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Ms A 59v

[59v°] dungeons have also ceased to suffer. When we were visiting these frightful prisons, I imagined myself living back in the days of the martyrs and would willingly have remained there in order to imitate them! However, we had to pass quickly from there and cross over the “Bridge of Sighs”; it was given this name because of the sighs of consolation heaved by the condemned when they saw themselves [5] freed from the horrors of the underground caverns; they preferred death to these horrors!

After Venice, we went on to Padua where we venerated the tongue of St. Anthony, and then on to Bologna where we saw St. Catherine who retains the imprint of the kiss of the Infant Jesus. I could go into many interesting details about each city and the particular incidents that took place on the [10] trip, but I would never end; I will write only about the principal events.

It was a great joy to leave Bologna since this city had become unbearable to me because of the students who filled it and formed long lines on the streets through which we had the misfortune to go on foot. I disliked it also because of the little incident which happened to me with one of the students. I was indeed happy [15] to be on my way to Loreto.

I am not at all surprised the Blessed Virgin chose this spot to transport her blessed house, for here peace, poverty, and joy reign supreme; everything is primitive and simple. The women have preserved their graceful Italian dress and have not, as in other cities, adopted the Paris fashions. Loreto really charmed me!

[20] And what shall I say about the Holy House? Ah! how deep was my emotion when I found myself under the same roof as the Holy Family, contemplating the walls upon which Jesus cast His sacred glance, treading the ground bedewed with the sweat of St. Joseph, under this roof where Mary had carried Jesus in her arms, having carried Him in her virginal womb. I beheld the little room in which the angel had appeared to the Blessed Virgin. I placed my rosary in the little bowl of the Child Jesus. What ravishing memories!

 


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