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!

Wednesday, December 7

Smile! It's a Holy Day of Opportunity!

Tomorrow is the solemnity celebrating the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which we thank God for His work in Mary, preserving her from stain of sin so that she would be fittingly prepared to contain the living God within her, as His Living Tabernacle.

(Confused? Why the Immaculate Conception)

Tonight, in honor of the feast day, Fr. Carola and two of our spiritual directors celebrated a wonderful Vigil Mass for the feast in the house chapel, as part of our weekly Wednesday Evening program (Wednesday is our "stay-at-home" night, with Adoration, Mass, discussion and dinner).

Fr. Carola celebrated the Mass in chanted Latin for the special occasion, and we had prepared all this past week to be able to chant all of the responses properly (we mostly needed help with the Gloria and Credo). It all paid off, tonight's liturgy was splendid. Every celebration of the Mass is, of course, THE Mass, and Jesus Christ is the center of our worship. But as humans created with bodily senses, and an innate yearning for a sense of mystery and transcendence in our worship, it's always nice to participate in a liturgy that engages all of our God-given senses.

Here in Italy, which still recognizes the major holy days legally as public holidays, we don't have any classes tomorrow. We are thus free to go to the Papal Mass at the Vatican in the morning, then to the papal Angelus, and then to go to the annual offering of flowers by the Pope to the Virgin Mary in the Piazza di Spagna in the afternoon. Later on, a group of us are going over to the North American College seminary to participate with them in the Consecration to Jesus through Mary. As you can see it will be a full day of celebration for us here!

I know most of you won't be quite that busy celebrating the feast day :) but I pray that God will bless you all abundantly, and fill you full with His grace, through the intercession of our Blessed Mother. And hey, while you're at it, enjoy the added blessing of a plenary indulgence!

Deus, qui per immaculatam Virginis Conceptionem dignum Filio tuo habitaculum praeparasti, quaesumus, ut qui ex morte eiusdem Filii tui praevisa eam ab omni labe praeservasti, nos quoque mundos, eius intercessione, ad te pervenire concedas. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin didst make ready a fitting habitation for Thy Son, we beseech Thee that Thou who didst keep her clean from all stain by the precious death of the same Thy Son, foreseen by Thee, mayest grant unto us in like manner to be made clean through her intercession and so attain to Thee. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


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