BE GOD’S INSTRUMENTS OF HEALING LIKE THE APOSTLES – FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED: TEN WAYS TO GET IN TROUBLE IN ITALY

BE GOD’S INSTRUMENTS OF HEALING LIKE THE APOSTLES

Pope Francis resumed his weekly general audiences by presiding at the first audience of August in the air-conditioned Paul VI Hall. He continued his catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, urging the faithful to trust in the Lord, and to act in His name, as the Apostles did.

The Holy Father focused his catechesis on the first account of healing in the Book of Acts of the Apostles: Peter and John’s healing of the Paralytic.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” began Francis. “In our continuing catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, we now see how the Apostles preached the Gospel of salvation not only in words but in concrete actions. The first account of healing in Acts bears witness to this.”

He explained that, “Peter and John encounter a man born lame at the entrance to the Temple. This poor beggar, who represents the excluded and discarded members of society, is looking for alms. The two Apostles fix their gaze on him, inviting him to a different way of seeing things.”

Francis emphasized that “Peter and John do not offer him not silver or gold, but the greatest gift of all: the salvation to be found in Jesus Christ. They create a relationship with him, for this is how God desires to reveal himself: through a loving encounter between people.

“Saint John Chrysostom saw in this act of raising up a lame person an image of the resurrection. It is also an image of the Church, called to look for those in need and to lift them up,” said the Pope, whose predilection for the poor, homeless and oppressed is well known.

“As we also strive to help others, let us, like Peter and John, always recognize our own need for that greatest treasure, which is our relationship with the Risen Lord.” (Source: Vaticannews)

FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED: TEN WAYS TO GET IN TROUBLE IN ITALY

The online edition of The Guardian today published an article noting that tourists who actually down and rest on Rome’s celebrated Spanish Steps at Piazza di Spagna may face a fine of €250 due to new laws being promulgated by Rome’s city government. Resting on the steps has been a time-honored tradition since they were first built in the early 18th century but all that may be over for visitors who just want to rest in the almost tropical heat of Rome or at the halfway point of climbing the 136 steps.

The Guardian story ends on this note:

As Rome and other Italian cities continue their crackdown on “uncouth” behavior, you might get in trouble if you do any of the following:

· “Messy eating” or “camping out” on piazzas or the steps of monuments.
· Singing, while drunk, on public transport.
· Wrapping your mouth around the nozzle of a drinking fountain.
· Walking around bare-chested.
· Dragging wheeled suitcases and buggies down historic staircases.
· Jumping into fountains.
· Dipping your toes into a canal in Venice.
· Feeding pigeons in Venice.
· Building sandcastles in Eraclea, a beach town near Venice.

FOR FULL STORY: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/07/rome-spanish-steps-fascist-style-measures-against-tourists

VATICAN INSIDER: WHO IS THE MAN OF THE SHROUD? – COMING TO ROME? READ THIS FIRST!

It is Flag Day in America and I hope and pray every home has one flag flying from its roof or a flagpole or displayed inside a window! June 14 for decades was a big day in our family and in the entire neighborhood where I grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, a day everyone indeed hung a flag!. I pray that the stars and Stripes are still important and meaningful for my fellow Americans!

VATICAN INSIDER: WHO IS THE MAN OF THE SHROUD?

In this week’s Vatican Insider, I present Part II of my special “Who is the Man of the Shroud?” – the Shroud being the cloth that is said to have wrapped Christ’s body in the tomb until his Resurrection. A story of science and faith…..

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

COMING TO ROME? READ THIS FIRST!

There are a ton of new rules for tourists in the Eternal City and it would definitely behoove people to be informed. So read the story about the updated regulations (some went back to 1946!) and have some peace of mind. You don’t want Italians to give you a piece of their mind if you misbehave!

Here’s a great piece by Lonely Planet (you probably have a slew of their guidebooks if you travel a lot). https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2019/06/12/rome-new-tourist-rules/

I did have to look up the word busk, which means is to perform music or other entertainment in the street or another public place for monetary donations.

The Independent online also reports that, “ticket touts selling ‘skip the line’ tickets at some of the Eternal City’s biggest attractions, such as the Vatican Museums and Colosseum, are prohibited, as are those who dress up as Roman centurions around tourist hotspots and charge money for photos.”

(JFL: if they succeed in banning these touts, it would be a miracle – there are probably 40 or more at anyone time outside the colonnades of St. Peter’s Square! Often, as I walk over to Pio XII Square to film segments for EWTN, I will pass – or be “touted: by – two dozen of these guys. They drive most tourists crazy. To skip the line at the Vatican Museums, folks, just go to the official webpage and reserve a day and time!!)

In its story on the new rules, the online newspaper added that “some offences may just attract a slap on the wrist from police patrolling attractions, while others will incur a fine or a ban from the area where the offence took place.

Virginia Raggi, the mayor of Rome, told The Telegraph: “Rome is, and always will be, welcoming, but that does not mean tolerating bad behaviour and damage being done to our city.“

She said she would be writing to foreign embassies, asking them to make citizens aware of the new rules when visiting the city.

