Saturday, October 12, 2013

Parish Pilgrimage - Day 6 - Saturday, October 12

Today we began very early - in order to get to St. Peter's Basilica one more time - this time for the celebration of the Mass at the altar of the Apostles of Europe.  It was wonderful to be so close to Peter's tomb in the Vatican Grotto (underneath St. Peter's).  (Sorry, I didn't have my camera).

Then, because we are in the ancient city of Rome, we fist visited the church of St. Peter in Chains.  We remember the scripture where St. Peter had been arrested and chained in prison, and the angel of the Lord appeared to him, and the chains fell from his wrists and he walked out of the prison.  The tradition is that these very chains are here in this church in Rome.  The church also houses the very famous "Horned Moses" by Michelangelo.  It is called "horned" because the rays that come from Moses' head (after speaking to God face-to-face) appear to be more horns than rays.  Thus, the nick-name, the "Horned Moses."

Our Group outside the Church of St. Peter in Chains
The chains of St. Peter

Then, following our visit to the church, we visited some of the famous points in Rome: beginning with the the Colosseum.

Then we headed off to the famous Trevi Fountain (where many put "Three Coins in the Fountain" - as per the movie and tradition.

Following this we had a very nice lunch together, then walked with Fr. Bateman to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona - I couldn't bring them to Rome without seeing these two, great landmarks.  Then, after some free time, some decided to take a taxi back to the hotel for some rest before dinner.  Others decided that they would walk back.

As we walked back we went past St. Peter's Square one more time - only to discover that there was a large, evening celebration in honor of Our Lady of Fatima going on.  Tomorrow, Pope Francis will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary - just as Mary requested at Fatima.  As we approached the Square we heard singing and saw a huge crowd.  As we got close to realized that THE statue of Our Lady of Fatima was being carried throughout the Square as people sang and prayed.  When I say THE statue, I mean that one in which John Paul II put the bullet that almost killed him on May 13, 1981.  So we were privileged to see this statue being carried throughout the square.

Photo of the statue of Our Lady of Faitma - the best I could get...
Then, after a little rest, we gathered for our "farewell to Rome dinner" at a local restaurant.  Music, wine, more music, more wine - it was a wonderful evening!

We had a wonderful time!  Chris Kostka even made some friends...

Tomorrow we begin our journey toward Lourdes, France.  The day is spent traveling, so won't be much to blog about.  But maybe I'll try to capture some photos of our journey...

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