Photos for today
Images from the live webcast of the General Audience in St. Peter's Square.  Watch the audience via streaming video at the Vatican's fabulous website (the choir sings at 28 minutes into the broadcast).  View more photographs of the audience here.

Mike Galvin's photos (thanks, Mike!)

Anne St. George sent these shots along:

Father Ryan got these shots at the audience:

But can anyone top these pictures Stacey took?!



Father Ryan's 40th Anniversary Mass at Sant'Andrea al Quirinale (Thanks, Alison and Joseph!)
Click here for before and after shots


The Cathedral Staff "Pilgrims-at-Home" celebrated the conclusion of the pilgrimage
with a pizza party in the Pastoral Outreach Center.  Father Ryan, congratulations
on celebrating your 40th in Rome!  We look forward to celebrating with you here
in Seattle.  Hurry home, pilgrims!  We've missed you!


Prayers for Today

MORNING:  San Pietro in Vincoli

Remember my chains
Colossians 4:18

Michelangelo’s Moses and Peter’s Chains

British essayist Georgina Masson has said, “It is the church’s misfortune—one cannot view it in any other light—that it contains one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces, the famous Moses on Julius II’s tomb.” A misfortune because people sometimes don’t see anything else! Michelangelo’s powerful depiction of Moses was intended to be one of a number sculptures on the tomb of Pope Julius II, which, to Michelangelo’s bitter disappointment, was never completed. Giorgio Vasari wrote that “no modern statue could ever rival it in beauty… it seems that while you gaze at the statue, you feel the desire to ask for a veil to cover his face, so splendid and radiant does it appear to onlookers.” According to Vasari, the Jewish people of Rome would come to this church simply to gaze on this image of Moses, whom Michelangelo had depicted with such reverence, dignity, and power. This church takes its name from the precious relic of Peter’s chains, which are venerated in a reliquary under the altar. The relics were mentioned at the Council of Ephesus, and have been venerated on this spot since the fifth century.

Peter’s Chains

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter, secured by double chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison. Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly.” The chains fell from his wrists. The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.” (Acts 12: 6-8)

Intentions for this morning

PILGRIMS TO ROME AND PILGRIMS AT HOME: Today let us pray for prisoners, for those justly and those unjustly imprisoned. Let us pray in a special way for prisoners of conscience throughout the world. May all prisoners be treated with dignity and respect.


EVENING:  Sant’ Andrea al Quirinale
Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Father Ryan's Ordination

May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment
Rite of Ordination

The Pearl of the Baroque

That is the name that has often been given to this wonderful little church, the work of the great Bernini, and one of his favorites among all his works. American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in 1858: “I have not seen, nor expect to see, anything else so entirely and satisfactorily finished as this small oval church; and I only wish I could pack it in a large box, and send it home.” It was this church that Father Ryan chose for his first Mass, which he offered shortly after his ordination at St. Peter’s on December 17, 1966. Click here for more pictures.  It was also a favorite church of Blessed Pope John XXIII, who in the following meditation describes the day of his own ordination in 1904:

Angelo Roncalli on the day of his Ordination

In the afternoon I was alone, alone with my God who had raised me so high, alone with my thoughts, my resolves, the joys of my priesthood. I went out. Utterly absorbed in my Lord, as if there were no one else in Rome, I visited the churches to which I was most devoted, the altars of my most familiar saints, the images of Our Lady. They were very short visits. It seemed that evening as if I had something to say to all those holy ones, and as if every one of them had something to say to me. And indeed it was so. O blessed saints, who in that hour were witnesses to the Lord of my good intentions, now you must ask him to forgive my weaknesses and to help me to keep ever alight in my heart the flame of that memorable day.

Intentions for Today

PILGRIMS TO ROME AND PILGRIMS AT HOME: Today we give God thanks for our pastor, Father Ryan, whose ministry as a priest these forty years has touched our lives and the lives of countless other people. Let us pray that he may feel God’s presence in a special way in this 40th anniversary year. Let us also pray that God may call many generous and gifted people to service in the Church.



This Italian site includes photos of San Pietro in Vincoli
Read excerpts from the Holy Father's remarks at today's audience
Watch the audience via streaming video at the Vatican's fabulous website (the choir sings at 28 minutes into the broadcast)
This site includes information on Sant'Andrea al Quirinale as well as a virtual tour

View more photos of today's audience at Catholic Press Photo's website
See more photos of the Audience by L'Osservatore Romano here


Excerpts from the General Audience with the Holy Father, Wednesday, March 22

VATICAN CITY, MAR 22, 2006 (VIS) - In today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 35,000 faithful, Benedict XVI continued the catechesis he began last week on the calling and the mission of the Apostles.

"St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians," said the Pope, "presents the Church as a structure 'built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone.' ... The Gospels all agree in recounting that the call of the Apostles marked the first steps of Jesus' ministry."

The Holy Father went on to consider this call in the various gospel accounts. St. Mark and St. Matthew place the scene at the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus called the fishermen Simon, Andrew, James and John to be "fishers of men." For his part, St. Luke dwells on the miraculous catch of fish, "a symbol of their mission as fishers of men. The destiny of those 'called' will, from now on, be intimately linked to that of Jesus. The Apostle is an envoy, but prior to that he is an 'expert' on Jesus."

For St. John, the meeting took place on the banks of the River Jordan and "and throws light on [the Apostles'] spiritual world. They were men awaiting the Kingdom of God, anxious to know the Messiah Whose coming had been announced as imminent. And John the Baptist's identification of Jesus as the Lamb of God was sufficient to arouse in them the desire for a personal meeting with the Master."

"Thus the Apostles' adventure began as an encounter between people who opened to one another," said Benedict XVI. "The disciples began to have a direct knowledge of the Master. Indeed, more than proclaiming an idea, they will be witnesses to the person of Christ. And before being sent to evangelize, they will have to 'be' with Jesus, establishing a personal relationship with Him. On this basis, evangelization will be nothing other than the announcement of what they experienced and an invitation to enter into the mystery of communion with Christ."

Although Christ appears to limit the Apostles' mission to Israel alone when He says "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," in reality, the Pope explained, these words must be seen in the context of Israel as a "community of the covenant. According to messianic expectation, the divine promises will be fulfilled when God Himself, through His Chosen One, gathers His people together, like a shepherd his flock."

"Jesus is the eschatological shepherd Who gathers the lost sheep of the house of Israel and goes out to seek them, because He knows and loves them. By this 'gathering,' the Kingdom of God is announced to all people." After Jesus' passion and resurrection, the Pope concluded, "the universal nature of the Apostles' mission became explicit. Christ will send the Apostles 'into all the world,' to 'all nations,' and 'to the end of the earth'."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 22, 2006 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, which was held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled that Friday, March 24, is World TB Day, an annual United Nations initiative to combat tuberculosis.

This is, said the Holy Father, "an appropriate occasion to call for renewed commitment at the global level, that the necessary resources may be made available to cure our sick brothers and sisters, who often also live in situations of great poverty. I encourage the initiatives of assistance and solidarity towards them, hoping that they may always be guaranteed dignified conditions of life."

AG/WORLD TB DAY/... VIS 060322 (110)