S+L logo

Excitement builds in the Eternal City

October 16, 2010
We're less than 24 hours away from the canonization of Br. Andre Bessette of Montreal. The excitement in Rome is palpable. It can be hard to spot Canadian pilgrims because they don't all wear Canadian flags on their backpacks. But walking around Rome today with a Canadian flag on our camera, Danielle Jones - Salt + Light's camerawoman/editor/production coordinator - and I kept hearing "Bienvenue Canada!" or "Hey! Canada!" Naturally we'd go over and chat and discover that, indeed, we'd been found by yet another group of "Br. André Pilgrims".
At Piazza Navona we found a couple from Midland, Ontario who have had a devotion to Br. Andre and St. Joseph for a long time and couldn't pass up the opportunity to be here in person for the Canonization.
At the Pantheon we found a group of pilgrims from Quebec who couldn't be more excited to see one of their own being raised to the altar. "It's nice to be here in community with all the other people from Quebec because he's our biggest saint. For me, he'll be another addition to my devotional life because he took care of the poor and the marginalized and lived in prayer with others. In fact, that's the food of love," said Gaétan Grenon one of the Quebequois pilgrims.
Canadians are not the only ones celebrating a saint this weekend. Australians are celebrating the canonization of Mary MacKillop, their first saint ever. Approximately 8,000 Australian pilgrims are in Rome retracing MacKillop's footsteps.

Related posts

Vocation Myths | Part 5
God’s idea of fulfilling one’s vocation is that which will lead to greatest holiness and eternity with Him in heaven. Our idea is often more earthbound. ...read more
Mother Clelia Merloni: Once Rejected, Now Blessed
Read all about Mother Clelia Merlone, who experienced sickness, slander, financial ruin, betrayal, and rejection - and who will be beatified on Nov 3. ...read more
JPII: Did you know?
In honour of the feast day of Pope St. John Paul II today, here are some fun stats from his papacy. ...read more
The Saints We Know and the Saints We Don’t
Quick: tell me your favourite thing about St. Agileus. St. Cannatus? St. Fortunatus? St. Thecla? Fr. Matt Gworek explores the wonderful variety of saints. ...read more
Homily of Pope Francis at the Canonization Mass
Pope Francis asks: Do we follow Jesus as lovers, really prepared to leave behind something for him? Read the full text of the homily here. ...read more