Sr. Bobbi’s Dispatch #5
This is Mamertinum Prison, where Paul was imprisoned in Rome. For more pictures visit our Facebook page!
This is our day for reflection, which is built into the schedule. That is quite wise as the days are so busy that I usually go to bed instead of writing!!
It is simply an amazing experience to walk the streets of Rome. With its narrow cobblestone streets and open markets, it is as if we were really in early church times. Like maybe Peter could be preaching on the next corner!
One day our group – which includes Sr. Ruth and me, along with 27 Benedictine Sisters from around the world – had tickets to The Scavi tour that goes under St. Peter’s. There lies Peter’s grave along with the rich history of the excavation of the whole site. There is also the description of how Peter’s altar was designed and eventually the high altar of today built above Peter’s head. The 1.5-hour tour ends at John Paul’s grave with an enormous line of people passing by and many, many flowers strewn about. Many people crying. I walked by and then went on to view many other burial vaults of Popes. Quite a few years ago I read the history of the Papacy and I surprised myself at remembering some of the Popes I was seeing.
Another day we toured the church and home of St. Ambrose where the monks of Subiaco have their offices. The State actually confiscated the property and the monks own only 1 or 2 paintings. But the monk who met us is the procurator and we got the full tour of all beautiful rooms and history. He then took us to St Cecilia’s where a Benedictine Sister gave us a full tour – top to bottom – of the crypts.
After lunch we walked through Campo Fiorie and its open markets, and then continued to the Pantheon. What a gorgeous and well preserved interior! The open space in the dome represents the “Eye of God and the sun looking down on us,” and it is surrounded by the universe which, by the year it was built, included only 5 planets.
We then viewed Catherine of Sienna’s Tomb at her Church of Maria of Minerva. This was a beautiful church. Not far off was the Church of Il Gesu which is the home church of Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuits. We also went thru the residence and original home of Ignatius which was just awesomely preserved.
Back on the streets we trekked along way to the Spanish Steps. This area is considered the downtown shopping district and is full of upscale shops and crowds.
By this time we were truly tired so we found a great little outside ristorante. Leonardo’s was a wonderful place to enjoy some wine, bread and pasta. We had a long leisurely Italian dinner! Renewed with wine and pasta – the main Italian food groups – we did actually climb to the top of the Steps and were rewarded with a view of Rome to die for! After lingering there, we caught the Metro to Temini and then to our stop. It took me the last two days to recover from that trek!