Day Five, April 15th

Today, on Divine Mercy Sunday, we were able to have mass at St. Mary of the Angels, a church designed by Michelangelo using the abandoned ruins of the Baths of Diocletian and transforming it into an amazing place for Christian worship. From there we began our walking tour through some of Rome’s most famous sights like the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona which in antiquity was a stadium built by Domitian where many Christians were martyred. There is a statue of St. Agnes there. In the center of the piazza is the magnificent Fountain of Four Rivers sculpted by Bernini.

We ended up at St. Peter’s Square for a blessing from Pope Benedict XVI from his apartment window. After a break for lunch, we finished the afternoon with a trip to the Holy Staircase where we prayerfully ascended the stairs on our knees like millions of pilgrims before us. The Holy Staircase was brought to Rome from Jerusalem by St. Helena as it was understood to be the stairs upon which Jesus ascended when he was condemned to death by Pilate. It was a moving experience for many of us.