Duomo Saint Agatha, Catania

On the stair case in the picture below, each day as I passed it, (which was most every day) I would see groups of maybe 10 or 12 women, ranging in age from 40 to 80, completely clothed in black from head to toe. These gentle women were waiting for confession to begin before Mass. Since I saw them each time I passed by, I could only deduce that they came every day. I learned soon after that these women were all widows who mourned for their husbands. What fascinated me was their devotion to the sacrament of Penance! Each day they would confess their sins and hear Mass. What sins could these women possibly incur in a 24 hour period which brought them each day to confess?

Below: The Doumo in Catania, Sicily.

It was years later, 20 or so to be exact, when an angel told me*. It was quite simple really. The closer one is to sanctity, the more one is aware of their sin.

During this period of Lent especially, we should all be cognizant of our sins, and one of the greatest of Gods gifts, Confession.


* I am entirely positve it was an Angel, I was not thinking about the Doumo at the time when the answer to an unasked question popped into my mind.

Note: Originally built during the 11th century the Doumo was reconstructed during the mid 18th and is profoundly the work of Giovanni Battista Vaccarini (February 3, 1702 – March 11, 1768). As a church architect Vaccarini introduced into Sicily the church plans of the Renaissance which had passed Sicily by. However, many of his churches are based on the designs of churches he had seen in Rome. In front of this building Vaccarini designed a fountain, of an obelisk upon the back of the Catanian elephant, (which still remains) itself a remnant of Bernini's (sculptor for Louis XIV)

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