Rome Part Two

Spanish Steps

When I reviewed the itinerary for Sunday, I knew we were in for another full day of adventure. After passing the Spanish Steps on the way to several dinners, we were finally able to seize the moment and record our experience in photos. The history of the Spanish Steps is a simple one; the Spanish embassy was once located near there. Throughout our four-day stay in Rome, these famous steps were part of our daily routine and our landmark back to our flat.


The Metro

The Metro

After a quick cup of cappuccino and a chocolate-filled croissant, we were off again–but this time we took the metro. I’ve had bad experiences on this public transportation in Europe.  I was pickpocketed in Paris, so I was very watchful. Mikos, our gentle leader, always had his phone pointing to the direction we were headed. But when Will forgot to retrieve his two-day metro ticket, it caused commotion. Mikos had to purchase another ticket for him but when Will tried to use his ticket, it didn’t work; so he turned around and grabbed mine. The metal lever opened for him and I was left with Will’s stupid ticket! After several attempts I made it through.


Will, admiring the ceiling art
Borghese Gallery


Borghese Gardens

The Borghese Gallery

The rich history of the Borghese Gallery starts with a famous family of bankers, art collectors and even a pope. This family was known to have started the banking business with loans to merchants and other business entrepreneurs. The double-entry system was first introduced by the Borghese’s. Their collection of art and appreciation of the fine detail of the work they secured was not only impressive, but, like all masterpieces, it has stood the test of time.

We spent hours admiring the gifts that God had bestowed on these artists. After the museum, we took a stroll into the gardens.  It was as if the art continued there. Will rented a scooter to make his way around the Borghese Garden. We walked and walked, and it was time for the next adventure. By this time Mike did not want to have anything to do with the metro; he took a taxi back to the flat.


Saint John Lateran Basilica
Saint John Lateran Basilica

Saint John Lateran

Saint John Lateran, one of the four major Ancient Major Basilicas, was commissioned by Emperor Constantine. This was the first Christian basilica built in Rome. It is the mother church of the entire Roman Catholic Church.

Across the street is a chapel dedicated to the Holy Stairs (Santa Escala). These were the steps Jesus climbed on the day He was sentenced to death. This would be my fourth time climbing these 28 steps. There is a special prayer that should be said on each step, but I prayed for my family and all those listed on my prayer intentions. I was behind a woman who was reciting  the special prayers. Like a rude driver on the freeway, I cut in front of her because she was taking too long. I quickly asked God’s forgiveness. When I return to Rome I will make the special time and pray these special prayers, as it was intended–holiness as before God.

After the steps we walked across to Saint John Lateran. The magnificence of this basilica is overwhelming! We sat and felt God was in our midst. Above the Papal Altar are two busts of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. According to tradition, the skulls or part of these saints’ skulls are within the bust. Also located in the Papal Altar is a wooden table on which St. Peter and many popes are said to have celebrated the Eucharist.  On the left Papal Altar is another table. Tradition claims that it was upon this table that Jesus celebrated the Last Supper.

The Relics from Holy Cross of Jerusalem Basilica

The Holy Cross of Jerusalem

Not far from Saint John Lateran is the Holy Cross of Jerusalem. Again both Will and Maddie rented scooters to make their way along a straight path. The Holy Cross of Jerusalem houses the first class relics brought from Jerusalem by Constantine’s mother, Saint Helena. Located on this side altar of this church are: a nail used in the Crucifixion, two thorns from Christ’s Crown of Thorns, a finger that is said to have belonged to St. Thomas, and a fragment of the True Cross. How do we know that it is indeed the True Cross? According to legend, when St. Helena first discovered the fragments of the three crosses, she took with her a woman who was dying. Upon touching the True Cross the woman was immediately healed.

The Metro: Part Two

The metro is not user friendly to Californians; we are different, we like to take control of our destiny. As Mikos was figuring out how to get to the next stop, I felt that we were headed back to where we started. I dared not open my mouth because I had long ago lost all direction credibility. So as our leader got on the metro first, he discovered it was the wrong one! While Jenny was yelling, “Mike! Mike!” Mikos turned into the Incredible Hulk and, forcing the doors of the metro, he opened them and jumped out! I couldn’t even say, “I told you so!”

On this day I racked in another 10 1/2  mikes of walking!


Sistine Chapel, Blessed Mother Mary interceding on the behalf of others
Us covering The Pieta

The Vatican

We had an early appointment with our tour guide for the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. We got up early to catch the metro to Ottaviano, and a 10 minute walk to the Vatican. Our guide explained that we could take photos in the Sistine Chapel but selfie sticks are not permitted. I took several photos and then heard the loud cries of the guards, “NO PICTURES!” Both Mikos and Mike looked at me in great judgment. I was doing what every other person was doing and when I showed them the pictures, Mikos said “You should have taken more!”

It was at this world-famous chapel that I received a great revelation from God. I always ask for Mother Mary’s intercession. As I gazed upon Michelangelo’s masterpiece, there in fullness of God was Mary, the Mother of God, interceding to her Son Jesus on behalf of others. This revelation would be confirmed by other Renaissance artists time and time again. This artwork was inspired by God and the message is crystal clear: Our Blessed Mother Mary intercedes on our behalf.

The Chair of Saint Joseph Chapel

Mike and I headed back to the flat for much needed rest. I went shopping around the corner to purchase tennis shoes. The strangest thing happened; the weather changed and it started to hail! This weather condition lasted for about an hour.

Mike and I took a taxi back to the Vatican to attend Mass at the Chair of Saint Joseph Chapel. It was glorious!

My Prayer

Lord, I pray for all who doubt Your Holy Divinity. Give them the special graces to know You, especially during this holy season. Blessed Mother Mary, guide all the lost souls to the foot of Your precious Son Jesus. May we all rejoice in Your glorious Resurrection! Amen.



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