This exploration is about the Vatican City, seeing the Pope give mass, and a spiritual outlook on Memorial Day. Lots of people would love to see the Pope giving Mass, but few get to see it. I have been fortunate enough to experience it.
Rick and I, along with some friends, were coming back to Rome, after exploring the Mediterranean on a cruise and were debating going to Pompei or back to the Vatican. A few days in Rome is just not enough, but that’s another story. So, we decided to go back to the Vatican to explore it further.
In case you didn’t know, the Vatican City is an independent city-state surrounded by Rome, Italy. Once inside the Vatican City there are cultural and religious sites that include the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Vatican Museums. Some of the most famous paintings and sculptures are featured within. Vatican City’s economy is financially supported by the sale of souvenirs, stamps, admission fees and publication sales.1
When we arrived at Vatican City, we noticed a bunch of people in the middle of Vatican Square looking up at this little window. Well, low and behold, it was the Pope in his red Papal mozzetta, giving Mass. Although I do not speak Latin, I do know how to follow Mass. So, we had to get in on it, which was amazing! The energy coming from the entire event was just so happy and energizing.
After Mass, we continued to explore the Vatican City. It is huge white fortress of multiple buildings arranged in a circle with the main purpose of protecting the Pope, the head of the Holy See which runs the Roman Catholic Church. One note of interest, a Church is known as a Basilica in Italy. And, inside the St. Peter’s Basilica is absolutely beautiful. The feeling you get walking inside is so humbling and spiritual. Here are a few pictures which can say so much more that I can. When you’re inside, I did find it interesting to find Popes buried inside.
Buried… That brings me to Memorial Day. Originally, Memorial Day, was known as Decoration Day, because people would go to grave sites to pay tribute to their loved ones and people that sacrificed for our country. But, did they pray for them while they are there? This got me to thinking about my entire blog. So, I did a bit of research and discovered that Memorial Day is considered the most Catholic Secular Holiday.
Almost every year, many diocesan representatives throughout the whole United States give Field Masses at various cemeteries on Memorial Day to pay tribute and honor service men and women who gave their lives for our freedom. According to Fr. Richard Kunst,
“Memorial Day is particularly Catholic, because we profess the truth that even after death God cleanses us from our sins and the effect our sins have on our souls. Praying for the dead is not common to all Christian religions, but to us it is sacred.”
“So this coming Memorial Day weekend, when you go to the cemetery, don’t just decorate the graves with flowers. Pray for your deceased loved while you visit where they are laid to rest. And even if they don’t need your prayers, God in his divine wisdom never allows any prayer to go to waste.“
With that said, I think that we should all pray, no matter what religions faith you are, not only for the ones that gave their lives, but also for all the men and women that have served and are serving. They are a special type of person. They have all been willing or are willing to give their lives for our Freedom – Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom to live our lives as we choose. And, I guess that’s why they say God bless the U.S.A.
From Fr. Richard Kunst and myself:
Wishing all of you a very blessed Memorial Day weekend!
See you again soon,