Friday, June 26, 2015

Day 4
Friday, June 26, 2015

This morning began with Mass at the Domus chapel after which we headed to the Vatican. There we met Br. Simon, FSO, our guide for the Scavi tour. We first saw models of the first St. Peter's Basilica built by Constantine and of the site of St. Peter's tomb. Next we entered into the excavation underneath the current St. Peter's Basilica that was begun by Pope Pius XII early in his papacy. Burial "houses" built by Romans were found. The burial sites that we saw also had Christian family members buried with the rest of the family. the highlight of the tour was when we saw parts of St. Peter's tomb, which lies directly below the papal altar. Br. Simon gave excellent explanations on the background and meaning of all that we saw. It was truly a blessing! Please remember Br. Simon in your prayers as he is ordained a transitional deacon this September 19 in his native Belgium.

Pictures were not allowed during the Scavi tour, but we hope that each of you will be able to make it in person sometime in the future!

Br. Simon, Sr. Mary Kathleen, Mother Regina Pacis and Sr. Paula waiting for the Scavi tour to begin.

The original location of the obelisk now standing in St. Peter's Square. It originally stood in the center of Nero's Circus and was most likely one of the last things seen by St. Peter as he was being martyred.

This afternoon we were privileged to have two conferences at the Domus given by Fr. Friedrich Bechina, FSO from the Vatican Congregation of Catholic Education. The themes for Father's conferences looked at mission and evangelization, the question of education and learning and why the world needs religious. Fr. Bechina brings a wealth of experience and knowledge as well as an engaging style to his conferences, and we look forward to the continuation of his conferences tomorrow. We were happy that Father stayed for Holy Hour and then joined us for our evening meal.

Enjoying the wisdom of Fr. Bechina after a delicious meal prepared by Mother Regina Pacis.

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