viernes, 6 de septiembre de 2013

Visit to Rome

The Basilicas. As we watched the sunrise rise over St. Peter’s we felt very much a church seeing the pilgrims in the piazza below. The guided tour of the Basilica and the Mass in the crypt in front of Peter’s tomb renewed our faith, as we contemplated the martyrdom of Peter and the apostles. We felt a tinge of pride as we prayed in front of Don Bosco and Maria Mazzarello, sharing the glory of the Saints. St.Mary Major’s Basilica held memories as we relived the miracle of snow in Rome on August 5th. At St. John Latern’s we watched the pilgrims from around the world move in silence and prayer. Our day concluded with the visit of the Basilica of Sacro Cuore ,where Don Bosco wrote his famous letter to the Salesians in 1884, and while celebrating the Mass there he was moved to tears, realizing his dream of 9 years had now been fulfilled. He himself had built this basilica in spite of ill health and old age at the request of Leo XIII. He showed his loyalty to the Pope and the papacy by stating “Whatever the pope wishes is my command.”

Assisi as always is a place of prayer, peace and dedication to the radical way of Christ expressed through the lives of St. Francis and Clare.  The Franciscan brother who guided us gave a wonderful account of the Franciscan spirituality.   He explained that the different levels of the basilicas moved from the darkness of sin at the lower level to the light of the Resurrection at the top level. The life story of Francis was brought to life  through  mosaics and  frescoes produced by famous artists like The live artefacts made the whole experience real. It made a deep impression on us and challenged us to be more radical in following Christ. 

Thursday was the day to pray and remember the ancestors. The group start the day with the visit to the Catacombe of St Callistus, thinking at those who carry their faith though the generations, even with the pread of their blood. The visit continued at the Auxilium where the sisters enjoyed the company of their co-national which are studing at the Pontifical University.

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