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A marathon of gratitude in Rome

I recently completed in the 22nd Maratona di Roma – it was a special Jubilee Edition of the marathon dedicated to the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, currently being celebrated in the Church. This was my third marathon and running in the Eternal City of Rome was really special for me. Rome has given me so much peace and joy ever since I lived there while attending the Emmanuel School of Mission in 2011-12. During my time at ESM I rediscovered the joy of running when logging many miles running in the early mornings or during sunny siesta time, at the Villa Doria Pamphili, the largest landscaped park in the city.

The marathon is a challenge, a discipline that I have learned to respect. I had trained diligently for this race and gave it my all but unfortunately I struggled in the closing stages and I was forced to slow down considerably and even stop for a short while; but I was determined to keep going, eventually finishing in a time of 3:18:39, in an overall position of 993rd in the field of 16,764 entrants from 115 countries.

Even though it was a struggle towards the end, it gave me immense joy to run in ‘Maratona di Roma’. It was a special grace to run past many of the pilgrimage sites of the city, especially St. Peter’s Basilica. I have experienced many blessings from my time living in the eternal city, in a vibrant Catholic community at the heart of the Church. Through the marathon I entered that space of interior peace and gratitude where I could give glory to God for the graces which he has outpoured in my life, which were the fruit of my time living in Rome. It was a special blessing to complete my marathon day with a pilgrimage to the Holy Door and Mass in St. Peter’s, to give praise and thanks to God for the gift of his mercy and boundless love.

– Patrick Muldoon