Ciao! This is Jacqueline. This year I was able to celebrate Halloween, the Feast of All
Saints, and All Souls Day in a unique way in Rome Sweet Home as well as through old
Halloween is definitely the time for apples, dressing up, and lots and lots of candy. We
made sure that we had all of those. We were able to find or make costumes, some of
which were super impressive (for example, we had a pretty convincing Lion and
martyrs, Saint Ignatius, and Cindy Lou Who). We also got mounds of candy and let the
Junker children trick-or-treat from door to door which was absolutely adorable.
While Halloween is not as big in Italy as it is in America, they take the Feast of All
Saints to a whole new level. They have lots of Saints buried everywhere around here
and even more relics all of which are venerated and celebrated on this day. It was
awesome to be with many of the Saints on their feast day and see so many people
from all over the place, gathering to see their patrons. As inconvenient as crowds can
be, it’s also amazing to think about how universal the church is. And, it reminds me of
how blessed I am to spend an entire semester visiting as many Saints as I want.
One neat thing about this time of the year was that there were flowers everywhere.
People flock to the cemeteries outside the cities limits at this time and lay flowers on
the graves of those they love. Actually, visiting a Roman cemetery on All Souls Day
was one of the most unique things I have experienced so far. Father Carola took us to
see the cemetery which was above ground and was massive. It is hard to describe
because it was so unlike anything I had ever experienced before. There was
mausoleum after monument after gravestone, stretching in every direction for as far
as the eye could see. It was a necropolis filled with flowers, people, and silence. As
dusk fell and shadows filled the entire space, the flickering of the candles became
more visible and the whole place was filled with the movement of dark and light, a
place filled with sorrow and death but also hope of those who had lost their loved
Rome has been filled with so many incredible experiences like these; it allows me to
see and touch my faith in a real way. I am able to see the relics of the Saints, sit where
they sat, and not only pray where they prayed but also what they prayed when I join
them in the mass. All you Saints in Heaven, Pray for Us!!!