Day 10

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This one was an early morning, Matins and Lauds in the waning darkness, and dressed and ready to go by 6:45am. This morning we headed to St. Peters to celebrate Mass at the Clementine Altar, right above the tomb of St. Peter and below the High Altar. The Swiss Guard clicked their heels and saluted as we passed by, and the Vatican Altar boys were a wonder as they competed with each other to get me dressed in Amice, Alb, cincture, etc. To have this kid waiting patiently by my side to put the chasuble on me was a rare sight. Mass was celebrated for the intentions of the people of St. Edward. There was a distant cacophony of voices wafting through the marble corridors as various groups at various altars were celebrating Masses in the crypt.

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After Mass we retired to a little coffee bar across the street from the Vatican for some coffee. Then I spent some more time in the Basilica and the square taking pictures. In the square I saw a man taking a picture of his family with a camera just like mine. Passing by I noticed they spoke English and we compared notes on our various cameras. I ended up taking a picture of his family with his camera, and he snapped a picture of me with mine. In the Basilica, I was able to spend some time at the tomb of John Paul II before the place got crowded. I also purchased a few more gifts in the Vatican gift shop for the people back home.

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Next I headed over to Teatro Marcello and the Basilica of San Nicola in Carcere. It was in his apartment at Teatro Marcello that St. Gaspar died. At San Nicola he preached at the foundation of the Arch-confraternity of the Precious Blood on December 8, 1808, an event for which we celebrate the 200th anniversary this year.

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The sacristy:

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San Nicola there was an attendant who was offering tours of the crypt. It was a great explanation of the foundations of the place which was built in the early centuries on the ruins of three Roman Temples. The pillars are seen in the walls of the Church, but the foundations of all of the other pillars are visible in the crypt. The blue outlines the area of the church.

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Also in the crypt are the remains of an early byzantine chapel. He said that the Madonna in the Church was found there and removed in the 1800s and placed in the upper Church. It is a favorite image of mine. I have photographed it many times. He was amazed to see that I had the image on my Blackberry.

The image once was part of this early Byzantine Chapel:

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The image now hands in the upper church. This picture was taken of the image before they covered it with protective glass:

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This was the stuff of pilgrimage. This place figures significantly in the beginnings of our community. Here is the crucifix before which Gaspar preached the memorable sermon on the foundation of the Arch-confraternity.

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After touring San Nicola in Carcere, and spending some time in prayer there I took a walk through the surrounding neighborhood. The place is very different than it was in Gaspar's time, having been altered considerably by Mussolini. I took a picture of Teatro Marcello where Gaspar died, and the Church of San Angel in Pescherria where his funeral was held.

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Back home we had a delightful Pranzo, Sausage, and peas with Pasta, and plenty of the finest local vino. This was followed by doing dishes and requisite siesta. At lunch we pondered the significant difference between a siesta and a Solemn High Nap.

I must have had some opportunity for afternoon picture because the collection this day includes my favorite picture:

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Later in the Evening we chanted Vespers and headed over to another favorite Roman eatery. These are places without menus. All we said was "Do what you do." I think Steven referred to this place as "Mama's" although that is not the name of the place. She did mother us. She place a few simple antipastos on our table with Water and wine, and then she wheeled up a cart with eight more and two different kinds of bread. It would have been enough for a full meal, but we also had a main course of Meatballs served with chicory. There was no room for dessert, which she was not happy about.

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whose your traveling companion? Areyou doing the Extraordinary form of the Mass there by chance?

I traveled with friends. But some pilgrimages to Gasparian sites I did by myself. All the Masses were Ordinary Form each day, but many of them were ad orientem

rev. and dear father:

nice site! and great pics! great to c u in the blogosphere and enjoyed the wonderful posts. hope to see you alla prossima in urbe!

all the best,


  one of Fr. Keyes' photos

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. published on August 11, 2008 12:29 PM.

Day 9 was the previous entry in this blog.

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