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Rome & St. Thomas Aquinas Castle ~ A Gallery

It’s been about 2 weeks since the kids got back from their Rome trip. And what a trip it was! They saw and experienced many beautiful historical and religious sites!

One night, in the wee small hours, my phone started ringing! Usually my heart drops when I get a call in the middle of the night, but somehow I knew it was my kids. They were so excited to be inside the Vatican and they knew I would be, too! I was grateful to be part of their holy escapades as we face-timed from another kind friend’s phone!

They visited the 4 major basilicas on Rome. They visited the tomb of St. Catherine of Siena, Normally you can pray at her tomb from the front. She is in a glass case. This particluar day, the tour guide was quite astonished that they opened up the passageway where one can get to the back of the altar and actually touch it! The kids were thrilled!

They climbed the Spanish Steps on their knees. These are the steps our Lord went up to Pontius Pilate. They were brought to Rome.

The girls thought they were staying in a hotel in Rome. They discovered they were staying at the Convent of the Bridgettines! As they were being shown the convent, the girls asked, “What are behind these doors?” They found out that St. Bridget of Sweden lived and died in those rooms! They were able to have a little tour of the room, see the table she died on and her hip bone which is behind glass! What a privilege!

In one Church, the Church of St. Praxedes, they were being led by a tour guide. At one point, Hannah saw some people kneeling and praying around something. As they were passing, she asked the tour guide what it was. “That’s the pillar that Jesus was scourged at.”

“What??!!” The girls were astonished that they were going to pass it by! Needless to say, they stopped to venerate this holy, holy relic!

Chris, who traveled with the kids, updated me each evening with photos and a short synopsis of each day. I was truly grateful!

Chris’s Synopsis of Rome:

Today, we visited the basilica of St Andrew the Apostle, St Paul outside the walls, the Church with the Tomb of St Catherine of Sienna (and the arm of St Thomas Aquinas), and the oratory of St Philip Neri (including where he died and was laid out in state after death.). Very striking and grace-filled moments!

One of the churches had the incorrupt body of a Cardinal I had never heard about (San Giuseppe Maria Tomasi). You never know what you will find in Rome!

So many amazing things to see in the Basilica! One more amazing thing around every corner. Things like Michelangelo’s original pieta, the tomb of St Pius X, the crypt of St Peter, and so many other Holy Popes!

Here is a description of the pictures I sent yesterday. We first went to the catacombs of St Sebastian. (There are sixty different catacombs in Rome, all outside the city. We visited one of them). We got to go nine meters underground. We didn’t get to take pictures down in the tunnels. Very amazing to see the resting places of so many saints. (Many of the bodies have been removed to keep tourists from taking bones.). Then we visited the Church of St. Sebastian and say his relics. We went to the Church of Quo Vadis and got to the see the footprints of Christ, where He stood when he met Peter, telling him He was going back to Rome to be crucified again (since Peter was running from Rome).

Next we went to the Church of Saint Louis, King of the French. It’s a French style church. There are three original Caravaggio paintings in the Church (including the call of St Matthew and an Angel inspiring St Jerome to write the scriptures).

Then we saw the Pantheon, which was an ancient temple dedicated to all the gods, but was later converted into a Catholic Church. We couldn’t go in, but it’s huge from the outside!

We went back to the Church of St Catherine of Sienna, and got to touch her tomb. After that was the Church of Saint Augustine (with a shrine to St Monica), and then the Church of St Agnes in Agony. We got to see the skull of St Agnes. Amazing! And very small. (She was only twelve when she was martyred).

We saw a “moving statue.” It was a man dressed and painted as a statue, and we took photos with him. That was pretty cool! 😉

Then we went to Mass again at the FSSP parish, went to dinner, and stumbled upon the Vatican along the way. Then Gemma and Angelo got lost (😂), and we found them and got some pictures in front of the Vatican. Then we went back to the hotel and tried to get some sleep (more or less successful, depending.)

As for today, we started by going to the Passionist Monastery. We found some lime trees and some empty pillars for posing purposes! 😉. Then we went in a prayed before the altar of St Gemma, St Paul of the Cross, and we were able to collect some first class relics!

I have pictures of these things below.

Today I am doing galleries of Rome and the Castle of St. Thomas Aquinas. There are two galleries, click on the first picture to view the galleries and to read the captions.

I have reminded my kids to take pictures of these beautiful sites with their own faces or their friends’ in them! This makes the pictures personal, and so you will see their smiling face throughout!


The Castle of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Family

Below is a gallery of their trip to the Castle where St. Thomas Aquinas’ family lived. It was thrilling to tour it and as you will see in the photos, they toured the rooms where St. Thomas was put under “house arrest” for a year because his family didn’t want him to join the Dominicans…

They had the banquet in the castle celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the FSSP.

Chris’s Synopsis:

We traveled to the Family Castle of St Thomas Aquinas. Very impressive views!

4 course banquet in the house at the castle. Two and a half hours! None of us have ever spent that long of a time eating before in one sitting! 😳😁

We went into the room where he was held captive and eventually received the girdle from the angels for his faithfulness to holy purity. Such an amazing place to pray for a deeper love for God and a greater purity of heart. It was so amazing to be in that place.

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