Thunder of cheers through Rome
Continued from page I that his smile hardly ever left his face. And the Holy Father himself, when the ceremony was over and he spoke to the people from his throne, told of hi joy: "This wonderful evening . . This hour of splendid triumph . . . This day . .. blessed and memorable."
His Holiness himself said he counted it "among the happiest days of our Pontificate, to which Providence has allocated so many sorrows and cares." A happy day too "for the entire Church which, gathered around us in spirit. rejoices all together in a great thrill of religious feeling."
"We offer heartfelt thanks to God in His goodness for allowing us to take part in this extraordinary event," said, the Holy Father, "all the more so since for perhaps the first time in the history of the Church, the formal canonisation of a Pope is proclaimed by one who had the privilege of serving him in the Roman Curia."
Half a million people packed in St. Peter's Square and down to the Tiber heard the Holy Father, reading from a parchment document, speak the words of the infallible pronouncement into microphones which took his voice all over She world.
Thirty thousand or more found room in St. Peter's the following morning when in the presence of the Holy Father the Dean of the Sacred College, Cardinal Tisserant, celebrated the 'Pontificals Mass of the Canonisation.
Many more thousands received the blessing of His Holiness from the balcony of the basilica after the Mass, a blessing which also was taken round the world by radio.
And on Sunday evening 1,000.000 venerated the body of Pope St. Pius X, in a crystal casket, as it was drawn in a coach drawn by six white horses through the strets of Rome to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where all this week thousands have been passing by it in procession and joining in the traditional thanksgiving.
Moreover. another triumphant celebration is being planned. For the people of Venice. led by Cardinal Roncalli, are asking the Holy See to let them have. at least for a time. the relics of their Patriarch who, when he began his journey to the Conclave of 1903, promised the Venetians to return "dead or alive."
Early this week it was stated that St. Pius will in fact he entombed in St. Mark's Cathedral. Venice. The ceremony. it is believed, will take place on August 20, his feast'day.
The sun, which had sent the temperature up into the high 80's, vsas sinking behind the green hills on the slopes above the Vatican when the Holy Father, heralded by the silver trumpets and preceded by the long lines of 1,600 prelates, Cardinals and members of the Papal Court, came into the square from the Sistine Chapel.
His Holiness had been preceded earlier by a procession of many hundreds of clergy, the heads and members of religious orders and congregations, and secular priests.
People could see little or no sign at all of the effects of the Holy Father's illness as, turning this way and that as he was borne in the sedia gestatoria across and up the square to the basilica, he gave his blessing and a constant smile to the cheering throngs.
For 11 minutes the cheers thundered without a break.
Coming from his throne to pray at a faldstool soon after the ceremony had begun. His Holiness stumbled slightly. But this was due to his great cope. Members of the Papal Court hurried forward, but His Holiness smiled and gestured them away. At the electrifying moment-19 minutes after he had come into the square—the Pope pronounced the words of canonisation.
As soon as he had finished, naming August 20 as the Feast of St. Pius X, the multitude thundered their cheers for two minutes so loudly that the sound of the bells of St. Peter's, annoupcing the news to the City, was completely drowned.
Then the bells of Rome's 446 churches rang out their jubilatioh.
Some 18,000 priests and laymen of Catholic Action walked in the official procession ahead of and behind the coach, Thousands of spectators broke from the pavements to join them.
The crystal casket lay on the carrier banked by white carnations and lilies and oak leaves and fern.
The saintle body was magnificently clothed in Papal vestments embroidered in gold and `silver and trimmed in white ermine.
When the procession left St. Peter's there was a solemn, almost funerallike, atmosphere. But as it slowly moved through the packed streets, the occasion became the triumphant parade of a saint.
Waiting, the crowds sang and joined in the Gregorian chant of the marchers. But as the coach passed they stood silent. the beat of the horses' hooves and the rumbling of the carriage wheels the only sounds.
Immediately afterwards, they roared into a thunder of cheers. "Viva Santo Pio" and "Viva il Papa" filled the twilight and the night unbrokenly for two hours.
Many people in the crowds along the route threw flowers tower& the coach.
Rich velvet tapestries in scarlet and gold hung from buildings all along the route. From humbler homes the people hung out pieces of cloth or rugs.
In the Basilica of St. Mary Major, under the blaze of 4,000 candles which from a distance glowed like stars, 44 Cardinals, hundreds of prelates and the Diplomatic Corps waited to see it borne to its temporary shrine beneath a golden canopy.
The English Provincial of the Marist Fathers, Fr. L. Patton, of Darlington, is leading a pilgrimage of Marist students'and former students to Rome for the canonisation on June 13 of Blessed Peter Chanel. Blessed Peter, who was martyred 113 years 'ago, will be the first Marist to be canonised.