While waiting for the audience with the Pope, Eugene continued to visit the holy places of Rome. In his diary he often expresses his awe at some of the places or at celebrations.

After leaving His Eminence, I went into Saint Peter’s where, for more than an hour, I admired the beautiful artworks in that church, which I could never get tired of seeing.

Roman Diary, 16 December 1825, EO XVII

Two days later he was back in St. Peter’s Basilica for a beatification ceremony:

This was a memorable day. I went to Saint Peter’s where Archbishop Mazio had me placed in a privileged spot, where I was able to see and hear everything marvellously. First of all, I saw the entire part of Saint Peter’s church from the confession to the far end where Saint Peter’s chair is, held up by four Doctors of the Church, two Latin and two Greek, lit up by a prodigious number of candles, for the day of the beatification of Blessed Angelo d’Acri, priest and Capuchin missionary, whose covered image was hung up at a great height, all surrounded with torches…
As he completed reading the decree, the veil covering the saint’s image was lowered and the officiating Prelate intoned the Te Deum. Then he said High Mass of the Blessed. The sung music at this mass, accompanied only by the organ, was superb

 Roman Diary, 18 December 1825, EO XVII


“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”   Albert Einstein

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” Those very words alone are nothing less than a magnificent invitation on how to start the day! It is like walking out of the dark, through a doorway and into the light. God! My God! Those two words expressing all the wonder and awe that is possible to experience by such as myself. Experiencing God. It is that which Eugene experienced in all of the beauty that he saw. He found it in the absolute richness of the works of art, the grand buildings and altars themselves and the sacred rituals that he took part in (for he was no casual observer here – I believe he took part in it all as fully as was possible). With Eugene it was always it seems very intentional. He did what was expected of him and let God take care of the rest. Even in that it was intentional.

    “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” Even as I write these words I find myself entering into a different way of being. God is here. A year ago I found myself in Rome, but unlike Eugene it was only for a couple of days, and my purpose for being there – well even that was a bit of a mystery – it was a part of a personal pilgrimage I was on. So I went where it was suggested I go (which was to the Vatican) and saw many incredibly beautiful works of art. I went not to be moved by the beauty and oppulence, by the richness of it all, but simply because I was told to. It was in the going and being there, that I somehow entered into the mysterious and allowed myself to be touched and embraced by God in a deep unconscious way. I could not feel God at some moments, all that I could feel was my own smallness, humanness and utter lack of any type of control at all. It was entirely a mystery, but I did know it was of God.

    I keep thinking of what Anda shared yesterday. It seems to me she was doing exactly as was written by Eugene. She was doing her job as if it all depended on her (and in a sense it did) and then she was handing it over to God even to the extent that of seeing that it might not have been done with the most “perfect” reasons. She was doing exactly what she had to and in the middle of that she was experiencing her own poverty. Incredible and utter beauty in that, in her. A mystery to be sure, but awesome beautiful Anda.

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