Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Videos moved to my Pilgrimage website here

On our last full day in Rome we were able to go to the Wednesday Papal Audience with Pope Benedict XVI. At this audience the Pope announced 23 new Cardinals. Many of our pilgrims got front row seats and others sat along the isles so they could take close-up pictures as the Pope drove by in the popemobile.

By the way, our pilgrims were in the General Audience when the Pope announced the 23 new cardinals! You can read about this on here.

After the audience we boarded the bus for our tour of Ancient Rome with our local guide Liz. This tour began with a drive to the Roman Forum which Liz then explained as entered these ancient ruins.

We descended into the Mammertine Prison which according to ancient stories was where Peter and Paul were imprisoned and where they converted their guards. It was here that Paul wrote 2 Timothy and from which they were taken out for their executions: Peter to be crucified upside down in Nero’s Circus and Paul beheaded on the Via Ostia 

Then we walked through these ancient streets of the Roman Forum, the Colosseum and other important sites.  

Up the hill a bit from the Colosseum we celebrated Mass for us in the beautiful Church of St. Peter in Chains which contains the magnificent statue of Moses engraved by Michelangelo. But the church is most important because it contains the chains of St. Peter from the prison in which he was incarcerated and from which he was released by angels in Jerusalem (Acts 12). 

We had our farewell dinner, returned to the hotel and everyone packed and prepared for their departure at 7:30 AM the next morning.


Archbishop from Holy Land Plees for Pilgrims

by Steve Ray on October 17, 2007

Visit the Holy Land, Melkite prelate pleads

London, Oct. 3, 2007 ( – A Melkite Catholic archbishop has urged Christians of the Western world to "visit the living stones of the Holy Land, the Christians who live there," the Fides news service reports. Speaking at Westminster cathedral in London, on the 60th anniversary of the Catholic relief organization Aid to the Church in Need, Archbishop Elias Chacour recalled that Jesus was born in Galilee and that Christians in the Holy Land are the direct descendants of "the first men and women who heard the Good News."

"My forefathers were the first to listen to Jesus and be fascinated by what He had to say," Archbishop Chacour said. "We have kept the faith for over 2000 years." Acknowledging that violence and bloodshed have cast a shadow across the Holy Land, the archbishop reminded his listeners that "there is also the news of the empty tomb, where Jesus the Christ was laid and is risen. . . . "

For the whole article, click here.

To see our upcoming pilgrimages to the Holy Land, click here. Our pilgrimages support the local Christians, especially in Bethlehem.