Today was D-day for our project, though without the sort of planning that went into that attack. As anyone who has ever lived in Italy can attest, you really never can know what to expect until you get there. We heard widely differing accounts of what we might expect when we tried to set up our books near the square, and were very much afraid we would have to walk great distances to get past the barriers.
As 5AM rolled around and we scoped out the actual situation, it was the best we could possibly hope for, no doubt thanks to the outpouring of prayers of support from those following our project. We were able to pile up our boxes in two key spots near the north and east of St. Peter’s square without being bothered at all by the police, security or military, all of which were present.
Our gratitude for answered prayers was almost turned into total disaster when we found after transferring the first load of three boxes (all we could move with our single dolly) that despite great care, we had managed to lock our keys in the apartment.
Did I mention that this happened at about 5:30 AM?
In total despair we had no choice but to ring one buzzer after another until someone awoke and kindly buzzed us in. Those of you reading or listening to this now, I ask you to reward this unknown angel by showering her with your prayers. Without her, this entire project would have been canceled.
This morning’s team consisted of a mere 7 people, including myself and a fellow homeschooling mom, two students from the Angelicum, a local woman and her 32-year old son, and a friend from Brazil. Three had to leave when the Mass began, but aside from this, 5:30 AM until 3:30 PM every one of them worked uncomplainingly, carrying heavy loads of boxes long distances to our station points and humbling themselves to join the hawkers that crowd the Vatican, offering our free wares to the passersby.
Thanks be to God, with even these few soldiers, our little army managed to distribute over half of our 7000 books. They made their way into the hands of priests, religious and Religious Education Directors as well as ordinary folks from every continent.
Though we craved rest after the day’s taxing labours, we had other urgent problems to attend to. Our current apartment just steps from St. Peter’s Square was only available for the weekend and we were scheduled to move to another AirBNB on Monday morning.
Unfortunately, we got the bad news yesterday that the owner had cancelled at the very last moment, leaving us stranded.
The good news is that we were able to find another that was not three times the original price.
The bad news is that it is not suitable for storing the 150 boxes of books still packing our courtyard.
So we have gone begging for help in the hopes of finding a place to store these in enough time to remove them from the apartment before our check-out time of 11AM.
Sigh…so…we need your prayers once more to find a solution to our latest crisis.
We leave now to attend a Solemn High Mass celebrated by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, yet another of the rare privileges we have been given in the few days since we arrived. We are praying for all of you and are grateful for all your prayers. God has worked miracles of grace so far and seems to be outdoing Himself.