Catholic Spirituality,  JPII,  Life in Italy

Epic Gifts

So we had a great Palm Sunday, and now I totally get why this is known as the mass-which-is-dreaded-by-parents because hello children, please pick up your weapon at the door. So I get that now. But ain’t nothing going to bring me down today because eye poking aside, we received some crazy crazy news via early morning text message letting us know that our family – all 5 of us, right down to the petite little miss – will be hopping on a plane 9 days from today and flying across the pond yet again to visit Bella Roma for the canonization of my absolutely favorite holy man in all the land, John Paul II.

Yeah, you read that right; we’re going back to Rome, and we’re brining the baby.

So by official count, I think the Vatican can now expect 5 million and five pilgrims for the happy event. I cannot even fathom that this is happening, or that we’re really flying internationally with the kids again, but when God hands you an opportunity like this, you don’t hesitate for a silly reason like stark terror over 13 hours of flying. Nope. You just hop in the car and head to Walgreens for a passport photo shoot and utter prayers of thanksgiving that one of five passport offices in the United States that has the capacity to expedite the application process happens to be in your hometown.

God, You are ridiculous. And this Holy Week is going to be epic.

Can’t  wait to tell you the full, crazy story behind it all. And please check out Evie’s mugshot.


Happiest of Holy Weeks…may we all enter deeply into His Passion, death, and resurrection. As for me, I’ll be reborn over a steaming cappuccino in the Eternal City in a little over a week and a half. (Can I take some of your prayers and intentions with me? Leave them in the comments below, or email them directly. I’d love to pray for you there.)


  • Susan H.

    WOOO-HOOO!!!! I seriously just woke the toddler with my whooping. If I wasn’t three thousand weeks preggo, I’d be on that plane with you! My hubby and I had our marriage blessed by him in 2000. We’re sort of super-fans. And, in his honor, we’re hosting a big cannoization/divine mercy partay with some of our most passionate JPII friends here at home. I’ll be thinking of you. What JOY!! Safe travels!!

  • Laura Pearl

    Oh, how wonderful for you! We are fortunate to have a 2001 papal blessing from JPII, for the 21th (that’s what it says on the document) anniversary of our wedding–which my husband was able to obtain because he used to fly to Rome all the time in his job as an airline pilot. I can’t imagine how amazing it will be to be in Rome for his canonization.

    If you could keep my middle son’s wife and pre-born baby in your prayers, it would be much appreciated.

    Have a fantastic trip!!

  • Elizabeth Anne

    Oh mu gosh! YAY!! I am so happy for you! I will be attending the canonization as well and can I just say you have made me fall in love with cappucinos so much that my dairy intolerant self hates me!

  • Cmerie

    Exciting! I’d love it if you could pray for us there. For direction in my husband’s career and a place to call home and also for my husbands anxiety.

  • Cmerie

    Exciting! I’d love it if you could pray for us there. For direction in my husband’s career and a place to call home and also for my husbands anxiety.

  • Sara

    Please add to your prayer list our daughter who is expecting our first grandchild. She is going through pregnancy with type 1 diabetes. Pray for continued good health. Enjoy your pilgrimage…your family will be blessed

  • Tamara

    That is SO exciting! Yea! Please pray for my children and their vocations, the whole Pandolfo family, and for my side of the family too- the Cansino family. Thanks Jenny!!

  • Lily

    Wow! What an amazing thing to be able to share with your babies!! 🙂 prayers headed your way for your flight! And puh-leeeezzzz Evie! Could you be more adorable!? (Her passport photo is far better than one I have ever taken…)

  • Emily Barnes

    That is so awesome!
    Could you please pray for a friend of mine who is struggling to figure out the next steps in her life? That God will lead her where she needs to be and that she has the strength to follow. Thank you!

  • Kris

    I have to have a little surgical procedure, so if you could pray for a positive outcome for that and quick healing. Also, please pray for my daughter and her return to the faith. She’s a little lost right now. I’m glad you’re doing this – it was the best thing I did in Rome last week. And OH. THE COFFEE. Serious withdrawal up in here.

  • Morgan

    What a blessing! The 27th is my 24th birthday…I’m SO EXCITED…for more than one reason 😉
    Would you pray for me and my vocation? As well as my brother’s reconversion? (He’s also graduating from college on 4/27…it’s a big day all around!)

