But only a short time later, when Antonyus and Priest Hernestus climbed the Pincian Hill, the clouds parted and the OBELISK OF ANTNOUS was bathed in radiant sunlight.
Reaching the Obelisk on foot from the Vatican is not for the weak-hearted, and involves dashing across busy streets, cutting across crowded plazas and finally climbing a rather steep hill.
There are no signs anywhere to tell you where the Obelisk is located, and it is seldom well-marked on tourist maps.
But Antonyus had his own personal, compiled-by-hand guide manual to Rome. So he led the way as Hernestus huffed and puffed along behind him, hoping that the Flamen knew where he was going.
At the top of the hill, with no signs to guide him, no indication of where the Obelisk might be, Antonyus studied his guide manual, closed his eyes for a moment, then looked up and pointed to a clump of trees and stated confidently: "It's right there!"
We headed up an unmarked path and, sure enough, the Obelisk was where he had predicted it must be.
And it was at that moment that the dark clouds parted and the Obelisk, fresh-washed from the rain, was aglow in brilliant sunshine. Its granite sides gleamed, the droplets of water in the incised hieroglyphs twinkling like gemstones.
Both priests meditated and prayed before the Obelisk, whose Egyptian hieroglyphic text provides the most detailed and profound prayer and description of Antinous the Gay God which has come down to us.
Just as we had made our farewells to the Obelisk and were preparing to leave, the sun disappeared behind clouds ....