After having an amazing experience in St Peter’ Square meeting the Pope in a General audience, some of us went for a quick trip to either the coliseum or the Basilica of St John Lateran – the Cathedral of Rome and thus the seat of the bishop of Rome – Pope Francis. It was a great experience to spend some quick moments in prayer and then hop back on the bus and head on our way to the Generalate for the Order. It was a short bus ride over, and when we arrived we were greeted by the Abbot General – …..- . At the foyer of the Generalate, we were told the history of the building as well as a little about why the headquarters is in Rome. The long and short of it is that during the French Revolution much of the Abbey of Premontre was destroyed or taken over by the state. Since then, the order decided it was time to find a headquarters and what better place than Rome.
As Fr James and Jay were telling us, the building is in need of repair, but there were still some amazing aspects of the place. Starting with a beautiful courtyard that hosts images of saints and blesseds of the Order. It was there that the Abbot General shared a brief history of each. After our tour of the courtyard we made our way up to the roof of the building and enjoyed an amazing view of much of Rome. It was a great visit and an amazing welcome by the Abbot who again showed us what radical hospitality means.
Here are some pictures from the Generalate: http://s256.photobucket.com/user/sjohnxxiii/story/23025