Buona sera from Rome. We finally have all the voting Cardinals here and at the end of their first full day of meetings they announced a date for the start of the Conclave. On Tuesday they begin to select a successor to Pope Benedict the XVI; a line of Popes that can be traced back to Peter.
There are a few pilgrims and tours walking around. As always, you can find a number of cheerful nuns and sisters milling about, but I’m pretty sure that’s standard on any night in St Peter’s; conclave or not.
The largest group without a doubt are media members. More than 5,000 media credentials have been issued and tonight you could hardly take a picture near Vatican City without a photo bomb by at least a few media members.
If you wondered how every TV shot has a perfectly framed picture of St Peter’s Basilica in the background, here is your answer. There has been a giant platform set up for media and just about every building in the area has a roof top media perch.
Are you wondering what to do between now and Tuesday? Well, you could check out John Allen’s great ongoing series on the Papabili.
You could also learn and, if you have children, Catechize them on how the Pope is chosen. See this great lesson plan written by the Archdiocese of Washington.
But the most important thing you can do is pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to come down and give each Cardinal the wisdom to find the right man for the Church and courage to vote for that man. Let us pray;