Monday, April 5, 2021 – Pasquetta (“little Easter”), Easter Monday, Monday of the Angel


I had my second Moderna vaccination this afternoon at Spallanzani Hospital, Italy’s principal research center for infectious diseases, at….

This past week, the Vatican has been in the process of vaccinating 1200 homeless, poor and needy from Rome. Among the volunteers who helped administer vaccines in the atrium of the Paul VI Hall were health officials from Spallanzani.   In addition, the vaccines themselves were offered by Spallanzani. Today I brought a large number of holy cards with Pope Francis’ image to Spallanzani and gave them to the staff, telling them I had worked at the Vatican for years and I knew of the cooperation with the Vatican this past week and just wanted to say a personal “thank you.”

If you recall, after I had my first shot on March 8, International Womens’ Day, I posted a photo of the small, flower-shaped pin that all women vaccinated that morning at Spallananzi received. Since then, the mayor of Rome announced that, for those seniors who had to take a taxi to be vaccinated, the taxi ride would be free. I experienced that today with 3570, the taxi company I use 95 percent of the time in Rome. Taxi companies here are known by their (usually) four-digit phone numbers (3570, 6645, 5551 etc), not names.

Interestingly enough, whenever I dial 06 (Rome area code) 3570 from my land line, a voice answers, saying, “If you want a taxi immediately in…(and they say my address), press 1”!

Taxi drivers, like countless others, have been hard hit by coronavirus for over a year now, sometimes only working three days a week so I appreciated the gesture twice as much, and at least a nice tip was one way to say ‘grazie’. Seems the city was picking up the bill!

And here’s a great story of vaccinations in Venice: For those senior citizens living on two very small, hard-to-get-to islands, the vaccinations came to them! In fact, the city of Venice, for one day only, sent one of its vaporetto, the public water transportation boat/busses to each of the two islands in the lagoon, Sant’Erasmo and Le Vignole.

A health worker carrying out a vaccination on board the “vaporetto” (steamboat) of the Venice Municipal Transport Company, transformed into a mobile clinic for the anti-covid vaccination campaign, sailing to the island of Sant’Erasmo, in the lagoon north of Venice, Italy, April 5, 2021. ANSA / ANDREA MEROLA


“John and Peter Running to the Tomb” by Swiss painter Eugène Burnand! This is my very favorite painting and not just at Easter! I have loved it for years, since I first saw a photo online. I fell in love with these depictions of John and Peter because, in my mind’s eye, so many decades ago, this is exactly how I had envisioned them!

In February 2013 I had the immense joy of seeing this work of art in person at the “Path to Peter” exhibit that was underway at Castelgandolfo, organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. It ran from early February to early May. I do not remember how long I stood in front of the painting, on loan from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

To be honest, I’d like to think that, had I been alive at the time, I’d have been right behind Peter and John!

John 20, 1-9

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.

2  So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”

3. So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.

4 They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first;

5 He bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.

6 When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,

7 and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.

8 Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.

9  For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.