Rome Travelogue - Day Five - Beatification of JPII

10:34 PM
Sunday, May 1st, was the day of Pope John Paul II's Beatification. The night before there was a thrill in the air as St. Peter's Square filled up with sleeping bags.

We put in an early wake-up call and started to walk towards the Vatican from our hotel. We knew we weren't going to get anywhere near the square, but we hoped to get near enough to hear or watch one of the big screen TVs that Rome had erected in many locations to simulcast the event. We found ourselves in several locations near Castel Sant'Angelo.
In the above Map, we are a straight shot back. My husband estimates about 1/4 mile and further back off screen than this picture shows. It's about as close as we could get with an estimated 1.5 million others there. We had a screen ahead of us to watch and we could hear the square. The shade of the Tiber trees were beside us. All in all, a perfect spot was found! Even a park bench opened up for us to sit on. Our trip has been replete with graces such as these.

We had to photograph this Priest, trying to get a better vantage point. He was climbing Castel Sant Angelo! He spared himself possible injury and came back down.
I wonder what a day like this, so full of excitement and humanity impresses upon a young mind?

My "littles" seemed full of wonder. Below my daughter is wearing a Hairbows4life headband with an Italian medal of JPII on it, specially made by Cecilia!

Here's our spot on the side of Castel Sant Angelo among the many Polish.
This was the Big Screen TV in front of us, here showing the Pope.

My camera's video capability, while nice, doesn't have a stabilizer. Forgive the shake, please. Some singing...and a boy, caught up in the moment.

Much of the Mass was in Latin, the Churches language and universal to all nations. It was nice to hear those beside me pray with me eventhough we did not speak the same language. Balloons were released and at the end massive cheers. Some tried applauding at parts during the Mass but over the loudspeakers came prompt instructions to refrain. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI knew to guide the flock correctly, as JPII would have as well. Applause do not belong during Mass and take away from the reverent focus that should be paid to Christ alone. After Mass the cheering and heart swelling exuberance was joyful and timely. BLESSED JOHN PAUL II, ora pro nobis.

Yes, we do.

We had a great lunch at San Marcos afterwards. The children have loved ordering Margherita pizzas everyday and here the pasta was wonderful as well. At this outdoor cafe we watched groups returning from the festivities while we sipped wine and cappuccinos....nothing like a Roman sidewalk cafe.

After a rest at the hotel, we plotted our afternoon adventures. A few minutes from our hotel and across the Tiber was Piazza del Popolo. O how we luv it there! It is also the start of the Dolce Vita walk, a straight and generally car free stroll through shops and restaurants with side streets taking you the Trevi fountain and Spanish Steps. Refreshed, we were up for it. I think we've enjoyed the walkability of Rome excessively.
The Twin Churches in the Popolo square. We must have been in more than a dozen churches. They are everywhere and so breathtaking. In Rome, Our Lord is never far and at many moments throughout the day we could visit splendor...and say a prayer, for you. Where else can you do that? Rome is truly Christ's place to rule and preside, as an uncle once wrote me.
The charm of these streets is addicting. I couldn't hold in my squeels. Can't capture the color soaked scenes adequately.
In oldest son's hands is a small tiramisu cake that he wanted to eat on the Spanish steps. They all ate heartily.
Caro Mio
Being a part of the scene on the Spanish Steps.

Second son kicking back and photographing his feet on the Spanish steps, a hang out.
The sun began to set on our day...perfect timing. We were going to get some amazing views from the top.
Below are my teens, the two oldest at the Church atop the Spanish steps.
Freaking me out is my adventurous daughter, held...tightly, by my husband.
Look at those happy faces!

Here, I can tell I have caught something special. What are they looking at in awe?
Yes, it is the colorful sunset on the Church Domes. Rain had been predicted but somehow I knew that on a day of a Beatification that would not happen....

Linger. Stare. Breathe. Wishing time would stand still.

Like something out of a movie poster... Italy reflects such golden hews.
Another magical night, we return back to the spacious Popolo square where there's room to run in the night air and listen to our favorite saxaphone player filling the square with Italian melodies that we'll never forget. One of us would humm them to sleep in his bed at nights.

Thanking God for such a day as this. Could cry just writing this...

Didn't think we could love a place this much.....


cecilia said...

Dear Allison, let me thank you for your marvellous reports from Rome. I am glad you appreciate my country so much! I just hope you'll have time and opportunity to visit Italy again and maybe also to pay me e visit in Florence! Love, Cecilia (from MKs)

Jamie Jo said...

Oh, I had tears pouring down my cheeks as I read this beautiful post. I feel as though I'm there with you. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful pilgrimage with all of us!

You have a multitude of graces poured upon you just for going.

Happy Mother's day my friend!

Mom2Seven said...

Oh, I love the picture of your husband and daughter! Happy Mother's Day! +JMJ+

elena maria vidal said...

Beautiful photos, beautiful places, beautiful family.

amy said...

I second what Jamie Jo said. I can scarcely read any of these posts without my eyes filling with joyful tears. My heart soars for you all and I am so thankful you shared it with us. Love, love, love all the photos.

Much love and a Happy Mother’s Day to you!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible you mistook the Italian for Latin? The pope says his Masses in Italian, not Latin, except for some parts occasionally.

+JMJ+ said...

Hi Anonymous,

The propers may indeed have been in Italian but the fixed prayers were in Latin and recognizable to us as we've attended the Latin Mass for the last 5 years.

Dominus Vobiscum....

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