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, February 22

Cathedra di San Pietro!!

Today is a glorious day here in Rome - it is the feast day of the Cathedra (Chair) of St. Peter, the celebration and rememberance of the apostolic mission of teaching and leading the universal Church by the successors to the apostles, in communion with the Holy Father as direct successor to St. Peter by authority of Jesus Christ.

How fitting, then, that today we were able to go to the Pope's General Audience - even more special was the fact that today marks the first of his own teaching catechesis (through last Wednesday, Benedict had been working off of themes chosen and begun by John Paul II), and it was quite a different style from past audiences, though just as beautifully preached.

The theme of the reflection was on the papacy and the apostolic mission of evangelization, for obvious reasons. But how the Holy Father went about this teaching was stunning - even with my very limited understanding of Italian I could pick up on many intertwining appeals to Scripture and the early Fathers of the Church, and to historical reason. At the end of the "real" Italian version, the Holy Father gives summaries of his commentary in the various languages, the usual suspects of French, English, German, etc -- but today (maybe he has been doing this for awhile?) he even gave a summary in Latin! That was pretty cool to hear!

At the conclusion of the audience, at long last, and to our great joy, we (concentrating hard to try to translate the important bits) realized that Benedict was announcing the calling of a consistory for the 24th of March, naming 15 new cardinals to the College of Cardinals (including two Americans, Abp. Levada of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Abp. O'Malley of Boston - no real surprises there...) (read a list of who the new cardinals are at the Cafeteria)

See Whispers, Asianews or Zenit (soon) for translations and info on the audience content.

For ourselves, it was also a wonderful time, as our early rising to be in line at 7:30am, and waiting in the rain outside the audience hall for two hours got us really good aisle seats for the Pope's entrance - one of our students this semester, Stephen Chase, actually got the hand grasp by Papa, to all of our joy! (Hopefully those photos turn out well for him!) We also were thrilled to see two of the Little Sisters of the Lamb, (our favorite Little order in Rome, God bless them! :) and was able to call them over to sit with us. In front of our group was another surprise - a bunch of fellow Minnesotans from Marshall MN, here on pilgrimage, so a grand time was had by all.

Well, I did take some pictures of the Basilica and the Altar of the Chair (all beautifully lit up for the feast day!), so I will put those up in a bit. No photos from the audience though, I was more interested in seeing him with my own eyes instead of the lens!

+ St. Peter - ora pro nobis!


  • At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    just thought you woudl like to know that now Cardinal Omalley celebrated mass and ate dinner with us last night here at SJV. He was here when it was announced that he would be cardinal. He is here for teh Apostolic visit of SJV. :)


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