The day started early with a quick breakfast before boarding the bus to St. Mary Major, one of the four major Basilicas of Rome. There we celebrated mass. Christen Favorite, our cantor for the pilgrimage, sang the Ave Marie after communion. The acoustics of the church made her rendition spectacular. Next we visited another major basilica, St John’s in Lateran which has magnificent statues of the 12 Apostles. At the church of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, we saw the display of the fragments of the Holy Cross found in Jerusalem by St. Helena, the mother of Constantine.
We visited another amazing church, St. Praxedes, which houses the remains of many of the Christian martyrs of the early centuries.
In the afternoon we toured Imperial Rome, visiting the Coliseum and the Roman Forum. Emily taught on the connections between the two Holy Cities, Rome and Jerusalem. The tour concluded with a visit to the Basilica of St. Peter’s in Chains, where we saw one of the masterpieces of Michelangelo, the famous statues of Moses. Jeff had the special opportunity to meet with his longtime friend, Cardinal Burk, who lives in Rome. Cardinal Burke has always been an inspiration to Jeff.