by Melinda Gallo

La Messa in casa

My friend Rossana called me on my cell while I was out walking down via Guicciardini yesterday at lunch. I had just thought of her a moment or so before that, so I was surprised to hear her voice. "Vieni stasera alla meditazione? C'è un sacerdote che farà la Messa in casa!" (Are you coming tonight to the meditation? There's a priest who will be doing mass in my house!).

She couldn't speak long on the phone to explain what was going to happen because she was at work, but I decided I'd go since I hadn't seen Rossana or gone to one of her meditations in a long time. I also hadn't attended a Messa in a long time, and I thought it would be interesting to see what they do at home.

She arranged for her friend Lia to pick me up at the Fortezza da Basso so she could drive me to Rossana's place in Sesto-Fiorentino. Right after Lia and I arrived, the sacerdote (priest) arrived with an older blonde woman whom I learned later receives messages directly from the Madonna herself.

After chatting a little about the weather, we all went downstairs to Rossana's basement where she set up a little room for meditations. All eleven of us sat down in the small room while the sacerdote set up a makeshift altar by placing out the wine, a chalice, ostie (hosts), and his Bible. He quickly began the Messa as soon as he finished.

I found out that the sacerdote was only 33 and is originally from Viterbo. He spoke with an accent, so I knew he wasn't Florentine. I love the way he doesn't say the end of the verbs, like "mangia'" instead of "mangiare."

Rossana began her guided meditation after the Messa. The sacerdote also did a guarigione (healing) to each of us after the meditation, which I had never experienced. He placed his hands on our heads and made the sign of the cross with some ointment on our foreheads.

By the time it was all finished, it was 11:30PM. Rossana asked each of us to talk about our experience of the Messa and meditation. At first, I was a little nervous because I didn't know them, but I just said, "È andato bene." (It went well.) The blonde woman who gets messages from the Madonna said, "Sì, era molto tranquilla" (Yes, she was very peaceful.)

We ate a few snacks upstairs in Rossana's kitchen and then we said goodbye to everyone. Lia drove me back to Sant'Ambrogio, which is the closest place to my apartment where cars can come without a resident's permit. I didn't make it home until almost 1AM and was completely exhausted.

I was happy to see Rossana and her friends for the Messa and meditation. I wished that I could've talked some more with Rossana, but I was happy to meet her friends and enjoy a unique moment together.

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