Greetings to you from the neighborhood of Santa Maria Maggiore. After an afternoon stop in Orvieto, we have arrived in Rome.
We had a beautiful morning in Assisi to bid a bittersweet goodbye to Sts. Francis and Clare. Yours truly took advantage of the nearby friary full of Franciscan priests, and I went to Confession.
I don’t think any of us really wanted to leave Assisi, but we got on the bus anyway, because we are on a mission from God to get to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and to see the Pope.
We reached Orvieto at mid-day. The roads up to the ancient hilltop city are closed to outside traffic. So we traveled by funicular up to see the magnificent medieval Duomo. We explored the town and lunched. Then we had Holy Mass in the crypt of the cathedral, surrounded by the tombs of four bishops.
Our hotel here in Rome is two blocks from the Papal Basilica of the Blessed Virgin, where we will have Mass on Friday. Tomorrow morning we will go to St. Peter’s Square to see Pope Benedict.
Then we will go to the Holy Office. Not because I have been called in for questioning. An old friend of mine works there, and he wants to show us the place.
After lunch, we will visit the catacombs. Then we will go to the tomb of St. Paul, at his Basilica “Outside the Walls”—ie., south of the walls of the ancient city. We will celebrate the Holy Mass there.
I wish I had more snapshots to show you. Our photographers have been working hard to provide nice pictures for these posts.
Unfortunately, computers do not work the way they are supposed to work. They bait and switch. It is unlikely that we will be able to have any more snapshots. It IS likely that I will throw my laptop out of the third floor window of this hotel.
These posts will not be enjoyable without snapshots. This blog is becoming lame. I am sorry.
Count on our prayers for you, though, at the tombs of the Holy Apostles.
Tomorrow, when we receive the Pope’s blessing, he will be blessing all those we represent, too–the entire parish of St. Mary of the Assumption and the whole loyal readership of P & BD.