Her Excellency Anne Leahy, Canadian Ambassador to the Holy See, held a reception last Sunday evening at Villa Laurier, her official residence (via di Porta San Sebastiano)--her office is near the Vatican on via della Conciliazione.
During the reception to honour the Canonization of Brother Andre, International Affairs Minister, the Honourable Lawrence Cannon spoke briefly.
A few photos taken as dusk was falling on the gathering:
On my way home, walking down a side street I hardly ever take, I ran into some parishioners from Ottawa's Blessed Sacrament Parish who said they had been looking out for me all weekend. They say there are plans for a statue of Brother Andre to be placed in an alcove in their church.
One last shot of the Tiber River at night...arrivederci, Roma!
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Today's liturgy allows for an optional memorial of St. John of Capistrano:
Son of a German knight, his father died when John was still young. The young man studied law at the University of Perugia, and worked as a lawyer in Naples, Italy. Reforming governor of Perugia under King Landislas of Naples. When war broke out between Perugia and the House of Malatesta from Rimini, Italy in 1416, John tried to broker a peace, but when the opponents ignored the truce, John became a prisoner of war.
During his imprisonment, John came to the decision to change vocations. He had married just before the war, but the marriage was never consummated, and with his bride’s permission, it was annulled. He joined the Franciscans at Perugia on 4 October 1416. Fellow student with Saint James of the Marches. Disciple of Saint Bernadine of Siena. Noted preacher while still a deacon, beginning his work in 1420. Itinerant priest throughout Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia, preaching to tens of thousands. Established communities of Franciscan renewal. John was reported to heal by making the Sign of the Cross over a sick person. Wrote extensively, mainly against the heresies of the day.
After the fall of Constantinople, he preached Crusade against the Muslim Turks. At age 70 he was commissioned by Pope Callistus II to lead it, and marched off at the head of 70,000 Christian soldiers. He won the great battle of Belgrade in the summer of 1456. He died in the field a few months later, but his army delivered Europe from the Muslims.
O God. who raised up Saint John of Capistrano to comfort your faithful people in tribulation, place us, we pray, under your safe protection and keep your church in everlasting peace. Through our Lord.