The Best Palm Sunday

About twelve years ago or so my husband was shooting a job in Rome and had to go on Palm Sunday weekend.  I got to go with him.   We went with three other directors and friends from the company and spent time together.   I shall never ever ever forget that trip as long as I live.  We spent only four days there, I didn't shop or buy anything expensive, I didn't take tours and experience the night life, we spent the time, when my husband wasn't working, walking in Rome.  We ate wonderful food SLOWLY, because all Italians eat slowly and savor everything.  I got to use my two years of Italian and ordered for everyone.   The weather was absolutely beautiful, in mid 80's.  The sun shone down upon us every day.  We had gelato and we ran across the streets dodging the motorbikes.  But the highlight, the most memorable, touching and most unforgettable part of my trip was, we got to go to Palm Sunday Mass with Pope John Paul II.  IL Segundo.  
As morning arrived on Palm Sunday we were awoken by chimes, bells ringing from the Vatican, they rang and rang.  We opened our windows and could see crowds walking to church.   We walked with people, we walked along side of children and we walked along side of priests and bishops and cardinals.  I've never seen so many red robes and black robes.  They all wear the "dress" vestments.  They don't wear pants at all.  The black robes with the red sashes.  Beautiful! We kept saying to ourselves "OMG WE ARE IN ROME, THE VATICAN!"
As we entered St. Peter's square we thought there has to be a line somewhere, where do we line up to get a spot for the mass??????????  You don't.  You just walk up and take any seat, front row, second row, first come first serve.  It was amazing.  We were 15 rows from the Pope.  
As the anticipation increased and we the pope was about to arrive the people began to chant, in Italian, In Spanish, In German, In English, you name it they chanted.  For the pope!
As he entered, not in his pope mobile with plexiglass but without any cover he passed right by our aisle. We cried.  The directors cried, we all cried.  It was humbling and beautiful and amazing.  We lifted our palms and shouted and waved.   I shall never forget that day, those days away so far in another world so far from my own.  I felt free and blessed.  So very blessed.  

Rob and I after the mass with my beautiful palm.

There is the pope, this was before digital cameras.  

Here we are on the Spanish Steps in Vecchia Roma.

I love this photo, although Rob has the same face in each picture no matter where we are.  He hates taking pictures.
Rob, Rick, Tony and Steve.  

Here I am with Steve and Rick, two of the directors and friends at The Trevi Fountain.


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