When in Rome…Get Pooped on by a Bird

“Carpe diem.”

-Horace

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go on a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi. Wow. I have no idea where to start. It was so amazing to see all of those beautiful churches and to be in the Eternal City. I won’t be able to talk about  the entire trip, but I will do what I can. I will highlight the big things and touch on the rest of it. I guess that the best place to start would be the beginning… In the beginning, when God created… Wait, no. Too far. Well to start off the travels, I had the opportunity to go to Florence. After Florence, we made our way to Rome. The first thing to welcome us to Rome was the metro… If you’ve ever been to Rome, you know that that is not quite the most warm of welcomes, but it helped us get accustomed to it. We would be using it all week.

Our week consisted of so much! We had the opportunity to go on tours each day to see many different churches and sights around the Rome-area. We went to Mass everyday: in St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, a side-chapel of St. Peter’s Basilica, St. John Lateran, and Sts. Cosmas and Damian (the motherhouse of the TOR friars). We stayed at a nice hotel, at which we had dinner every night. We went to so many beautiful churches, saw where the bodies of many saints are buried; we saw SO much. I wish I had kept track of all of the saints I saw. There was so much more to do and so much more to see; I wish I had had more time.

After getting there on Saturday, we had Mass at a small parish church in the outer parts of Rome. It was a simple church. I 100_1126was glad to have started with that one, because all of the other churches blew that one out of the water. On Sunday, we went to Mass (in Italian) at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, one of the four major basilicas in Rome. We had the opportunity to walk around and gaze upon the beauty of the church. We had the chance to pray before the tomb of St. Paul. After Mass, we went to the Angelus with Pope Francis. Then we got to tour St. Peter’s Basilica. It was quite amazing. It was so open and beautiful. I got to see the tombs of several saints and popes (including St. Peter and Pope John Paul II). I also got to see the original Pietà. There were so many amazing works of art to behold within that church. It truly lifts one’s mind up to God.

On Monday, we had the opportunity to celebrate Mass in the St. Joseph Chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica. Right next to the chapel is the spot believed to be the place where St. Peter was crucified. After Mass, we were able to get a tour of the area of Rome. Each day we got to tour different parts of Rome. There is no way I could cover everything that I got to see throughout those tours. We saw a great number of churches, in which many saints were buried and many relics are kept. I think I saw over 20 churches throughout my time in Rome. In St. Mary Major (one of the four major basilicas of Rome), I saw wooden boards from the manger in which Christ lay in Bethlehem. I saw the post on which Christ was scourged. I saw the (outside of the) Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, and so much more!

On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to have Mass in St. John Lateran. We got to walk around and see that beautiful church, where the skulls of Sts. Peter and Paul were. I wish I could convey to you the immense beautiful that dwells within all of these churches. When walking through Rome, it was always so strange: we would be walking through these narrow streets, and they would suddenly open up just enough to reveal this magnificent church. There were so many churches everywhere, with so many relics and tombs of different saints. In one of the churches, there was the pillar on which Christ was scourged. Wow. That really made Christ’s Passion real. His blood was spilled for us as He was chained to that pillar.

On Wednesday, we had a very early morning, getting up to get to St. Peter’s Square i100_1437n order to go to Pope Francis’s Ash Wednesday Audience. There were so many people (though not as many as we expect to be at the Canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII). He addressed the season of Lent that was beginning that day. He talked about how Lent is a time for conversion, bringing ourselves back to God and turning back to the Gospel. After the Audience, we found our way to ‘the best pizza place in Rome.’ Because it was Ash Wednesday, we were limited. So it was alright. We made our to some more churches. During the tour, outside of one of the churches, we were waiting for everyone to get there, and a bird flew over and pooped on me. It got in my hair, on my coat, and on my bags. I guess that God wanted to teach me some humility… It worked. After that, we walked past the Roman Forum, ending at the motherhouse of the TOR friars (Sts. Cosmas and Damian) for our Ash Wednesday Mass. The next day, we got up and set our for Assisi, about which I will post soon.

There was so much to see during our time in Rome. There is no way I could amply talk about all of them specifically. If you would like me to elaborate more on any of the topics mentioned, please let me know. It is quite difficult to pick things about which to give many details.

“Quod scripsi scripsi.”

-Pontius Pilate

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Duc In Altum

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Channel of Peace | Eärendil Star
  2. Trackback: What I Learned in Austria Is… | Eärendil Star

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