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The Beloved Pius X Taking a Walk in the Gardens of the Vatican

( Originally Published 1907 )



It looks as if we might be a long distance from the city. A broad expanse of the garden, as we know, does lie between us and the great palace off at our left. St. Peter's also is too far toward the southeast to be in range at the moment, even if this tall hedge and the embowering trees did not cut off all distant view.

The public in general are not allowed to wander freely through this part of the palace grounds, the intention being to reserve here an opportunity for the Head of the Church to find perfect rest and quiet, out-of-door recreation. It is by reason of special, exceptional privilege that we are permitted now to meet His Holiness, face to face, while he is taking a morning walk.

The young priest accompanying the Pope is Monsignor Pescini, one of his two chaplains. Their office is to assist the Pope at his ordinary functions, since there is a particular ritual for the Pontiff both in his private and his public functions of State. There is in addition a preacher whose duty it is to expound the Gospel and the duties of religion to the Pope and the members of his court; and also a confessor, usually a venerable monk, before whom he must kneel as a child of Adam and open his soul like the humblest of men.

Our next position is not far from the present spot, a little south (left) of the farther end of this long path. The map shows it plainly, near the far west end of the garden, where the Grotto of Lourdes stands. Our position is marked by the number 30, which indicates a point directly in front of the grotto.



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