It was Holy Week when they arrived in Rome
, and she was anxious that the “neophytes” should see as much as possible of its impressive ceremonies.
She took them to St. Peter
's to see the washing of the pilgrims' feet by noble Roman ladies, and to hear the “Miserere” in the Sistine Chapel
These functions are briefly chronicled in the Journal and more fully in “From the Oak to the Olive
“Solid fact as the performance of the functions
remains, for us it assumes a forcible unreality, through the impeding intervention of black dresses and veils, with what should be women under them.
But as these creatures push like battering-rams, and caper like hegoats, we shall prefer to adjourn the question of their humanity, and to give it the benefit of a doubt.
We must except, however, our countrywomen from dear Boston
, who were not seen otherwise than decently and in order.”
A vivid description follows of the ceremonies of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, ending with the illumination of St. Peter
“A magical and unique spectacle it certainly is, with the well-known change from the paper lanterns to the flaring lampions
. Costly is it of human labor, and perilous to human life.
And when I remembered that those employed in it receive the sacrament beforehand, in order that imminent death may not find them out of a state of grace, I thought that its beauty did not so much signify.”
In the Journal she writes, April 19: “It is the golden calf of old which has developed into the papal bull.”