I would just like to greet everyone of you a Blessed Christmas.
And share with you four of the videos I took in Rome and Assisi.
The first time I visited St. Peter’s in 1989 with hubby I vowed to myself I would never come back. Because the place was just too grandiose, too wrong for a church that was supposed to be for the poor.
Last September, I decided to return and look at the Vatican in a new light.
St. Peter’s is still too ornate for my taste but I have realized that the Church is a repository of mankind’s history, greed, ambition, generosity and dreams.
To understand the human soul, I needed to expose myself to these.
The Vatican is still the last place on earth where I feel I am in the presence of God.
* * *
Pope Alexander VI is probably one of the most controversial popes in Catholic history. And yet, and yet, the nuns who taught us our religion never breathed a word about him.
This is how some faiths are destroyed – when Catholics find out later in life that they were never told some of the awful, awful truths about their religion.
And so I made it a point to visit the Borgia apartments that are now part of the Vatican Museum.
The first thing that came to mind was – how could a holy man lie in bed looking at THOSE GOLDEN KNOBS in the ceiling?
The next thing I thought of was – how could a holy man have those devil-like paintings on his walls?
I am glad, though, that the Church preserved his apartments. I guess it is to show that evil can be present in the holiest of places.
The last video was taken inside the crypt of St. Francis in Assisi.
Cameras are not allowed inside the Basilica and the crypt of St. Francis.
But luckily, on this day, his death anniversary was being celebrated with a procession and mass and I was able to record this video. The crypt is underground inside an old church. The present Basilica was built atop this church.
His tomb is encased in that circular column behind the altar.
Just a personal note – St. Francis of Assisi is my favorite saint because of his complicated simplicity.
Also, the first voice you hear on the video is that of the lovely nun I stayed with at the Istituto Beata Angelina – a convent that overlooks the Basilica. The second voice is mine – replying to her in my broken Italian :)