It’s the first day of spring and most of us are happy – although New Yorkers and others on the East Coast might be less so because of snowfall! Flowering trees are sprouting their beautiful pink and white buds here and winter coats are generally giving way to spring jackets (except for early morning and late night). The crowds in Rome for Holy Week are immense and, as a result, everything takes longer – longer lines to get in churches, museums, etc., longer waits in coffee bars and restaurants, more time in traffic as hundreds of tourists busses crowd the major thoroughfares. But that’s all OK. It is that time of year: We know it and await it and now it is here. As the Italians say, pazienza – patience!
And I am using the first day of spring to toot a horn, my own – as you will read!
Stay tuned for another post – breaking news about a friend of mine!
JOAN’S VATICAN AND JOAN’S ROME FOR JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY
(Vatican Radio) So, you’ve packed your bags and you’ve booked your flight and hotel: you are coming to Rome on pilgrimage for the Jubilee Year of Mercy! If you haven’t done so yet, you might want to consider bringing along a companion who knows Rome and the Vatican like the back of her hand: Joan Lewis.
A 3 decade-long Rome resident and veteran Vatican watcher, she’s the Joan in ‘Joan Knows,’ Vatican Radio’s weekly program looking at the Pope’s activities and Vatican events. Joan is also the Rome bureau chief for EWTN, the prominent, U.S.-based Catholic Radio and Television.
Her new book, “A Holy Year in Rome: the Complete Pilgrim’s Guide for the Jubilee of Mercy” (Sophia Institute Press) promises a lot, and it delivers.
Click here for the rest of the story! http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/03/21/joan%E2%80%99s_vatican_and_rome_for_jubilee_year_of_mercy/1216928
THERE’S ALSO THIS…..
FRANCIS EXPRESSES SADNESS AT STUDENT DEATHS IN SPAIN. Pope Francis has expressed his sadness for the tragic deaths of 13 international university students in a bus accident in northeastern Spain this past weekend and has assured the families of his “heartfelt” prayers. All of the victims were young women students on the Erasmus university exchange program. They included seven from Italy, two Germans, an Austrian, a French woman, a Romanian and an Uzbekistani and ranged between 19 and 25 years old. The bus carrying 57 university students crashed Sunday near Freginals, halfway between the eastern coastal cities of Barcelona and Valencia. They were returning from a firework festival in Valencia. In a telegram to Bishop Benavent Enrique Vidal of Tortosa on behalf of the Holy Father, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the Pope hopes that the injured will recover swiftly. Pope Francis, the message reads, wishes to express his closeness to the families who have suffered “irreparable loss” and invokes the Lord’s blessing for their spiritual serenity and Christian hope in this time of grief. (photo news.va)
PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR VICTIMS OF ATTACK IN ISTANBUL. Pope Francis has expressed his “prayerful solidarity” with victims of Saturday’s bomb attack in Istanbul. In a telegram addressed to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said Pope Francis “[grieved] to learn of the casualties caused by the bombing in Istanbul yesterday morning, and he expresses his prayerful solidarity with all touched by this tragedy. His Holiness asks you to convey his spiritual closeness to them, as well as to the personnel assisting the injured. Commending the souls of those who have died to the mercy of the Almighty, Pope Francis invokes divine strength and peace upon those who mourn, and upon the entire nation.”