Tuesday April 21
This morning our pilgrims will travel to St. Mary Major for a private Mass. For nearly sixteen centuries, St. Mary Major has held its position as a Marian shrine par excellence. Special details within the church render it unique including the fifth century mosaics of the central nave, the triumphal arch dating back to the pontificate of Pope Sixtus III (432-440) and the apsidal mosaic executed by the Franciscan friar Jacopo Torriti at the order of Pope Nicholas IV (1288-1292). To read more visit this site.
Our pilgrims will then visit St. John Lateran Basilica, and the Holy Stairs. St. John Lateran is Christendom’s earliest basilica. Ordered by Rome’s first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, it became the Popes’ own cathedral and official residence for the first millennium of Christian history. For more info click here.
The Holy Stairs, or Scala Sancta, consist of twenty-eight white marble steps. According to tradition the staircase once led to the prætorium of Pilate at Jerusalem, hence sanctified by the footsteps of Our Lord during his Passion. See here for more info.
Lord, as our pilgrims visit these Holy Sites, fill their hearts with your presence. Make the stones come alive with the history of our people and your Church. And make us all come alive with hope and joy for the future. Amen
In the afternoon…
our pilgrims are free to explore on foot the many wonders of Rome: Trevi, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, and more!