|evening in Saint Peter's Square|
The next evening we walked over to see the square - it was fairly quiet at dusk. The plaza was huge. There were people walking around - some in clerical collars or habits, some tourists with cameras strapped across their chests, some young travellers. We wondered who the various statues represented, silhouetted against the darkening sky.
On Sunday morning while Maggie was sleeping, I decided to run out for an espresso. But something made me veer off instead toward the square. As I got there, I noticed a very small line to get into the basilica - and decided to go on in. What a special visit! I loved being in this place that had seen so many pilgrims over the years - noble, sacred, humble, plotting, lusting for power; every stripe has walked through those doors, bowed before those altars, stepped over those floors.
|Early Morning, No Lines|
|Sunday Morning Uniform of Swiss Guard|
There was a woman who was camped out on the steps along the porticoes outside that I had noticed the first evening we went there. She had a brown plaid blanket, bags with clothes? food? - At first I thought she was someone who was homeless. Then I saw a nun speaking with her that evening. I had the sense that the nun might have been from Africa. I saw her there for the next couple of days and decided that she might be there as a pilgrim or petitioner. She seemed to have a purpose. I wanted to speak with her but thought that I probably couldn't because of language differences. On the morning of my visit I had made up my mind to approach her and see if we could communicate. But she was gone. May she go in peace, wherever she is.
|Poster on Wall at Saint Peter's|
I was very moved to have been there, to experience this atmosphere, to see these remnants. That kind of inspiration carries you to different levels in your life.
|One of two fountains in square|