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!

Thursday, April 20

What's this? This is a peek down into the confessio (the sunken area beneath the papal altar, with the tomb of St. Peter, and the box where the episcopal palliums are kept) through the gates... why? Because on very few high feast days, at Vespers, there is a procession to the confessio during the singing of the Magnificat canticle in order to incense the tomb of the first Pope, St. Peter. The reason I was lucky enough to be in this spot, to get this photo and the following ones, is thanks to the selfishness of Italian nuns. Let me just say that when you go to St. Peter's, and you go to Vespers, don't get their too late or they will be out of programs - and Italian nuns will be lined up 8 deep each holding a program but there is no way on God's green earth that any one of them will be so kind as to give you one when you ask them for it! (I tried 6 different groups of nuns, by the way - none of them would share.) I finally, after all the stress of Holy Week, got fed up with the whole thing and actually LEFT the Vespers service, intending to go pray by myself elsewhere in the basilica until Jason finished. Well... I was praying when suddenly the lights came on in the center of the basilica, and when I looked back I saw that the Easter flowers looked really nice. Me being easily distracted (sadly), I then thought it would be great to get a photo of the confessio looking so beautiful and went over. Well - I realized that they were moving back the barrier ropes... why? Duh - I realized that today was Easter, and of course on Easter they were going to incense Peter's tomb! I also realized that no one else figured this out yet, and so I quickly got into position right in front of the confessio gate. :) Then, I had to chuckle (quietly) again, as I witnessed the Vatican security guards attempting to find the key for the confessio gates!! LOL! They finally got it open, just as I heard the chanting of the Magnificat begin...


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