A Sea of Love
While studying in Rome I had the opportunity to attend a canonization mass at the Vatican. One of the newly minted Saints, Saint Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, was the first male saint from Chile and thousands of Chileans - some of whom had spent great savings - had come for the occasion. The atmosphere was like a soccer match with giant Chilean flags and chants of "Chi chi chi! Le le le! viva Chile!". A Chilean man behind me, tears in his eyes and his crying wife beside him explained to me the importance of this man, a priest who was known for dedicating his life to the poor. A Chilean soldier presented a gift to the Pope and I was told he was the only survivor of a recent military training disaster that had taken many young lives. The photo is of a woman who sat in front of me. Also a Chilean, she had come with a home made poster depicting Saint Alberto as he was remembered by thousands in the square that day- driving his green truck to pick up the homeless and help them find shelter and fill their needs. Not a Catholic myself, I nonetheless found the emotion in the square that day deeply touching and the life of the Saint inspiring. The Roma-Lazio match up I went to at the soccer stadium that night couldn't come close to matching the enthusiasm and energy of that mass.
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