Saturday, July 12, 2008
The Maternal Presence and I returned from Rome last night, after an exhausting overnight train ride from Rome to Paris, which included the joy of the train breaking down in Switzerland, getting into Paris 5 hours late, missing our Eurostar and waiting an hour for a taxi! Still, they say pilgrimages are meant to be a bit of a strain! Rome was wonderful, extremely hot, but we paced ourselves. We stayed at the magnificent Residenza Paolo VI (photo at the top) where, from the roof terrace you can look directly into the Holy Office. With binoculars, I managed to see on the desk of the Prefect, Cardinal Levada, the document officially condemning a whole list of 'AmChurch' horrors. Actually, we could see that the decorators were in: I wonder if that means a change of hands come the end of the Summer holidays? The line into St. Peter's was nothing like as bad as two years ago, when it circled the Square two times. One could actually walk in around 5.00pm with no wait! We had a beautiful visit to Santa Croce, where Brother Ryan, an American member of the Cistercian community, kindly showed us around, through the good offices of Father Mark at Vultus Christi. We prayed especially at the tomb of 'Nennolina,' the little six year old who is soon to be beatified. Her tomb seems to be becoming a real centre of devotion - a large group of Italian school children were praying as we left. Other than that - the Pauline Year visit to St. Paul's Outside the Walls (Plenary Indulgence gained) - some very enjoyable meals - and the new parish placed in the hands of the Prince of the Apostles!