Flashback: May 1, 2009

If you go out in Rome today, you’re in for a big surprise: today’s the day the Anarchists have their festa. (Reminds me of a song I knew as a child.)

We don’t have classes today, so I don’t plan on going into the city.

Today is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, which is Labor Day in Italy. Among other festivities, there is a free rock concert held every hear in the piazza outside the Lateran. When I was here back in 2009, I stumbled upon it while looking for the Scala Sancta. I knew something was up when the metro stops nearby were closed, but I decided to try to find them anyway, since it would be my last chance to pray there before the semester ended an I returned home.

What I found was anything but an atmosphere conducive to prayer. But that’s okay; Labor Day is a time to have fun. And, unbeknownst to me at the time, I would have plenty of other opportunities to come back.

The entire area was packed with people, including some walking around selling beer out of buckets. I didn’t partake, but probably only because I wasn’t carrying any cash at the time. But what struck me–and here’s where I get to the point–is how many people were wearing T-shirts with anarchist and communist logos. And there were stands set up for vendors selling said T-shirts, as well as rainbow flags with a marijuana leaf superimposed on them.

Now I’m all for supporting the legitimate rights of workers, but (and I hope this statement isn’t too controversial) I don’t think the way to go about that is found in Anarchy, Communism, or Marijuana. But maybe that’s just me.

Buona Festa!

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About Emmett Hall

I'm a seminarian for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas, working on a theology degree at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. My views are solely my own, based on a reasonable grounding in the Western Tradition, and subject to correction if necessary. They do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or any institution with which I am associated.
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