I promised you last time that I would try to come to you from the Lateran Palace, the historic residence of Constantine and the Bishops of Rome. Here we are! Starting tomorrow, I’ll be continuing on to Lebanon, and I hope to bring you some videos from there as well. Stay tuned!
Good news: the sun’s out in Rome! We made our way to the other side of town and now we’re at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. We’re going to have Mass now, and then a little later I want to bring you into the Lateran Palace. Stick around!
I’m here at the Pontifical North American College, the American seminary in Rome. I spent four happy years here as a seminarian and then seven more as Rector, so I love the place! You’d be inspired by the students, who take their relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church very seriously.
Our next stop is the little-known San Luigi dei Francesi, named after King Louis IX of France, who also happens to be the patron saint of my hometown, St. Louis! The church is mostly known for its magnificent paintings by Caravaggio. They are beautiful works of art, but they were commissioned by leaders of the Church to cause us to pray and meditate. I hope you do!
Some of the greatest parts of Rome are the private courtyards and the rooftop gardens. In a way, Rome is a series of connected medieval squares.
Here we are in one of the most famous places in the whole world: Saint Peter’s Square! While you’re here, you experience the Church of the past, thinking of Saint Peter and the early martyrs, but you also experience the vivid Church of the now. Rome isn’t just a museum; Rome is a living classroom of what the faith is about. I appreciate your company and I hope you’re enjoying Rome as much as we are.
We’re in luck, folks! We made it to Saint Peter’s Basilica bright and early. The message here in Saint Peter’s Basilica is that Jesus is not a lifeless body in the arms of His mother, but is risen from the dead, and is now alive in Holy Mother Church!
Our last stop for today is the Casa Santa Maria, the residence for American priests doing graduate studies in Rome. I just had the honor of celebrating Mass here, and now some lunch with my brother priests. Thanks for joining us and I’ll talk to you later!
Another hidden gem here: the home of the original icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. This is also the the Church in Rome of the Redemptorists, who fostered the devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. I love it here, because I love her!
Right around the corner from Santa Maria Maggiore is Santa Prassede – where, according to tradition, a piece of the pillar at which Jesus was scourged during His sacred Passion is housed. I love this place! I’m glad you’re here with me.