Entering Rome on Easter Weekend can be a busy experience but this Catholic city is also alive with an incredibly vibrant spirit this time of year. Although I’m not a particularly religious person, I was raised in the Catholic Church and I’ve always found the mysteries and ancient traditions interesting.
Although everyone knows the Pope celebrates with an Easter Sunday Mass at St.Peter’s Basilica each year, you may not know that he also hosts an outdoor Good Friday Mass at the Colosseum each year. I was lucky enough to attend.
After being searched twice, one is let into the grounds where on one side there is the Colosseum- an ancient theatre that once hosted the incredibly violent gladiatorial games. On the other side of you, perched above, is the Roman Forum, where “Papa Franco” gives his sermon and where the traditional Stations of the Cross end. A huge sea of thousands of people holding candles wait to hear what the Pope’s words will be this year. Even if you don’t speak Italian, you’ll surely enjoy this historic tradition. Whether you are Catholic or not, there are feelings of hope through out which can’t be ignored.
After so many worldwide terror attacks this year in Beirut, Syria, Palestine, France, Belgium and beyond, Pope Francis provides the world with words of hope. I think his succession from Pope Benedict, whose career was writhe with scandal, is exciting for all people- not just those who practice Catholicism. Although I may not agree with all his views or those of the Catholic Church, it seems to be a step in the right direction or history in the making if you will.
Peace, love and history.
P.S. I thought I’d include a few shots of my trip to Rome for those who are interested!