LIFE IN THE FAST LANE: A THEFT, CARABINIERI AND A CROSS, RAIN AND HAIL, AND A BIT OF SUNSHINE
Yesterday, I intended to publish the feature story that appears below but a little incident greatly changed my day’s plans, and plans for the rest of the week, in fact! After an appointment near Rome’s Largo Argentina, I stopped in a small market for a few items and then walked perhaps 200 feet to the bus stop at Largo Argentina. I got on the 46, a bus that stops cross from my home.
Once home, I answered some emails, read Vatican news and did some research. I left at 3.15 for Salvador Mundi hospital for what I had hoped would be the final test to diagnose my back problem and find a treatment. The taxi pulled up to the entrance and I discovered my wallet was missing! I asked him to bring me back home where I did have some cash to pay him. All this in the middle of rain and hail stones! He did bring me to the market where items people might leave are put in a special drawer. No wallet.
At this point, reliving in vivid tecnicolor my entire morning, even though it seemed inconceivable given how I zipper the purse and hold it close to me, the only place my wallet could have been removed from my purse was at the bus stop. Once back home, I re-arranged the medical appointment, contacted banks to cancel credit cards and reported the theft to a police station about 100 yards from my home. That report will serve me when I go to obtain new Vatican and Italian documents, and that is how I’ll spend much of the rest of the week. I’m sure procedures will not be overly difficult, just very time-consuming!
No matter the dark moments in my life, the Lord always makes sure there also is some sunshine!
As I left the carabinieri office where I made the report, I saw a stunning wood cross, maybe 6-feet high, and I asked the young officer, Alessandro, who told me it was one of 10 crosses made for the Jubilee Year of Mercy (2015-16) and given to this particular carabinieri office as a sign of the work all officers did for the Vatican during that year.
A plaque next to the cross indicated it was gifted to the police by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, whose Council for Promoting the new Evangelization, had organized the Jubilee. He is also organizing the 2025 Jubilee Year!
In the evening I just wanted to be with friends so I went to La Vittoria where an unexpected visitor, Christopher Lubrin whose mother I met several years back at La Vittoria, stopped by my table. Both are my fans and we’ve corresponded! He was in Rome with his wife and adorable son and we had a visit later in the evening and he offered me dinner!
So, another ray of sunshine on an otherwise dark day!
VATICAN “COUNTS DOWN TO LAUNCH” POPE’S MESSAGE OF HOPE IN SPEI SATELLES
The Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication teams up with the Italian Space Agency to launch Pope Francis’ message of peace and hope into orbit aboard the Spei Satelles, or ‘Guardian of Hope’, satellite.
By Devin Watkins
Pope Francis’ message of hope and peace for our troubled world is about to lift off into space.
The Spei Satelles, or “Guardian of Hope” satellite will carry a record of the Pope’s Statio Orbis of 27 March 2020 – held at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic – into orbit around the earth.
The SpeiSat 3U CubeSat will launch on 10 June 2023 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which will place it in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an altitude of 525km.
The satellite – about the size of an American football – will house a “nanobook” version of Pope Francis’ Why Are You Afraid? Have You No Faith?, a book containing images and words from the Statio Orbis.
The nanobook, created by the Polytechnic University of Turin, is about the size of the tip of a pen and can only be read by highly-advanced nanotechnology reading devices.
Yet, anyone with an amateur UHF-band radio can pick up a broadcast beamed from the satellite on 437.5 MHz to hear excerpts from the Pope’s book as it passes overhead.
Hope and action
The initiative also offers an invitation for people to get involved, and live out the Gospel message of hope in their own lives.
According to a press release, the website www.speisatelles.org gives people the chance to follow the mission’s progress, and have their name inscribed in a dedicated memory chip aboard SpeiSat. “In order to obtain a virtual boarding pass, those interested will be asked to pledge to do a work of mercy on behalf of peace and hope, … Each person involved can thus become a concrete seed of hope in their daily lives.”
The satellite could potentially stay in orbit for up to 12 years, but the radio transmitter will continue to broadcast for only 6 months to a year due to battery-induced limitations.
FOR MORE: Vatican ‘counts down to launch’ Pope’s message of hope in Spei Satelles – Vatican News