headed out again, this time to join the Pope at his annual laying of roses at the foot of the statue of the Immaculate Conception in the Piazza di Spagna (a little ways from the Spanish Steps), and of offering prayers and entrustment to our Mother. News story here.

Those were the only times I saw the Pope today. :) Near to the Piazza di Spagna, there is an Irish convent that our friend Zadok the Roman knew about, that offers a bit of an afternoon tea and refreshments every year following the Pope's appearance in the piazza. A very neat place, tucked away by the metro stop (another one of those secret doors of Rome, I'm telling you, behind every plain looking door in Rome there is some really cool garden, house, convent, church, something) and they had some very fine tea steaming hot for us - very well-received after standing in the rain for over an hour with 10,000 other humans.

No, that's not the end of the story either (wow!), because after I made my way back to the house, people were getting ready to walk over to the NAC to join them on their annual day of Consecration to Jesus through Mary, according to St. Louis Marie de Montfort's teaching, as I think I mentioned in the last post. It was beautifully done, a lot of people came. Through the consecration we affirmed (or reaffirmed) our intention to live out a life of faith in Jesus Christ, following Mary as our highest example of the Christian life, making her fiat, her "yes" to God, our own.

We finally got back home for good at around 10pm last night. Whew!

Oh, and did I mention that we had our first oral final exam bright and early this morning? (No fear - we all did just fine :)


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