Friday, November 6, 2009

Una Santa Messa a la Basilica di San Pietro

A holy Mass at the Basilica of Saint Peter

It is raining here today and all the umbrella sellers are doing great business. I am one of their customers. The weather does not dampen the spirits and the determination of the faithful who come on pilgrimage to the tomb of Peter.

The Piazza San Pietro in the early morning yet devoid of pilgrims and the merely curious tourists.

Crossing the Ponte San Angelo with defense against the rain in hand and 6 Euros lighter in the pocket.

The altar of my confirmation sponsor, Blessed John XXIII with his remains exposed in a crystal casket. I was able to attend both the public exposition of his relics and his beatification early in the new millennium at Saint Peter's.

The natural light was lacking today inside the Basilica as a result of the inclement weather, so I used a long exposure to take this photo, hence the blurred effect.

The altar of Pope Saint Leo IX with the mosaic image of the crucifixion of Saint Peter where I offered holy Mass this morning for those who sponsored me in the Marine Corps Marathon and for their intentions. Again, sincere thanks to all of you.

The statue of Saint Peter is the only remaining vestige of the earlier basilica dedicated to the vicar of Christ that stood on this spot. The right foot is worn smooth by the millennia of pilgrims who have venerated the relic.

"I will go up to the altar of God."
This photo was taken by a Polish pilgrim at my request.

All of those who assist the Holy Father in serving the needs of pilgrims to Rome and the Vatican are most generous. Any priest who arrives at the sacristy of Saint Peter's at 7:00 am will be assisted to offer holy Mass at any of the side altars of the Basilica. There are groups of pilgrims each day who, with their chaplains, also arrange to celebrate holy Mass near the tomb of the Apostle.

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