Update from the 'Enternal City'

posted Feb 21, 2011, 9:41 AM by rthompson@stjohnsacademysf.org
Hello again, Everyone!

Today, we started out at the beautiful Moscow Patriarchate Church of Saint Catherine.  We were blown away, it was so lovely! The building is finished and they have several of the Icon paintings finished on the walls.  They also have a relic of Great-Martyr Catherine.  Their choir is quite lovely, too.  There were 3 bishops there.  Two of them were named Antony and Nestor, and the third one had a name that started with an A, but I cannot remember what it was.  There seemed to have been a special celebration going on, besides the usual feast day.  

On our way back to the Metro after Liturgy, we passed by Saint Peter's Square and noticed that there was a significant crowd gathered there, so we went into the square to see what was happening.  To our pleasant surprise, there was an awning and a banner at the Pope's apartment window, and I noticed the text of the Angelus on the monitor screens around the square, then I remembered...the Sunday noon Angelus!  We were there just in time!  The Pope gave a short sermon in Latin and Italian then led the Angelus.  Afterwards, he briefly addressed the crowd in several languages...French, English, German, Polish, and Italian.  I took video of the Angelus and part of the English part of what the Pope said, plus a little more.  I hope it comes out!

After that, we went to Via Appia.  We were hoping to get into the Catacombs of Santo Callisto, but they were closed for 2 weeks.  We did visit the lovely little Quo Vadis church, where, according to legend, Saint Peter stopped to ask the Lord where He was going.  There is a place on the church floor that is said to have the footprints of Saint Peter.  I was especially interested in two large paintings on either side of the altar...on the right, the Crucifixion of Christ is depicted, and on the left, Saint Peter is shown being crucified upside down.  The two paintings face each other.  

We are planning to go to bed early tonight, because we have a 6:45 a.m. train to catch tomorrow morning to Naples, from where we will take the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii and Herculaneum.  There might be some rain, but we hope that just keeps the excess tourists away and does not interrupt too much of our exploration of those two fascinating places.  

I'll most likely give a run-down of our adventures tomorrow after we get back.  

Anna B.