Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pilgrimage to Italy for the Canonization of Pope JPII and John XXIII

We arrived here in Roma safe and sound.  Since we got here at 6:30 am we were unable to check in to our Hotel so we went directly to one of the four major basilicas in rome.  The Basilica of St. Paul "Outside the Walls"  According to tradition, the Apostle Paul linked to a Roman soldier, who assured the guard during surveillance at home, waiting for his trial, while he continued to teach and write: "Remember my chains!" ( Letter to the Colossians 4:18).  The tomb of St. Paul as well as his chains are here.

I think it is also providential that we start here as we prepare for the Canonization of two Saints on this Divine Mercy Sunday as we reflect on Paul's words to the Thessalonians

For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the holy Spirit and [with] much conviction. You know what sort of people we were [among] you for your sake.  And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the holy Spirit,7so that you became a model for all the believers. (1 Thessalonians 1:5-7)

"Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us."  (Hebrews 12:1)

 What I most love about this church is that it contains the icons of every pope that we have ever had.  The icons are ordered chronologically all the way from Peter until our Current Pope Francis.

Since we are here for the Canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII I've included their pictures as well.

(Pope Francis)

(Pope Benedict)

(Pope John Paul II)

(Pope John XXIII)

The Basilica also has the Chapel of St. Lawrence so I made sure to say a prayer for my Pastor, Fr. Larry Martello.

To watch the event live or learn more click here you can also get the app at the Apple Store and Google Play Store!

Please know that I hold all of you in my hearts and prayers during this sacred, special, and historic time for the church!

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