Friday, October 8, 2010


Laura and I arrived in Rome today.  We took the Leonardo Express train from the airport to Roma Termini.  Aim, my assistant in Vancouver had booked us rooms at the Best Western Mondial Hotel. It's just fabulous. When we arrived though they were still cleaning the rooms so checked us in, took our bags and asked us to come back in a few hours.  We'd not had lunch so ate a delightful meal on a roof top restaurant round the corner where they actually rent Vespas.  Laura had shrimp cocktail and I had white fish in keeping with our proximity to the sea.  Everything was delicious. Our hotel is one block from the Opera House and the restaurant was one block up the street from that.  A few more blocks of walking across cobblestone roads took us to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.

On a pilgrimage to Rome it is recommended that you visit 7 churches. Theres a few hundred more for those who aren't satisfied with just seven.  We're here only a few days so seven is sufficient.  Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is on the list which includes St.Peters,St. Paul's Outside the Wall, San Giovanni, San Lorenza pour le Mura, Santa Croce , and the Sanctuary of Divine Amore.

Cameras were allowed in most of the church though parts were set aside for worship.  Laura and I found a quiet place to give thanks for this safe journey and pray for the well being of family and friends.  It really fills me with joy to be here.  I remember my pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  It's that same peaceful uplifting spiritually nourishing beautiful and sustaining experience.  The art and beauty are something else. But what really moves me is to be in a place on this earth where so many for so many years have come to talk with Jesus, and pray to God.

Night is falling outside.  We've had showers, or rather I've had a shower and Laura has luxuriated in the bath and pondered the bidet.  "I've never had a bidet", she said. 

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