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As It Was in the Beginning

As It Was in the Beginning

Is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

A group of women standing behind me recited these words as they prayed the rosary. At 6:45 a.m., they were just a few of the hundreds of thousands gathered to celebrate the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

These words caught my attention as I stood outside St. Peter’s Square. Each time they came back to that part, I recited it silently to myself:

As it was in the beginning

is now and ever shall be 

world without end.

Or, to put it simply, eternity. I find this an appropriate word to sum up the beginning of my study abroad experience in Rome, the Eternal City.

This place is truly magical. Each winding street has a surprise around the corner—a lively piazza, a flowing fountain, the Pantheon (you should have seen my face when THAT appeared out of nowhere), or a welcoming gelateria. The city is a maze, but that’s okay. Time and place don’t matter when you’re wandering around lost in the moment.

Then, there is the Colosseum. Despite being centuries old and surrounded by apartments and a metro station, this structure isn’t going anywhere. Even the Roman Forum, most of which is gone, is still eternalized in the soil.



And then I was given the opportunity to experience an everlasting moment. As I watched Pope Francis officially canonize Mother Teresa, I experienced the beginning of her eternal sainthood. It was beautiful and moving. For a moment, the Vatican was frozen in time.

Before the canonization began, we prayed the rosary as a congregation. This time, I listened to the prayer in Italian.

Come era nel principio, ora e sempre nei secoli dei secoli.

As I reflect back on my first days in Rome, I pray the rest of this experience is just as eternal.


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