Friday, June 16, 2017

Return to Rome

Today brought with it a crazy early flight and a long bus ride into Rome. But it was all well worth the trouble!

When we arrived we took some time to get ourselves together. Then, we took a short walk from our hotel to visit two incredibly holy places: Santa Maria della Vittoria (St. Mary of Victory) and Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri (St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs).

Santa Maria della Vittoria is a small cathedral in size but is grand in its ability to reveal the holy. It is home to beautiful pieces of artwork which are globally known and celebrated. Amazing frescos grace the walls and the ceiling. Incredible stained glass windows allow the light in. Breathtaking sculptures fill the chapels. The most recognizable work is Bernini's "Ecstacy of St. Teresa". When one looks at this ethereal piece of art it's as if you are waiting for the figures to breathe or move. You cannot help but be captured by the spirit of the artist as well as the subjects.

Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri is constructed within the walls of a Roman Bath of Diocletian. The basilica was designed by Michelangelo. The grandeur of the space reminds you of the majesty of God. The art within the basilica reminds you of the faith and devotion of the artists. It all leaves you humbled and thankful.

Our evening ended with a dinner of pasta, meat skewers, potatoes, and some of the best tiramisu you have ever tasted! This was followed by an incredible time of reflection and sharing. Your young people are amazing. There really is no other word for it. The adults are honored to be a part of their journey and a small part of their story. Perhaps no one said it better than the student who said, "I am overwhelmed."

Thank you for your prayers.

Today, we were present.

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