Since we didn’t arrive two hours early to get a seat in the temporary grandstands, we walked around for quite awhile, and decided to try to snag a seat. We could only find a place to stand on the stairs the led up to the grandstand, so we took our place. Believe us, it was very hard to “keep our place” the entire night, as people walked by and tried to force their way in and on us. It was jammed to the max with people. We of course thought standing for about two hours would be nothing…… little did we know that this “procession” was REALLY going to take four hours!!!!
After Norm announced to me, let’s say about 75 times, that “Hey Rita!! I can see just two more groups coming up the street”, (and about 75 ACTUAL groups later), we finally got to see what we came for. It was 12:35 AM!!!!!
We anxiously watched as the reliquary box that holds the belt was unlocked by the Bishop through the use of two separate keys and then displayed inside the Duomo to the people attending the special mass, and then outside on the Donatello pulpit. After it was displayed three times, we decided to leave our perch and head home for the night!
Yeah, this was our latest evening out for us the entire time we’ve been gone! We didn’t get home until 1:45AM, so we were definitely night owls this night! But, it was all worth it even to Norm, who now thinks that all Catholics can’t tell time and are always LATE!!