It was a proud moment! After the private papal audience we got our photo taken next to the papal throne (this one belonged to Pius X)!
Even as a little kid I had dreamed of entering the famed Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace. It had taken me this long. As a boy I used to look at old black and white photos of Pius XII in the same room and it was one of my ambitions from that age to enter the same Clementine Room.
In Italy some people somtimes ask me how I got interested in the Faith as a kid. My answer is simple: once I got my hands on a photo book of Pius XII. It changed my life.
I had never seen such splendor or wonder - anywhere. It was the eighties, in America.
We had an old parish library which had already been ignored and forgotten for years. But providence led me there one day as the door was unlocked. My mother brought me in to greet or meet a friend there and as a kid, I was bored and saw on the lowest shelf a big book with big pictures.
I still remember the moment as I reached for that book and took it home and have it to this day. The library was soon after cleaned out and the books disposed of. But that book changed my life - it was photos of Pius XII.
Thank You, Jesus!