July 2, 2011

Final day

I don't have a lot of time to right as we're headed to the airport in less than 7 hours and I haven't packed yet!  Ahhhhhhhh.

Today's highlights were a visit to an exhibit at Saint Peter's Basilica on the life of Blessed Pope John Paul II who was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005.  It had a number of archival materials (i.e. letters, robes, etc), quotes on the wall, and videos of his life. The most moving was video of his final public appearance when he came to his window and tried to speak to the crowd but could not utter a word - he was too sick.  He would die later that week.  As Mr. Mailloux said, Pope John Paul II showed us how to live and how to die.

Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls
We also visited the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.  This is a little off the beaten path so there weren't a lot of tourists which was nice.  It is a gorgeous Church and perhaps my favorite (it's also my wife's favorite).  It begins with a courtyard with palm trees, a statue of Saint Paul, and frescoes at the top of the Church (see left).  Inside is the grave of Saint Paul, the chains in which he was shackled when he was arrested and taken to Rome, and the pictures of all 265 popes, including Pope Benedict XVI.

After a long walk back, I broke off from the group to buy my family some gifts.  I knew where I was and where I was going but I made a wrong turn somewhere and got lost.  I eventually found my way after an hour of wandering and walking!  I hope my family likes the stuff I got them, it was quite an adventure getting them.

Tonight we had one last dinner with the priests and Deacon Charlie.  A few of us ended the evening with some gelato at the Trevi Fountain, one of the most popular spots in Rome.

I really hope you enjoyed reading these updates from Rome.  This was an amazing trip and we have so much to share with everyone at Trinity.  I hate to cut this short but I really have to pack and get to sleep!

We will be home around 5pm tomorrow so see you soon.

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