|The Altar of the Chair at St. Peter's|
In the midst of this beautiful weather, the Cœtus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum, who advocate for devotion to the older forms of the liturgy of the Roman Church, held their annual pilgrimage to the Eternal City. I was able to join a few priests from the house and attend a few of their events over the weekend.
The week culminated in a Solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter's Basilica by the great Cardinal Burke. Pope Francis sent a letter expressing his prayers and offering his Apostolic Blessing to all present and Pope Benedict XVI sent a letter saying that, while he could not be present, he was pleased to hear of the event and offered his prayers esteem. The liturgy was stunningly beautiful with music supplied by the choir of the North American College's Seminary. Making the day even more enjoyable was the procession across the city of Rome which preceded the liturgy. We had the great joy of processing up the middle of the street which leads to St. Peter's all whilst singing hymns, prayers, and even the Creed (every Catholic should know how to sing the Creed in Latin, really. Hearing a hundred priests, seminarians, and religious, followed by hundreds more faithful all singing the Creed together was indescribably beautiful and quintessentially Catholic.)
Fr. Zulsdorf has some pictures of the day on his blog - the back of my head (manifestly, my 'good-side') features on the left side of many of his pictures as I was a few places ahead of him in procession.
|Waiting for Mass to begin|
1) A man who had just walked 74 days from Switzerland along the Pilgrim's route to Rome who was looking for the pilgrimage office of the Holy See.
2) An Italian group looking for the Church of the Holy Spirit where there is a great shrine to the Divine Mercy devotion.,
3) Two French women looking for the French national church in Rome which houses some magnificent painting by Carravaggio.
4) An Italian woman who is the daughter of a diplomat from Venice, but who grew up all over Europe and now lives in London (who spoke impeccable English but insisted that I give directions in my abysmal Italian...) and is looking forward to leaving with her husband to do missionary work in South America soon.
And that was just a 20 minute walk home!
I'm taking today off to recover... :)