Eugene, the pilgrim, describes another of his special experiences in Christian Rome.
We returned to the Mattei palace where Monsignor d’Isoard stays; we had a light lunch and quickly got back into the carriage to go in procession to Saint Peter’s, where a confraternity had arranged to gain the jubilee indulgence by making a stop for prayer at Saint Peter’s. The Monsignor Dean of the Rota, in his prelate’s garb, carried the crucifix, I was beside wearing my cassock and long coat. As we went along, we sang the litany of the saints and I felt a real pleasure in making the streets of the Christian world re-echo my voice, singing the praises of God.
When we arrived at Saint Peter’s we were presented for veneration by the faithful the famous relics of the Passion, such as the wood of the true cross, the holy lance, etc. I was deeply moved by the profound silence which reigned in that entire basilica during this ceremony. Everyone was kneeling in the most pious prayer.
Nevertheless, it was an immense crowd. I should remark in this regard, what I have noticed ever since I came to Rome, continually making the rounds of churches; that I have noticed always and everywhere there has been the greatest respect, and that the piety of the faithful, who are however all ordinary people, poor peasants, most of them in rags, always edifies me more and more.
Roman Diary, 18 December 1825, EO XVII
“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” ― C.S. Lewis