Joseph lights a candle at the grave of St. Lucy in Venice, Italy.
Looking past the main altar (which was missing due to reconstruction efforts) toward the grave of St. Mark, inside St. Mark's Basilica.
Entering the stream of traffic on the sidewalk outside the door of our hotel in Padau was like jumping into a raging river. Just a few blocks' walk to the train station, we rushed along single file, dodging the incoming foot traffic streaming into Padua for the day. We purchased our tickets to Venice from a self-serve kiosk for about 10 Euros each, and found the platform. While waiting for departure, we met a friendly military family (wearing Cougar gear) from Tacoma. On respite from a post in Germany, their group's journey to Venice began with a 2.5 hour bus ride from Pisa to Padua. How fortunate we were to have had our home base in Padua (right next to the train station) before beginning our Venetian experience with a 35 minute ride.
Our picnic lunch in Venice.... sshh, don't tell the picnic police!
Stepping out of the train station Venezia Santa Lucia onto the shores of the Venetian canal felt a bit like entering Disneyland: grand, surreal, CROWDED, loud, chaotic; beautiful in an urban sense with glimpses of natural beauty in the winding waterways...and places to spend money every few steps. The shores of Venice were lined with water taxis and gondolas, but we set out on foot, hoping to find St. Lucia at San Geremia's Church before the noon closure. Only one wrong canal crossing (and a purchased map) later we found Santa Lucia and entered what would become our favorite place in all of Venice. We started our day with St. Lucy in prayer, lighting candles for loved ones and praying for the intercession of St. Lucy; and we ended our day there, at the 6PM daily Mass.
In between visits to St. Lucy we:
- enjoyed an illegal picnic on a side street along a canal
- took an overpriced canal tour in a fancy gondola
- maneuvered single file along choked pedestrian only streets
- prayed at St. Mark's, St. Salvadore's, and St. Nicholas of Tolentino's Churches
- made two espresso stops in order to have the use of toilet facilities
- refused to pay 2 Euros at the turnstile inside St. Mark's Basilica to visit his grave
- gawked at the amount of garbage blowing around the square near St. Mark's
- got gelato from a surly clerk
- watched the "working Venice;" intrigued with the adaptations for the aquatic environs
- posed for and took many photos with the sights of Venice around us
Saint Lucy, your beautiful name signifies light. By the light of faith which God bestowed upon you, increase and preserve this light in my soul so that I may avoid evil, be zealous in the performance of good works, and abhor nothing so much as the blindness and the darkness of evil and of sin.
By your intercession with God, obtain for me perfect vision for my bodily eyes and the grace to use them for God's greater honor and glory and the salvation of all men.
Saint Lucy, virgin and martyr, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions.