Day 17 - July 10, 2016
We attended Mass at Holy Spirit Church, very near the Vatican. It is the pilgrimage church for the Year of Mercy, and Mass was in English! A young man received his first communion during the Mass, and Father’s homily was on the inn keeper in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Lay people need to remember that the inn keeper was simply doing his job – he even got paid – and yet how important his role was to the healing of the man who had been attacked. We, too, in doing our daily work, living our daily lives, can be instruments of God’s love and mercy.
We then attended the Angelus at noon for the last time this visit. It is a wonderful experience of the Church – international, and everyone is so excited to see and hear the Holy Father. It is an experience of a fond father with his children, encouraging, praying, reflecting with his children, and then urging us out of the heat and on to lunch.
The afternoon was free, and some of the Sisters went to visit the motherhouse of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden, Sr. Daisy’s community. We were cheerfully received by her Sisters. After a visit to the Chapel, one of the Sisters explained the life of their founder St. Antonio Gianelli as we looked on his relics at the side altar. Superior General Mother Gladys joined us for refreshments, and then gave us the grand tour-through the lovely garden where we oohed and aahed over the lemon, kiwi and fig trees, then all the way up to the tower that overlooks the city of Rome. We saw the Coliseum, the Victor Emmanuelle Monument, and St Peter’s Basilica in the distance. Next we proceeded down to the basement, where Mother Gladys pointed out the tunnels where the Sisters hid while the Nazis were in the city, and their ancient “washing machine,” which is a huge stone pool with one area for scrubbing and another for rinsing. It was really cool. The warmth of all the Sisters was so genuine, we felt right at home. Clearly Sister Daisy is a well-loved member, whose charity was reflected in the faces of her sisters, including 82-year old, 4 ½ foot Sister Nisa who hugged and teased her heartily.
A pilgrim-Sister praying before the altar of Pope St. John Paul II
Above the entrance of the Motherhouse for the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden
Sr. Daisy pointing out their mission houses
The view from the top of the building
The unique washing machine