During the Jubilee of Mercy a few years ago, I had the privilege of being in Rome. During my time there, I visited many great and beautiful basilicas, filled with astonishing paintings and sculptures, many of them probably priceless. And yet, none of these moved me in the way that one tiny little Church did. It was the Chiesa S Gaspar del Bufalo, just to the left of the Trevi Fountain.
The little Church was very small and – by Roman standards, at least – very simple. There was one main Altar, above which hung an image of the Virgin and Child, golden rays streaming out from it. You can see it in the main image on this page. And off to the left of the little Church, a plain side Altar, under which lie the remains of Saint Gaspar.
What really caught my attention was a visit there one evening because I knew they were having Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Indeed, the image above was taken on that evening. Understanding how great a grace it is to spend a little time with the Lord in this way, I had gone to the Church that evening. There were a number of people there, sitting in the comparative silence whilst outside, the crowds thronged around the Fountain, perhaps many of them oblivious to the Treasure on offer in this inconspicuous building. On the Altar, not only was the Blessed Sacrament exposed under the species of Bread, but also (just below it) under the species of Wine, too. I had never seen this done before.
I spent a while there, praying quietly amongst all those who were doing the same.
And even now, several years later, I recall that evening very vividly and with deep affection and appreciation for having been there. For some inexplicable reason, that evening in that little Church entered deep into my heart and there it remains and I can recall every second of my time there before the Lord.
As a devotee of the Divine Mercy, perhaps it really isn’t so surprising; after all, the Precious Blood exposed upon that Altar in Rome is the same Blood we see streaming from the Heart of the Merciful Lord in the Image of Divine Mercy.
And yet, how astonishing this is when we think about it – in Exposition, we are able to see (and, in Holy Communion, to actually receive) this Blood which filled the Heart of Jesus during His life. The same Blood; the same Lord. What words here could possibly describe this miracle?
I thank the Lord for the graces of that evening, which remain with me, even now. And in this month, which the Church in her wisdom dedicates to the Precious Blood of Jesus, I think about it with great fondness and deep awe.