Last year Traveler Nell and I visited Europe starting in Rome. Before we had even left Lazio we had agreed that we had to return someday to the Eternal City. And so we are…only ten months later. Leading up to our return trip I am posting some of the things I love about Rome.
Numero Sette (7): Messa delle Ceneri Mercoledì con Sua Santità Papa Benedetto XVI (Ash Wenesday Mass with the POPE!)
When Traveler Nell and I realized exactly when we would be in Rome she immediately began to monitor the Vatican website for the release of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI’s public calendar for Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill.
Santa Sabina is a relatively small church that dates back to the first half of the Fifth Century and has been designated as the Station Church for Ash Wednesday in Rome. Traditionally Pope Benedict himself will perform the Mass.
We attended a Mass at Saint Peter’s last year and while only a small portion of the church was used, several thousand worshipers were in attendance. In Santa Sabina however it is markedly different. There is only room for a couple hundred people.
Once the schedule with the Mass was released Traveler Nell immediately submitted a request to the Vatican office. One wrinkle…the Vatican only accepts facsimile requests and issues replies by fax as well. To add another layer of anxiety, the fax machine at my office has been acting up lately and only works about a third of the time. Nevertheless we held out hope.
And we were rewarded. We are incredibly fortunate for this opportunity and could not be happier.