|View of Rome from the Janiculum|
After having glimpsed Pope John Paul II the previous day, we headed for St. Peter's again, for Mass and then out into the crowded square for the Sunday Angelus, which the Pope leads from the balcony window of the papal apartments. Here's what I wrote about that event, seventeen years ago, in my travel journal:
We went out into St. Peter's Square for the Sunday Angelus. I felt almost a physical hunger to see the Pope again (at whatever distance) and to pray with him. Deeper for me than anything else in this vast encounter between the Pope and his people is the simple gesture of praying the Angelus with him. In that moment, we are together with the Successor of St. Peter in a single action -- the highest and most intimate of all actions, the action of prayer. My own prayer is profoundly confirmed when it accompanies his.
This was anything but an ordinary honeymoon. It was a time of pilgrimage and blessing. It was also a time to revisit beloved ancient and beautiful places (for the first time together), and to explore and discover new things. And of course we had a lot of fun.
We spent the afternoon walking in the city. Of course, both of us being culture nerds, this was tremendous fun. In fact, my travel diary is full of aesthetic, architectural and historical observation and analysis... but these are all things we talked about and enjoyed together. And words came after vision. Eileen and I love being together and contemplating great and beautiful things. Perhaps that sounds hokey, but its true.
|The church of Santa Maria in Cosmedian|
After this, we walked back down, across the Tiber island and into the wonderful Santa Maria in Cosmedian. We marveled together at the dark, ancient simplicity of this church, which is one of Eileen's favorites.
|Don't tell a lie!|
Another important aspect of this adventure which both of us heartily enjoyed together, of course, was food. We hunted for the trattoria popular with the natives whenever possible, or a small restaurant in some corner of an alley.
According tho my travel diary, the day ended with a "remarkable salmon pasta." And plenty of good table wine, as I remember.