Day Tour: we started with the drive through Rome to the Pantheon where we left everybody to scatter for lunch at all the excellent and delicious cafés in the area.
After a tour of the Pantheon we visited the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva which houses the remains of St. Catherine of Siena and a Rembrandt of the statue of Jesus
Then we visited the beautiful and elegant Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola and commented on the statue of St. Ignatius with his foot on the neck of Martin Luther. From here we walked to the north end of the Roman forum and visited the Mamertine Prison where Saints Peter and Paul were kept in prison before their execution.
We then walked along the Roman Forum and discussed the clash of cultures. The Romans said that men had become gods but the apostles said “No, God had become a man.” This was the great cultural clash between Christianity and the secular world.
We walked around the coliseum and discussed its meaning and the martyrdom of Christians there before going 300 yards up to the magnificent church of San Clemente or two of the apostolic fathers are buried: St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Clement of Rome. We took our group down to the lower level to walk through first century Rome.
From there we walked another 400 yards to St. John Lateran Church which is the Cathedral of Rome which contains the chair of the Bishop of Rome, the pope. It is also the mother church of the world. It contains the skulls of Peter and Paul and many other treasures which we shared with the pilgrims today.
We came back to the hotel for dinner where we met a real Swiss guard who shared some of his life with us. We also met John Hale who is the president of Corporate Travel and organizes all of our trips. After that, everyone crashed into bed ready for Mass tomorrow at the tomb of St. John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica.
HIKE THRU ROME:
John Hale and the Swiss Guard: