Rome

Travel Lessons for Life: Planning and Letting Go

Life should be approached the same way one approaches a trip to Rome. If you have been to Rome, you know that the only predictable thing about a trip to Rome is the unpredictability.  A store will close when you need it opened, a funeral will be happening in a church you wanted to visit, the Pope will decide to […]

Saint Peter

The Scavi: Discovering the Tomb of the Rock

I am currently in Rome on pilgrimage, which is always a bit of a homecoming, since I was blessed to have the opportunity to study in the city twice.  I’m often asked by people traveling to the Eternal City what they should absolutely see when they’re there. (This is often asked by people who have not dedicated enough time to the city; trying […]

Pope St. John Paul II

John Paul II and the Communion of Saints

A few years ago, my friend Megan and I headed to Rome to celebrate the feast of John Paul II.  At the time, he was newly beatified and was not yet on the calendar for the church in the United States.  It was his first feast day, and barring special permission, Mass for his feast could be celebrated in only […]

Papal Archbasilica of Saint John in Lateran

Archbasilica of St. John Lateran: Testimony to a Faith that Endures

Since I made reference to it in last week’s post, and I have already dedicated a whole post to St. Mary Major down the street from it, I think it’s only fair to dedicate a post to the basilica of St. John Lateran. The Church of St. John Lateran is the mother and head of all the churches of the […]

The Eucharist and Corporal of the Miracle of Corpus Christi are carried in procession in Orvieto.

The Vision and Miracle of the Feast of Corpus Christi

Each year before returning to Sundays of Ordinary Time, the Church celebrates one final big Sunday feast day: the Feast of Corpus Christi.  But did you know this feast was instituted after a request from Our Lord Himself? The story of the feast begins with a young woman named Juliana, who lived in Liege during the beginning of the thirteenth century.  Juliana had a […]

Reliquary of the Holy Crib Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

The Story of St. Mary Major: A Protectress, a Council, and a Relic

Spring always makes me think of Rome, since two of my springs were spent as a student there, entering into the graces of Roman Lents and Triduums, celebrating the entire fifty days of Easter, experiencing the feasts of Pentecost and Corpus Christi with the universal Church, then escaping just as the tourists and summer pilgrims began to suffocate the city […]

The Swiss Guard: Do we have the same courage?

  Every year on May 6, the new members of the Swiss Guard swear allegiance to the Holy Father, making the bold promise to give everything to protect him: “I swear I will faithfully, loyally and honorably serve the Supreme Pontiff Francis and his legitimate successors, and also dedicate myself to them with all my strength, sacrificing if necessary also […]

The Station Churches of Rome

  One of the oldest traditions of Lent is the pilgrimage to the Roman station churches.  The station churches, or statio, have their roots in the earliest days of the Church, when the bishop would visit the churches of his diocese on set days each year.  Today, the Catholic community in Rome carries on this tradition. Before it was legal […]

Villa Serenella Monastery

St. Charbel and lessons of the universal Church

I’ve had the opportunity to live in Rome twice, once as an undergraduate and once as a graduate student. There’s nothing like living in the Eternal City, and both semesters impacted my faith in incredible ways. I find myself getting “Rome-sick” pretty frequently, so I have to constantly remind myself that it wasn’t just sunshine, roses, papal Masses and gelato. […]

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

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

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 […]