I could not help but think of the irony, as countless pilgrims gather in Philly to greet Pope Francis, that I once again would be missing the opportunity to see our beloved pontiff. Yet, now as then, the Holy Spirit has a purpose for where I am and intended to be. As I keep the home fires burning, I will be following the events with baited anticipation! God bless Papa Francesco and all those who are traveling to attend the World Meeting of Families this week.
A Spirit Led Day in Rome
A year ago July, as a graduate student with Loyola Chicago, I was in Rome. Given a free day to (pardon the pun) roam around, I hadn’t made any definitive plans. A couple of friends had invited me to take two early morning trains out to Castel Gandolfo on the uncertainty that Pope Francis was to appear there that day. Alas, he was there..I was not. Sunburned and needing more sleep, I decided to climb back into bed forgoing this graced opportunity.
Yet the Spirit, as it so often is known to do, would not disappoint! Heading down to breakfast, I was greeted with my cocoa toasted cappuccino and my other friends who had yet to finalize their day. After expressing my interest to see the Divine Mercy Shrine at The Church of Santo Spirito, we all agreed that would be a good starting place! Upon arrival, we were greeted by… wedding guests and the beautiful tones of Ave Maria as the bride walked down the aisle. This would be one of four weddings we were to glimpse that day!
From there to San Teodoro and into one of the most beloved bakeries in Rome, Cristalli di Zucchero.
To an incredible farmer’s market
then a few minutes of Adoration at the Church of San Teodoro al Palentino. Earlier at the bakery, we had spoken with a Religious Art student from Paris who had told us of a beautiful fresco of Mary in Santo Sabina’s. This was coincidentally was up Aventine Hill, where my friend MaryEllen had wanted to go. Considered one of the most spectacular views of Rome, it left us all breathless.