Novena to Italy

One Family’s Novena to Italy—Arrivederci Italia!

Over the Alps, Milan to London flight. Photography by Isaac Armstrong

Travel Journal Day 9 — The Novena Ends Our family novena in Italy ended in Milan, Italy.  As I began to write this final segment for ICL, four of us were aboard an American Airlines 767 at thirty-six thousand feet bound for the USA.  We had left Milan, Italy earlier that morning and the first views outside our windows were of the Alps […]

One Family’s Novena to Italy—A Blessed Day in Turin

Holy Mass celebrated before the Shroud of Turin, Photography by Mark Armstrong

Travel Journal Day 8 — Final Day in Turin Most of the two million people who will see the Shroud of Turin this spring will wait sometimes hours just to stand for three minutes to pray before it; as we did yesterday. Few of the pilgrims know, as I found out on my last visit here in 2010, that anyone can come […]

One Family’s Novena to Italy—From Pisa to Turin and the Shroud

The Italian Alps, Photography by Mark Armstrong

Travel Journal Day 7 — Arrival in Turin When my fourteen-year-old daughter Teresa and I left Turin five years ago, I never expected to see the Shroud of Turin again in my lifetime.  God had other plans for our family.  After leaving Pisa this afternoon, we boarded a train and traveled first along the Italian coast and then crossed the mountain passes […]

One Family’s Novena to Italy—There’s more to Pisa…

Inside the Cathedral of the Assumption in Pisa, Photography by Mark Armstrong

Travel Journal Day 6 — There’s more to Pisa than a tower that leans. Try to think of something else in Pisa besides the Leaning Tower.  It’s hard I know.  For sure the Tower is one of the most remarkable architectural structures from medieval Europe.  What the average person may not realize is the Pisa Tower is just one of the four […]

One Family’s Novena to Italy—Mother’s Day in St. Peter’s Square

Mothers Day in St. Peter's Square, Photography by Mark Armstrong

Travel Journal — Mother’s Day at St. Peter’s It was a Mother’s Day to remember for my lovely bride Patti Armstrong as we attended the Latin Mass at St. Peter’s and then, like tens of thousands of mothers on the Square, received a blessing and prayer from Pope Francis. It was a perfect beginning to our day as we later met up with […]

One Family’s Novena to Italy—Day Four

Ceiling in the Vatican Museum Photography by Mark Armstrong

Travel Journal Day Four, May 10, 2015 — The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel The Vatican Museums were established over five hundred years ago by Pope Julius II after the discovery of just one marble sculpture in 1506 that had been buried in a farmer’s field for more than a millennium. That one sculpture, Laocoön and His Sons, has begotten one of […]

One Family’s Novena to Italy—Day Three

The Colosseum in Rome Photography by Mark Armstrong

Travel Journal Day Three, May 9, 2015 — Rome through the ages. It is impossible to see all the sights that Rome has to offer.  But we tried to see as many as possible on our first full day here.  We start off at the famous Colosseum in Rome. Most are aware that early Catholics were martyred here. It was a gruesome […]

One Family’s Novena to Italy—Day Two

Statue of St. Paul at the Entrance to St. Peter's Bascilica Photography by Mark Armstrong

Travel Journal Day Two, May 8, 2015 arriving in Rome, the Eternal City. Touching down at the Leonardo Da Vinci Airport this morning felt like a blessing beyond surviving twenty hours in the air and the usual turbulence. Just prior to leaving Bismarck, we learned of a massive fire that shut down the terminal we were scheduled to land at in Italy. The […]

One Family’s Novena to Italy—Day One

St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)

Travel Journal Day One, May 7, 2015: Leaving Bismarck, North Dakota through Chicago to Rome. I have to admit I never really thought that I needed to see Italy or Rome or the Vatican to deepen my faith. After a 2010 visit, I came home and told my bride Patti that I was wrong about that. In 2010, I took […]