Ad Limina Apostolorum

Interior of St. Peters by Giovanni Paolo Pannini
Interior of St. Peters by Giovanni Paolo Pannini. This church--the largest on earth--was built to house to tomb of St. Peter.
The Holy Apostles Peter and Paul shed their blood for Christ in Rome. St. Peter died by the cross and St. Paul by the sword under the Emporer Nero in A.D. 67. Ever since then, Christians have come from all over the world to visit their tombs.

Among his other duties, the Pope is the custodian of these holy places. The pilgrimage ad limina apostolorum usually affords an opportunity to see the Successor of St. Peter and receive his blessing.

A group of pilgrims from St. Mary’s parish in Upper Marlboro, Md., will–God willing–reach the Eternal City on the feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul, November 18.

St. Paul Outside the Walls
St. Paul Outside the Walls, built to house the tomb of St. Paul
May it please the Lord to pour out many graces upon us when we kiss the earth made holy by the martyr’s blood!

Perhaps November 18 will actually be St. Paul’s 2,000th birthday. It could be, after all.

We are likely within one year of his 2,000th birthday. We do not know the exact date. Perhaps we pilgrims should just assume that his birthday is November 18, and have a canoli or some gelato when we arrive in Rome to celebrate.

May the Holy Apostle pray for us, that we will have a safe journey and will profit from our pilgrimage as God wills.

Everybody else, please pray for us! We leave the U.S. on Saturday. We will be stopping in Assisi and Orvieto on the way to Rome.

Speaking of the way to Rome, Hillaire Belloc wrote a thoroughly enjoyable book about his pilgrimage on foot from France to Rome.

4 thoughts on “Ad Limina Apostolorum

  1. Is Rome far enough to get away from the 0-5 Wizards? I’m also surprised you didn’t plan the pilgrimage for the Redskins’ bye week! Apparently, you can catch the Redskins – Cowboys game at “The Highlander Pub” (, though you;ll want to check whether they’re open for a 2:15 AM kickoff.

    Have a safe and prayerful trip.

  2. Thank you for the good wishes, Juan. Judging by the hour of your comment, I am guessing that you had baby-duty last night.

  3. Oh my goodness! I took the link to the book. It is hilarious, in a Fr. White sort of way! “So this threat about the heavy task of Beginning breeds discouragement, anger, vexation, irritability, bad style, pomposity and infinitives split from helm to saddle….” The dreaded split infinitive! It all seems so familiar, after all how many priests can interweave wolverines in a homily on the Basilica of St. John Lateran?

    I also send my best wishes for a safe, fruitful and grammatically correct sojourn.

  4. Thank you for your kind wishes, Mary Ann.

    Also, I didn’t know that you are such a diehard Neil Diamond fan!

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