VATICAN INSIDER SHARES TIME WITH D.VA, WOMEN IN THE VATICAN – VATICAN MUSEUMS BY NIGHT STARTS APRIL 26 – SO YOU WANT A PAPAL BLESSING….. – YOU NEED A TICKET FOR A PAPAL AUDIENCE……? – GETTING AROUND ROME

The crowds are getting bigger here each and every day as we approach Palm Sunday and the Easter season – schools closing, families traveling, huge numbers of visitors invading the Eternal City and Vatican City. Today I’m dedicating some space to the questions that people usually ask me about visiting Rome and the Vatican, and I hope the answers and links below help in a significant way.

I also want to give you a heads up on something that I’ll be part of on Easter Sunday.

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and husband of Callista Gingrich, U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, recently started a podcast called “Newt’s World.” I’ve known the Gingriches for 10 years as our friendship dates back to some assistance I gave them a decade ago when they were filming their documentary on Pope John Paul in Rome and the Vatican.

Newt is truly a man for all seasons as you will realize by simply looking at the subjects of his first podcasts. If, for example, you thought you knew Benjamin Franklin, think again! A riveting story that will make you stop what you are doing (unless you are listening while driving your car). Listen HERE http://www.westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/newts-world/ and HERE: https://www.gingrich360.com/productions/podcast/

I am honored that he has chosen me as a feature of his Easter Sunday podcast! So tune in next week – I’ll be reminding you, in any case!

VATICAN INSIDER SHARES TIME WITH D.VA, WOMEN IN THE VATICAN

My very special guest this weekend on Vatican Insider’s interview segment is also a longtime friend and a colleague when we both worked at Vatican Radio for many years – Tracey McClure. Tracey and a few others made some history not long ago by founding D.Va – Donne in Vaticano – Women in the Vatican – the first ever women’s association approved by the Vatican! Full disclosure: I am a member of D.VA (pronounced diva) and have participated in many activities but I wanted Tracey to give you the behind the scenes input.

Here are a few photos from some of our activities, excursions (Castelgandolfo) and Masses with Fr. Federico Lombardi, our spiritual advisor.

The women who founded D.VA (Tracey’s under the Pope’s photo)-

Part of the group at Castelgandolfo –

Mass with Fr. Lombardi in Teutonic cemetery chapel –

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

VATICAN MUSEUMS BY NIGHT STARTS APRIL 26

On Friday April  26, the 2019 edition of the special night openings of the Vatican Museums will begin, offering until 25 October a unique experience in terms of atmosphere, artistic beauty and musical offerings, for visitors both Roman and otherwise.

From 7.00 p.m., for over six months for a total of 27 Fridays, the Pope’s Museums “double” their cultural offering with a new evening programme, greatly appreciated by the public, especially in the spring and summer season.

As in previous years, and again included in the price of the entry ticket, which may be booked online exclusively, an extensive concert programme will enrich the already special night opening, animating the splendid museum architecture with sound, song and dance.

Click here for all pertinent information: http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/eventi-e-novita/iniziative/Eventi/2019/aperture-notturne-2019.html

SO YOU WANT A PAPAL BLESSING…..

If you’re visiting Rome and want to get a papal blessing for an anniversary, wedding or First Communion will need to go to the office of Papal Blessings in Vatican City State. This is part of the office of the Papal Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski as all monies from blessings go to papal charities.

If for some reason you cannot make it to Rome, you can indeed order online; https://www.elemosineria.va/papal-blessing-parchments/

YOU NEED A TICKET FOR A PAPAL AUDIENCE……?

You’re planning your trip to Rome and need a ticket for a papal audience or possibly a public papal Mass (not the daily Mass in the Santa Marta residence in Vatican City). To find out what events are on Pope Francis’ calendar – and to obtain that ticket! – go here: http://www.vatican.va/various/prefettura/index_en.html

GETTING AROUND ROME

ATAC, Rome’s municipal transit authority, is a name you’ll see scores of times each day on the city’s busses. It has a great website and a fair amount of information in English: website – https://www.atac.roma.it/index.asp?lingua=ENG

All ATAC tickets are good for travel on the train, bus, and streetcars. They are also valid for commuter trains, but only when within Rome itself. Tickets can be purchased at automated vending machines or at the ticket booth in subway stations as well as at tobacco shops and newspaper stands throughout the city. Single tickets cost €1.50 and are good for 100 minutes or rides on 2 busses. You can also buy a tourist ticket for 24, 48 or 72 hours.

Those who live in Rome will have either an annual pass or a monthly pass. Whereas a single ticket must be validated upon first use in a yellow machine inside the bus, that is not the case with monthly or yearly passes. Thus, if you see someone get on the bus and not show or validate a ticket, do not presume they are travelling free. They undoubtedly have a pass and they, like you, will be asked to show that if controllers board the bus. There are fines for people without tickets so make sure you have one!

The metro (metropolitana) or subway is also a great way to travel, though it is nothing like the underground system of London, Paris, New York and other major cities. Signs indicating a metro stop are large red squares with a white M in the middle. Some of the major subway stops in the center of the city have been closed for repairs to mobile stairways so be sure to check a map. (https://www.rometoolkit.com/transport/rome_metro.htm)

There are scads of HOP ON – HOP OFF companies as you mjay have seen online but I highly recommend ORP – Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi: https://www.operaromanapellegrinaggi.org/en/roma-cristiana/open-bus