  • happyalmosthomemaker

    So AWESOME! 🙂 We’ll be praying for a safe & sane trip for your family. Would you kindly pray for my husband and I as we battle fertility issues? We’d very much love to have a crying, pooping, giggling little bundle of joy…or many. 😉 Thanks for offering to take everyone’s intentions!

    Can’t wait to see some pictures.

  • Amelia Bentrup

    Wow..what an exciting opportunity!!!

    I’ll add my prayer request to your bundle. We are praying for my husband to find a full-time lawyer job in the city to which we want to move (to be near family) and for him to pass the bar in that state the first time. Thanks!

  • Anne

    Prayers for my girls and their retinitis pigmentosa to remain mild until safe and effective gene therapy is available…or a straight up miracle..I’d take that, too 🙂 thank you and safe travels! So exciting!

  • Mrs. Henderson

    Would you pray for my husband and I- that we would be able to conceive? Also, for a special intention for my husband?

    We spent our honeymoon in Rome in 2008- what an amazing place.

    Thank you! Prayers for safe travels for you all!

  • Shelby

    Would you pray that we would be able to have more children? And also for a dear friend who’s awaiting test results? Thank you!

    Have a wonderful time! I’m so excited that you get to attend the canonization!

  • Katherine Cober

    would you pray that my husband and I (andrew and katherine) are able to conceive our first? and/or that our hearts are full with peace and patience?

    thank you for offering to pray. Happy travels!

  • Eliese

    Love the baby mug shot. What wonderful news for your family!
    I feel silly asking for these intentions, but JPII was one of our go-to novena guys a few months ago when we were praying for another baby and a new job/relocation (both of which we were granted), so I’m kind of hoping he’ll help with the follow-up to those blessings: that we somehow acquire a new vehicle to hold all three children, and a place to live! We are currently crashing at my parents but it would be awesome to find a place to live (actually in the town where my husband works; now he drives like 40 miles a day to/from work) before baby comes in August. Oh, and maybe just that baby (intended name: Raphael) is delivered safely.

  • Bridal Blogger

    SO AWESOME!!!!!!! and cutest picture! please bring lizz lovett (mother of four under six, devoted wife) just diagnosed with untreatable stage four cancer — full and complete healing! thank you, thank you!! analise

  • Rebecca Rooney

    Please pray for my brother-in-law and his wife (Tom and Meredith) as they try to start their family (either biologically or through adoption). Also for the safe delivery of my baby some time in June. Thank you! God bless your travel!

  • Sarah

    Thank you for your willingness to pray! I hope you have a wonderful trip!

    I am in RCIA right now and considering coming into the Catholic Church, but for right now that leaves me sort of denomination-less and sometimes that’s really hard. However, many of these are a much bigger deal than mine.

  • alishiahanson

    Many health issues amongst my family and friends, please pray for those. Please pray for my continued health as a cancer survivor times two who has six children to take care of. Please pray for my marriage–nothing dire, just general goodness desired. Pray for the vocations of my children, the conversion of my family and some of my friends who are struggling with infertility. So happy you get to be there. I saw JPII at a papal audience in 2004–though I wasn’t yet Catholic. Whenever I see him on video these days I cry.

  • Molly I

    Jenny, I would love if you could pray for me while you are in Rome! I have been in kidney failure for 2.5 years and deal with chronic kidney stones and pain. I have two boys and and an amazing husband, but it u s hard on all of them when Mommy spends A LOT of time in bed. Thank you for your prayers and safe travels, we will be praying for your family.
    Thank you, Molly Ishmal

  • Cate

    Ah Jenny, this is so exciting! What a wonderful experience for you and your children!!!! I spent a good part of my early childhood incredibly confused the maybe my grandfather was the Pope (Pappy was Polish and they look like they could have been brothers, seriously), so I have a huge connection with JPII. I would appreciate dearly your prayers for the safe delivery of baby #2 in June, and also that my husband gets the job he is interviewing for which would take us back across the country and close to family again!

  • Jane

    I’m Johnny-come-lately, but if you read this before Sunday, please pray for divine intervention that my husband, Bob, finds a
    job in town so we do not have to sell house and up and move. (again) Thank you, Jenny, and I will pray for you and yours, too.

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