A SCHOOLGIRL and her two friends from the Sacred Heart Convent, Brighton, who had bicycled to Rome in 21 days, had an unusual climax to their pilgrimage when they saw an account of their journey presented to the Pope last week by Fr. William Orr. during a public audience in St. Peter's.
Seated on a raised tribune, within a few feet of the Holy Father, the three girls, Elizabeth Bower, aged 17, Parvine Raaavi, and Miss de Bertoult, saw him accept the blue envelope containing the account of their pilgrimage.
He read how they had travelled through the wind and storms, sometimes riding throughout the night to avoid the heat.
NUNS HELPED They had several breakdowns, which had been repaired for them without charge. A priest, seeing the three girls riding in shorts in early hours of the morning, asked them if they had any parents.
Some nuns had insisted on paying for comfortable hotel accommodation for them as they were unable to put them up themselves, and others had offered them beds in hospital wards and even maternity beds rather than let them sleep in the tents they had brought with them.
At Pistoia, some men offered to push their bicycles for them up the steep hill to a convent.
When the girls eventually reached Rome, they found that their efforts had won them four days free accommodation at one of the Holy Year hostels and, in addition, Cardinal Pigneddli, secretary of the Holy Year committee, himself presented them with a copy of his hook,