Saturday, June 1, 2013

procession with Francis through the streets of Rome

Pope Francis at the beginning of mass
Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday was my last day of school. Ever. Well, who knows, but probably for a long time.

Francis before the Blessed Sacrament
On Thursday I went with some friends to Corpus Christi mass with Pope Francis at Saint John Lateran Basilica. Saint John’s is special for me since I’ll probably be ordained a priest there December 14th. After a beautiful mass with Francis, we started our procession from to Saint Mary Major’s Basilica. As the procession started, all of us were straining our necks to see Francis. Benedict used to travel atop a giant popemobile with the Blessed Sacrament, as did John Paul. The popemobile arrived, but there was no Pope, only the Blessed Sacrament and two deacons. Where was the pope? I thought maybe he’d travel in the smaller popemobile.

popemobile with Blessed Sacrament on top but no Francis
Then all of a sudden my friend saw him. Pope Francis was walking behind the Blessed Sacrament, head bare. Though there were thousands of flashes going off, he wasn’t waving at anyone; he was rapt in prayer. He looked just like any other priest.
Francis was walking behind!
We followed him the whole mile-long procession route down the Via Merulana, singing hymns and prayers. There was a special spirit of recollection and brotherhood among us all. When we arrived at Saint Mary Major’s, Pope Francis blessed us with the Blessed Sacrament on the front steps, then we sang a song to the Blessed Mother before heading back to our homes.

on the Via Merulana

Francis following
What an evening well-spent! It was so neat to be able to walk the streets with Francis.

God bless him and you!
Brother Kevin
Francis in the procession

Halfway down the Via Merulana

Getting close to Saint Mary Major's

at St Mary Majors

Francis praying before the Blessed Sacrament

Francis blessing us with the Blessed Sacrament

Singing a hymn to Mary