We began the day with Mass at the Gesu. Shortly after Mass, we went to the Vatican for an appointment with Cardinal Sodano, who lives at The Pontifical Ethiopian College, which is in the Vatican Gardens. The gardens were lovely! Cardinal Sodano was very instrumental in the founding of the Domus, and blessed the Chapel. After a nice explanation of their chapel, we met briefly with the rector of the College, who is a Capuchin Franciscan.
While wandering behind St. Peters, we happened by the residences of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis – we waved at them, and assume they waved back.
We then walked down the hill to the Vatican Mosaic Studio. Carla, one of the artists, gave us a wonderful explanation of the work of the studios, including a detailed demonstration of several mosaics in progress. She also showed us the technique for making the glass chips, which includes using a flame at 400° C. Several of the sisters commented on how the finished product often looks more like a painting than a mosaic.
Just around the corner, we spontaneously visited Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan, who is a 90 year old former Papal Nuncio to the United States between 1976 and 1998. He spoke of fondly remembering his time in the United States, and was very gracious to us.
In the afternoon, we visited the church and apartment of Saint Philip Neri. Our enthusiastic Oratorian Seminarian Nicola explained many things about St. Philip, including his frequent ecstasies and devotion to hearing confessions. We were able to venerate his relics in the public chapel.
After supper, we said goodbye to Sr. Guadalupe, who returns to Mexico tomorrow. To celebrate, the Sisters made Smoothies!
The Sisters make a stop in the Vatican Gardens to enjoy the beauty
Cardinal Sodano showing us the Tabernacle in the Pontifical Ethiopian College
Group picture with Cardinal Sodano
Two Sisters of Life enjoy some mosaics on display
Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan with the Sisters
Nicola showing us the apartment of St. Philip Neri