He is Risen, He is Truly Risen!!

HAPPY EASTER!  This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad! For our Lord has risen from the dead, concurring sin and death, setting the captives free and winning for us the salvation of the world!!  Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

We got up this morning and had breakfast at the Villa.  We were out the door at 8:45 with the Sienkiewicz family to head to Easter Mass.  We left early so that we could get down to the Duomo to see the Easter Parade.  There is a tradition here in Florence called The Explosion of the Cart where during the Gloria at Easter morning Mass this giant cart that is filled with fireworks is set off.  The Mass we were going to was right in the middle of the explosion so we didn’t get to actually watch the explosion, instead we went down early to watch the parade.  The cart was pulled by four GIANT white oxen throughout the streets of Florence and ends in the Piazza in front of the Duomo.

Here are a few photos of the Duomo (we are going back tomorrow to actually go inside so I’ll post more then, but here are a few:   

    
  Here is a video I got of the oxen pulling the cart.  Sorry it isn’t the best quality, I had Genevieve on my shoulders so I was trying to film and make sure she didn’t fall off! 
From there we walked to Mass at a parish in town that has an English Mass every Sunday.  We figured that it was probably best to attend Mass on Easter in a language we fully understand so we can enter into it more prayerfully, rather than going in Italian and being able to see the explosion.

When we arrived at Mass they were looking for volunteers to do the reading so I volunteered to do the first reading and responsorial psalm.  Again, I find it awesome that I am able to come all the way to Italy and being able to help with the liturgy in such a way – just goes to show the universality of the Catholic Church!

After Mass Celina and I treated the Sienkiewicz’s to gelato as an Easter treat! From there we walked up to the Piazza di Michaelangelo where we had a picnic lunch and took in the SPECTACULAR view of the city!  You would think as often as I have said that on this trip it would get old, but the views are just stunning!!   

    
    
  
After lunch we walked back down the GIANT hill and made our way to the “leather market” which is an outdoor market filled with vendors selling leather coats, belts, purses, wallets, notebooks, scarves and lot of other little items.  I got some pretty good deals on a few scarves and a leather bound notebook – it was fun to barter back and forth on prices with the vendors!
After that we just made our way back to the bus station to head back to the Villa.  When you have five children under the age of 13 with you, traveling through the busy streets of Florence takes a bit longer and A LOT more energy so by 4:30 we were all ready to head back!

One of the funniest things I have noticed here in Florence are their street signs – they have taken the signs and put stickers on them to create funny designs. I have created a new page (like the Saint Counter) and I will post photos of the signs I saw today and the ones I see tomorrow!

Once we were back at the Villa we all relaxed for a few hours and then we had Dinner that was specially prepared by the Villa staff for Easter! Once again it was delicious!  

 

   

After dinner we spent time with the family and said a Divine Mercy Chaplet together.  Finally, after a very long day it was time to put the kids to bed and get to get ourselves. It is 11:00 here now and we are going to sleep! (I’ll post all the street signs tomorrow, no new saints today, but we may get some tomorrow!)

I walked 19,081 steps today, which is 7.97 miles!

Good night from Florence and HAPPY EASTER!!  Rejoice in our RISEN KING and SAVIOR!

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