Actually we got in Thursday morning, Rome time, and it has been an incredible trip so far, and by incredible I mean that John Paul bit his father in public, and nobody freaked out on the flights.
The Borgo neighborhood where we’re staying, just blocks from St. Peter’s, is filling up with pilgrims from all over the world – mostly Polish, but from everywhere, really. Last night at dinner with our Archbishop, a priest at a neighboring table took a phone call and then burst into happy tears upon hanging up. He eventually came over to our table bearing a faded image of a young man in vestments being anointed by the Pope.
It was himself, he explained, being ordained a priest by (soon to be) Pope St. John the 23rd, and that phone call he just received was the Vatican inviting him to concelebrate the mass of Canonization on Sunday morning.
That’s just the kind of stuff that happens in Rome, and on pilgrimage. So we’re cautiously optimistic about tomorrow morning. We’re not camping out tonight; we’re sleeping snugly in our beds with plans to leave our apartment by 7 am and flash our press passes to as many guards as it takes to get into the Square – or at least onto Via della Concilliazione. Our fingers are crossed and our hearts are full as we prepare to enter into the great feast of Divine Mercy and to give thanks for the Giver of Divine Mercy for His faithful servant, John Paul II.
Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII, pray for us!
(Oh, and Pope Emeritus Benedict is going to be concelebrating! – 4 popes in one day, how craaaaaazy is that?!)