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Ms A 60v

[60v°] our voyage, there where I believed I would encounter consolation but where I found the cross! It was night when we arrived and as we were all asleep we were awakened by the shouts of the porters crying: “Rome! Rome!” It was not a dream, I was in Rome!

[5] The first day was spent outside the walls and was perhaps the most enjoyable, for the monuments have preserved their stamp of antiquity. In the center of Rome itself one could easily believe one was in Paris, judging by the magnificence of the hotels and stores. This trip through the Roman countryside left an indelible impression upon me. I will not [10] speak of the places we visited, as there are enough guide books describing these fully, but I will speak only of the principal impressions I experienced.

One of my sweetest memories was the one that filled me with delight when I saw the Colosseum. I was finally gazing upon that arena where so many martyrs had shed their blood for Jesus. I was already preparing to kneel down and [15] kiss the soil they had made holy, but what a disappointment! The place was nothing but a heap of ruins, and the pilgrims were expected to be satisfied with simply looking at these. A barrier prevented them from entering the ruins. No one would be tempted to do so. But was it possible to come all the way to Rome and not go down into the Colosseum? For me it was impossible! I no longer heard [20] the guide’s explanations. One thought raced through my mind: get down into the arena! Seeing a workman pass by carrying a stepladder, I was on the verge of asking his advice, and it was good I didn’t as he would have considered me a fool. In the Gospel, we read that Mary Magdalene stayed close to the tomb, and every once in a while she stooped down to peer inside. She finally saw two angels. Like her, while recognizing the impossibility of seeing my desires fulfilled, I

 


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