We got up this morning and went downstairs for breakfast, then we went back up and grabbed our bags and checked out of the Institue (they had a room up front where we were able to leave our bags).
Then we made our way over to Castle Sant’Angelo to begin our Pilgrimage to the Holy Door of Saint Peter’s Basilica. We picked up our prayer guide and started off on the pilgrimage. There were five stops along the way and there were prayers for us to pray at each stop.
Stop 1 – Castel Sant’Angelo
Here we said a prayer preparing our hearts for the journey, calling to mind all those that were making the journey with us and those that were not able to be there on their own. We called to mind our deceased loved ones and those who we wished to offer sacrifice and prayers for (note: I carried my journal of your prayer intentions with me this entire trip, but I remembered them in a special way today.) Then we prayed from Psalm 122.
Stop 2 – Mother of Mercy, The Church of Santa Maria in Transpontina
We began with the Hail Holy Queen and then a quote from The Mother of Mercy by Cardinal Cincenzo Fagiolo about Mary being a perfect example of mercy for each of us. We ended this stop by reading from Luke 1:46-55.
Stop 3 – Entering the Colonnade
Here we were reminded that St. Peter’s Square serves as a welcome place to all the faithful pilgrims that came before us and that will come after us. Also a reminder that the statues of the saints on top of the Collonnade bring together heaven and earth, indicating the secure path to salvation. We then said the Prayer for the Jubilee.
Stop 4 – Entering the Holy Doors of Mercy
Before we walked through the doors we read a portion from Pope Francis’s Bull of Indication “Misericordiae Vultus.” Then prayed from Psalms 103 and 24.
On our way through we stopped at the bronze doors and placed our hand on the image that depicts the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
I wasn’t able to get a picture of the doors myself because you couldn’t stop, too many people trying to get through, so below is the picture I did get and then below that is one I shamelessly stole from the internet!
After getting into the Basilica we stopped once more at the tomb of St. John Paul II to pray. JPII was the one who began Divine Mercy Sunday and had a devotion to the image of Divine Mercy as depicted by St. Faustina.
Stop 5 – Tomb of St. Peter
Because they are preparing for tonight’s Mass there was no way for us to actually get downstairs to the crypt to see the tomb of St. Peter so we got as close to the front altar as we could since St. Peter is buried right below it. Here we read from the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 16:13-19). Then we made an act of faith through the intercession of St. Peter and prayed the creed. Finally we prayed for the intentions of Pope Francis and all of those intentions that we brought with us by saying an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.
We ended with the exclamation of:
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful!
We stood near the altar for a while to pray and then walked around St. Peter’s for a bit more. There were not nearly as many people there this morning as there were yesterday!
Then we made our way outside to the Square, they have begun preparations for Easter Sunday Mass which will be outside. So there were lots of men and women setting up flower arrangements around the Altar and up the steps to the doors of St. Peter’s (Mom you would have loved this!! It was so pretty!!!)
We stopped at a store before heading back to the Institute to grab a few last religious items and postcards! Then we went back to grab our bags and we started walking back to the Metro. We took the Metro back to the train station, grabbed a sandwich for lunch (and I found Pocket Coffee! It is a chocolate that has a shot of espresso inside of it! I have been looking everywhere for them since we got here and so when I saw them I stocked up!)
We caught our train (no first class this time, just slumming it with the commoners 😉). Since I slept the whole way to Rome I didn’t notice the scenery – everything is so green here!
We made it back to the Villa around 3:00 and spent about an hour just relaxing. I started to clean out my purse and had a “you might be Catholic when” moment as I pulled three different crucifixes out of my purse! 😁😁 what can I say, I wanted to bring them all with me through the doors – and no laughing when I say there is still one I have with me that I didn’t carry because it wouldn’t fit! Haha – okay you can laugh!
The Sienkiewicz family invited us for dinner tonight in their apartment, so we did that. After dinner we went on a walk through the wooded trail behind the Villa, once again the views were spectacular and the sun was setting so it had the added beauty of sunset!
Once we got back from our walk Jeremy and Cathe needed to get the kids to bed so Celina and I went back up to our room for a bit. Then we went back down to their apartment for some Lemon Cello and to talk and figure out what our game plan for tomorrow would be.
Italy observes daylight savings time this weekend so we will lose an hour of sleep tonight.
Other than the Doors of Mercy pilgrimage there are no new saints to report, but I did get caught up on all the ones I hadn’t done over the past two days so check out the Saint Counter page!
Tomorrow we are going to Easter Mass in Florence and then the Sienkiewicz’s are going to take us around to some of the sites we just cannot miss!
I walked 16,077 steps today, which is 6.71 miles.
It’s 10:30 here now and we are going to bed since we will be losing an hour of sleep!
Have a blessed Holy Saturday!