There was a story just now on TV news of a young girl with Usher's Syndrome, a progressive ailment which causes blindness and the loss of hearing. While she can still see, her American Catholic family hoped to take her to see Rome.
Turkish Airlines learned of this family's wish, and provided free tickets for the entire family of four. Today, the little girl was personally blessed by Pope Francis. Her family is praying for a miracle.
I kept dry eyes throughout that lovely story, until the camera turned to show The Colosseum, and the standing monument nearby, engraved "SPQR." Seeing that, I wept profusely, even from my healing right eye, barely 48 hours post-op.
"Senatus Populusque Romanus," I said.
The first republic.