Tuesday, 13 October 2009

M is for...


Maria

When I was in Rome the very first time (2007), I also visited the Vatican. After my group had gone off to wander the streets of Rome a bit more, I still hung around the square in front of Saint Peter. There were fences everywhere and people were gathering alongside those fences. The majority of those people was female and they were all wearing flowers, special shirts, special scarves and tears in their eyes. So, I got myself a good spot and waited, because what else can you do?


After an hour or so the tension was mounting. The speakers blared Ave Maria over and over and women were crying and chanting along. And then, all of a sudden, a helicopter appeared. The women got into a frenzy now, trying to get the best spot to see. I let some of them stand in front of me (on account of them being on the smaller side), but they hardly had time to thank me, because it was coming!


Now, I still didn't know what was coming, but it was great to see it all unfold. Underneath the helicopter was a statue! After the statue was brought to earth safely, the procession started. Now, any Catholics out there, please forgive me if I don't know which is which, but in some order there arrived Choirboys, Priests, Cardinals, Chaplains and after they had all passed, the women (and men). In one big line towards Saint Peter for a special Mass!


Right before everybody disappeared however, I grabbed hold of one of them and asked who and what. In 1917, at the height of the Great War, two children were playing when all of a sudden they saw a statue of Maria weep. It made headlines of course and the town where it happened (Fatima in Portugal) became a place of pilgrimage. Ninety years later, the fact that Maria had weeped was celebrated in the Vatican!


For more M words from around the world, please check out ABC Wednesday and join in the fun!

21 comments:

  1. Very interesting post and lovely shots!

    Enjoy!

    Sylvia

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  2. I'd love to visit Rome! Lucky you!

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  3. Interesting story. I like the fact that you didn't even know what was going on but you stayed to watch.
    M is for Mara!

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  4. Very powerful. I'm glad you stayed around to see what was happening. Very interesting story.

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  5. Could you visit have been in May?
    Generally May is the month celebrating the Blessed Mother.
    Catholic churches everywhere still have processions and crown her statue with a ring of flowers. I remember as a kid all the girls wanted to be the chosen to place the crown on Mary.
    Nice post. Rome is on my list!

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  6. Interesting post and beautiful photos!

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  7. A place I have always wanted to visit, and your imaes whet my appetite more so.

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  8. There is probably much that can be discussed in relation to such a story, but you have made a nice the description of sociological phenomenon!

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  9. This is a fascinating post, Mara! I've been to St. Peter's twice, and to me it is still one of the most awe-inspiring places in Rome. What an experience this must have been!

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  10. that sounds like such an exciting experience. great story.

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  11. Wow! that is really great that you stayed to see it. It just goes to show you that good things come to those who wait.

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  12. MY MY
    MARIA
    MUCH MADNESS
    MIND BOGGLING
    MUCH LEARNED
    MAYHAM
    MUST WANDER ABOUT MARIA
    MADE ME LIFT MY EYEBROWS
    HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

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  13. Fancy flying it in by helicopter, but I suppose it would not be held up by traffic. How lucky to happen upon this interesting event.

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  14. A very interesting event to witness. Thanks for sharing!

    My ABC & Watery Wednesday

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  15. Very interesting story, Mara. I'm glad you waited there to see what was happening AND took photos too.

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  16. Wow, thanks for sharing this exciting event. Lucky you stayed at the square and did not leave with the rest of your group and witnessed this event.

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  17. That looks like quite something to see! How kind of you to let the smaller people stand in front. :)

    Great pics - I especially like the one of the helicopter arriving!

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  18. How wonderful to have been there at such an opportune time. A x

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Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!