As the stream of tourists started pouring into the Basilica I decided to run back to the chapel where I did my morning Mass. There two guards very successfully chased away anybody who didn’t have praying on his mind. Thanks to their professionalism I could continue my priestly prayers. As I was finishing I realized that in the pew in front of me there was a bishop who very inconspicuously were doing exactly the same prayers. As I was looking at him and at the altar with the bodies of the Apostles of Simon and Thaddeus I couldn’t help thinking that it is what we call Apostolic Succession. The gift of the priesthood given to the Twelve has reached our time through generations of men who like that bishop I saw praying have served the Catholic Community.
When I finished my prayers it was the time when the area behind the main altar was opened for people to attend a Sunday high Mass. As I have already celebrated Mass I simply blended in the crowd and found a seat among the faithful. It was a beautiful Latin Mass. They sang everything, even the Gospel. Apart from uplifting spiritual experience I also had heaps of fun watching some teenage girls in front of me. As on Sunday the section around the main altar is accessible only for the worshippers attending Masses I guess the girls took their chance when the people were going to Mass hoping for some good views and pictures but they ended up in the middle of the crowd at a Latin Service. I
could tell they were dying out of boredom.
When Mass finished I went for a little pilgrimage inside the Basilica. It is very easily to focus on the beautiful architecture, paintings, mosaics, sculptures
etc. but the real beauty of the place is in so many saints who are buried here. As I reflected on the outcome of their lives I simple adored the Savior who made those saints pieces of Holy Art. I could spend much more time especially at the altar of Blessed John Paul II but I wanted to attend Angelus with Pope Francis. As the crowds inside and outside were huge I knew that it would take me some time to maneuver through this tsunami of people to get a good spot in the Square. As soon as I was hiding myself in the shadow area across from the pope window the Holy Father appeared. The welcome of the crowd was unbelievable. This tiny white figure so far away put a smile on every face. It was the Pope’s last appearance before his flight to Brazil for World Youth Day. I didn’t bother that I couldn’t understand him as I knew that later I could get his speech online. I was there like most of the people united by our common faith in Christ whose Vicar on Earth is the Pope. After we prayed Angelus the Holy Father gave us his blessing. It was the main reason I went to Angelus. When St Eugene was in Rome he always made sure he didn’t miss seeing the Pope. I think St Eugene would be pleased with me. During my three weeks in Rome I have seen Pope Francis tree times. I didn’t miss any public appearance of the Holy Father that was announced.