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You are here:Home / Family News / NEF 2013 / Family News - 2013 July 14th / 150th anniversary...
Jul 13, 2013

150th anniversary...

Betharram in Rome

150th anniversary...

Since our community is situated in the heart of Rome and since pilgrims come to Rome above all “to see the Pope”, we were wondering how best to announce this jubilee year celebrating the 150 anniversary of the death of St Michael Garicoits...

The church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli is central and many people, as they cross the Piazza del Popolo drop into the church either through curiosity or to say a  short prayer.  What could we Betharramites do to let the world know that there is also St Michael Garicoits and that his spirituality is very up to date?  Don’t be afraid that we won’t be heard.  Doesn’t St Paul tell us that we cannot stay silent?  So here is what we suggested to the faithful using our church on a regular basis and those simply passing through:

The first step was to celebrate the 14th May and a goodly crowd of people was present at the celebration which assembled the fathers of the communities in Rome and of Monteporzio.

On Friday 17th May we introduced St Michael using the icon by Fr Giancarlo Monzani. On 21st, 22nd and 23rd June the doors of the church Santa Maria dei Miracoli remained open all day for prayer and reception.  On Friday 21st there was an hour of adoration with the “St Michael Choir” from Pau offering Betharramite hymns with short reflexions on the spirituality of our Patron saint.  On Saturday 22nd was the inauguration of an exposition by the photographer Jean Jacques Stockli, preceded by a talk given by Fr Francesco Radaelli.  Among those present were the parishioners from Montemurio who had come to Rome for the occasion; on Sunday 23rd there was a solemn Mass concelebrated in the church of St Louis des Français, presided by Mgr Robert Le Gall, archbishop of Toulouse.  In his homily, Fr Gaspar spoke with much conviction of the beauty of the message from St Michael.  The same day, after Mass, the faithful who already know St Michael and those who were hearing of him for the first time, joined for drinks and nibbles offered by the Congregation.  To bring this day to a close the “St Michael Choir” from Pau was our guest and in the courtyard of Santa Maria del Miracoli there was a festive dinner offered by the Generalate. Finally, we can be satisfied with the first part of the day, but is it enough?  We don’t think so.  Following the example of “The Friends of the Society of Jesus, Mary and Joseph” who use the church of Santa Maria del Miracoli and who went on pilgrimage to Betharram and Lourdes, may others take an interest in St Michael and Betharram, encouraged by our message and our witness.

Angelo Riva, scj


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