Monday, July 28, 2014
Day 40: Rome
Ed and I have been in Rome now for a few days and it is kind of difficult to describe all the things we have done and all the feelings resulting therefrom. I could go on and on about all the churches and historical Roman buildings or the Vatican, etc., but I'm not certain I can really effectively communicate any idea about my experience that isn't simply a shadow.
To be sure, we have been walking a bit, though it is nice to be done with our packs. Upon first reaching St. Peter's Square and viewing it from a distance, Ed and I ran with joy to cross over the border. After some prayers and pictures, I made sure to blow the vuvuzela, though quickly, to avoid being arrested by the Swiss guards.
Our new Danish Via Francigena friend arrived in Rome yesterday, and today the three of us visited some ancient Roman ruins and St. John Lateran, which his the parish church of the pope.
The main highlight for me today was to visit the church of St. Ignatius of Loyola. It is in this church that the major shrine of St. Aloysius Gonzaga is located, along with his remains below the altar. I guess you could say that St. Aloysius and St. Gemma are my two main patron saints, so getting to go to Mass and pray at both of their shrines was quite a blessing.
On a related note, seeing all the papal stuff around here has made me kind of want to try again to memorize all the popes. But maybe that's not the best use of my time. But the last time I tried, I did discover that there is a Pope Lando. Now that he's in heaven (hopefully), one could say that he lives in Cloud City. Sorry, couldn't resist a terrible Catholic Star Wars pun. What a great way to end this post.