Reflections in the Eternal City

By Jon|January 16, 2015|Personal|

This past month I was lucky enough to head to Rome for a 5th time, but this time I had the privilege to go with my family on vacation. I decided I would share a few reflections from the journey in hopes that the eternal city may come to mean more for you as well, though I know some readers already live there. This is the first time I’ve taken the time to write a blog post about what took place…it may seem like a history to some, both others may find it interesting. Being a religious person, this place has a special significance as the geographical center of Christianity and so also is meaningful to the world’s history (BC and AD).

We started the voyage arriving on the 20th of December and were greeted by a smiling tour guide named David Martinez, also IMG_0763known as the jogging tour guide, who was like a walking encyclopedia and FourSquare at the same time. After checking in with the Pallottine Sisters, just south of the Vatican took on my second favorite place in Rome: the Colosseum. It never ceases to amaze me to consider just how old the building is — and just how intact it is for being that old. Its not just the Colosseum but the entire Roman Forum area which we returned to later remains as a place that send shivers down my spine when I consider how majestic the it must have been, covered in white marble and lacking steel or hollow columns. Despite our resources today, it would have easily outdone any modern city with its sense of permanence.

The following day was a trip to Assisi, a truly medieval city, which is filled with little wine and sword shops (among other things).IMG_0720 To be in the Basilica of Sts. Francis and Clare, and to visit the Porciuncula where IMG_0705Francis heard the call to rebuild the Church was certainly a close physical reminder of how one ascetic saw the importance of living for the next world and taking the riches of this one with a grain of salt. I’m also happy to report that the municipality has a fine and capable police force given the city’s infrastructure.

The next day we visited the Catacombs of Priscilla, which contain frescoes from the 2nd century of the early Christians. The tomb of St. Philomena is also there. This was followed by St. Mary Major, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Piazza del Populo and after all that walking a dinner where we found that roman sea bass is not Chilean. Laugh at me, that’s fine.

Christmas Eve day was fairly laid back and consisted mostly of my brother walking around more before visiting the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum for the vigil Mass (we gave away our tickets to the Papal Mass.) Again, laugh, that’s fine.

Christmas Day was also fairly uneventful other than going to the papal Urbi et Orbi address to the world, where I ran into a few IMG_0741friends in the midst of the squares usual chaos. Just a few days earlier a militant feminist had proceeded to steal the Christ child from the manger scene yelling ‘God is woman’. Why I just gave her that attention I’m not sure.

The next day we covered St. Paul outside the walls, St. John Lateran and the church of Sts. Lawrence and Stephen. Ran into more friends at night in Trastevere.

The last day in Rome I went to Mass at Saint Trinita dei Pelligrini and rendezvoused with the Juventutem group (incl. Fr. Joseph Kramer and Agnese Bazzucchi, there after a beautiful Mass.

That does it for Rome. If you’ve read this far in the story and you’ve already been to Rome, you should sign up for my email list.

I’ll be adding more pictures to this as they become available (I lost my iPhone before the trip on a Megabus).

About Jon

Jon connects leaders and organizations to Catholic philosophical resources to battle for the soul of the western world.