A former Swiss Guard and the current director of entrepreneurship at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., traveled to Rome for the papal canonizations on a “spiritual pilgrimage,” according to the University’s website.
Andreas Widmer, who spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview at the beginning of this year, said that he has always had “privileged access” to Pope John Paul II, but wanted to attend his canonization as a true pilgrim. The University reports:
“The coolest thing about this pilgrimage is that we know a saint,” Widmer says. “Pope John Paul II was a normal person to me. He was my boss. To go to the canonization of someone you know is really amazing.”
“For the canonization, the chances that we make it into St. Peter’s Square are thin,” Widmer says. “But the canonization is not a spectacle. It’s a spiritual event. Having visited for John Paul II’s funeral, I know that I want to be in that crowd. The atmosphere is something unique.
“Eventually the restaurants run out of food and the people in the crowd take care of each other. You get to know the people around you after spending so many hours with them. It doesn’t matter if we get close or not. I just want to be there.”
The Catholic University of America is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.
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