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John had never been to Italy and the last time I was there was over 30 years ago. So for eleven days we
tasted the wine, pasta, olive oil, cheese and gelato.
We were in St. Peterís Square in Rome for Pope Francisí mass for the canonization of Mother Theresa. This was very special since we have seen her tomb in the Missionaries of Charity Mother House in Calcutta (now Kolkot). We stood, and then sat, on the cobblestones with thousands of others for three hours under a hot sun and watched the ceremony on a huge screen.
Click on thumbnails to see larger images.
Then we took the train to Venice, where everyone walks or takes a water taxi. We took a boat to Torcello to see the mosaics on the walls of a Byzantine church that I remembered seeing on my first visit there in the early 80ís.
We arrived in Florence when the Festival of Lanterns was about to take place in the square just outside our hotel. The next day we strolled through the Palazzo Pitti gardens, and went to Fiesole to see the theatre and bath ruins that date back to the first century BC.
On our way back to Rome, we stopped for a few days in Siena and had a wonderful view of the Tuscan hills from our hotel window. And out on the streets, we watched drummers and flag bearers marching as neighbors in the Eagle Region celebrated. On our last day there, we took a bus to Monteriggioni to see that 13th century walled town with 44 towers.
God of all power and majesty!
How great is Your creation,
widening our minds and hearts beyond imagining
the more we learn about Your creative presence in all.
And yet we so often look for
the majesty of a swift applause
for our own ability to create
and accumulate wealth
for our bodily and emotional satisfaction.
May Your Spirit continue to inspire us
to look and think beyond the limits
of our bodily and emotional existence
to find our deeper joy in embracing
Your program for happiness.
Waiting to See Pope Francis
Venice Seen the Romantic Way
First Prize for the Dragon