Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Here's a statue that caught my eye at Mass Sunday: St. Vincezo Pallotti, who I found upon reading up on him was small of stature with piercing blue eyes, had a heart for the poor, and "once dressed up as an old woman to hear the confession of a man who threatened 'to kill the first priest who came through the door.'" (!) (?)

I guess only in Rome as well could you have a two-hour conversation over coffee and then be asked: "So--have you seen Mary Magdalene's foot?"

I groped for a reply.
Which one?
No, why, did she lose it?

Whatever the case, I've seen it now, and thank you seminarian Michael Holmquist: it, or a relic of it, which is encased in about a size thirty-two bronze sculpture of a bare human foot, flanked by tall white candles, and set in a gilded alcove in a corner of the San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini (Saint John the Baptist of the Florentines) church.

Mary Magdalene's was the first foot to enter Christ's tomb after the Resurrection, just in case you're not up on your Easter stories..

News flash: I don't feel one bit kinder, more tolerant or holier here than I do anywhere else, not that I expected to.

But I am loving every second..



  1. As much as you love L.A., Heather, I can totally see you living out your days in Rome.

    Have you seen the shrine of the preserved hangnail of St Polycarp yet? (KIDDING)

  2. Ahhh! Bringing back memories of our trip to Rome in 1988. James Michener and an entourage happened to be at our ancient hotel at the same time. He even wrote a book about it :
    My husband and I met all those people in our hotel lobby as well as MIchener, and we also were at that Mass for the feast of the Immaculate Conception at the North American College that Michener details in this memoir. (Our former pastor was the spiritual director there at the time, so we were there at his invitation.)

    Re: a chance to just read in your room: I recall hearing what could be just a myth: that during the Second Vatican Council Dorothy Day sailed to Rome on a steamboat and took a tiny room somewhere in the city. She stayed there in prayer for a week or two and then returned home.

    I am SO glad you are writing us as you are there. Prayers for a restful time and as usual, thanks for sharing with us all! XXOO


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