Between 1955-56, Father Paul Donovan studied in Rome.

A regular “feature” in the group has been checking in with +Paul. He wrote many letters and postcards describing studies, travel, and history. (Check out all the locations he visited here!) He really knew how to pack in the information. I especially like this one as he jammed it full in his itty bitty script to 14-year-old Sue Ann.

This is the 1st in a series of cards I am going to send you since you indicated an interest in Rome’s attractions. This is the famous “Castel of the Holy Angel (Michael)” located on the Tiber River & of course very near St. Peter’s. It dates back to 135 AD when the Emperor Hadrian started the structure as a mausoleum for himself and future pagan emperors. In the course of centuries it has undergone a series of transformations. The last emperor was buried here in 211 AD. A subsequent ruler made it a fortress; another used it as a prison. In the Middle Ages, it was practically the citadel of the city of Rome. The Church also has used it at various times: one Pope lived there for some time in Renaissance days; other Popes fled to the Castle for protection from invaders of Rome etc. In 590 AD there was a terrible plague in Rome. Pope St. Gregory the Great ordered special prayers and organized a prayer procession. St. Michael appeared on top of the Castle to assure them their prayers were answered, so Castle was renamed.

Uncle Paul

Postcard face - sent from Father Paul to Sue Ann, dated 14-December-1956
Postcard back - sent from Father Paul to Sue Ann, dated 14-December-1956