Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Do not be afraid..."

Every Sunday the Holy Father prays the Angelus with the pilgrims and people of Rome. During the summer months he leads the Angelus from his summer residence, Castel Gondolfo,which is in the mountains outside of Rome. On this occasion, the Holy Father took time after the Angelus to greet us, the New Men class at the North American College. First of all, it was so inspiring to be so close to the Holy Father. Most importantly it was breath-taking to know that the Pope actually knew we were there and that he had a few words for us.

The Holy Father had this to say to us: "Dear Seminarians, do not be afraid to take up the challenge in today's Gospel to give your lives completely to Christ. Indeed, may all of us be generous in our commitment to him, carrying our cross with faith and courage."

Afterwards, we ate pranzo overlooking this giant lake in the crater of an ancient volcano.

We were also lucky enough to have Archbishop Harvey, Prefect of the Papal Household, give us a tour of the papal gardens at Castel Gondolfo. The location of the current summer residence of the Pope used to be the summer residence of the Roman Emperors beginning with Domitian. We could see some of the ruins. Some of the ruins were used by Pope Pius XII during WWII to shelter Jews.

Archbishop Harvey explained that both Bl. John Paul II and Pope Benedict during the summer prayed the rosary here everyday.

Matt and I at the Holy Father's Angelus address.

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