Rome 2006 Sunday June 4 - Monday June 5, Pope Benedict and more of Rome

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The papal altar at St. Peter's Basilica, with the famous canopy by Bernini rising over it, exactly over the site of the tomb of St. Peter.
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On Pentecost Sunday, I was among 180 priests who helped distribute communion at the Mass celebrated by the Holy Father. Here we are lining up in St. Peter's to go to our seats.
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While the Piazza was full, it wasn't overflowing the way it was the night before.
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Pope Benedict XVI processes in for Mass of Pentecost, which he reminded us that missionary effectiveness doesn't depend primarily on programming and applications, but on the Lord: "his Spirit is the true protagonist of the Church. The roots of our being and of our action are in the wise and provident silence of God."
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"The entire Church, as beloved Pope John Paul II used to say, is one great movement animated by the Holy Spirit, a river that travels through history to irrigate it with God's grace and make it full of life, goodness, beauty, justice and peace."
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The Maria Mater Ecclesiae seminary in Rome. Although directed by the Legionaries of Christ, all students at this seminary are studying to become diocesan priests.
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This is somewhat near, but separate from the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, which is a full university with studies in Philosophy, Theology and Bioethics.
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St. Mary Major Basilica, the largest Church in the world dedicated to Mary, it was rebuilt by Pope Sixtus III shortly after the Council of Ephesus affirmed Mary's title as Mother of God in 431.
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The Marian column erected in 1614, in thanksgiving for remission of the plague during the Baroque era. Also a reminder of the famous icon of the Virgin Mary in the Basilica. It is known as Salus Populi Romani, or Health of the Roman People, due to a miracle in which the icon helped keep plague from the city.
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Its interior retains three naves divided by colonnades in the style of Constantine's era. Fifth-century mosaics on its walls testify to its antiquity. Note: although it's called the papal altar, others (Cardinals) do celebrate mass there.
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Below the sanctuary of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is the Bethlehem Crypt. A relic of the crib believed to be used in the nativity of Jesus is protected within. Also buried in the crypt is Saint Jerome, the 4th century Doctor of the Church, who translated the Bible into Latin.
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Dedicated in AD 306, the Baths of Diocletian (Thermae Diocletiani) were the largest and most sumptuous of the imperial baths and remained in use until the aqueducts that fed them were cut by the Goths in AD 537.
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The complex now houses the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli and the Museo Nazionale Romano (National Roman Museum). Here a Roman tomb with shepherds.
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Some of the earliest Christian funerary monuments, with Christian symbols of the fish and anchor. The letters of the Greek word for fish, "icthus" form an acrostic that meant "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior".
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Other Christian symbols include the dove.
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Center: the loaves and fishes, bottom: the sower.
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Top: the dove, person in prayer, and the Chi-Rho, an anagram of the first two letters of Christ in Greek, the Chi (our CH) and the Rho (our R). Middle: Good shepherd.
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Inside the Museum is the Cloister of Michelangelo, named for its designer.
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The cloister contains a Sixteenth century Garden and outdoor displays of altars and funerary sculpture and inscriptions.
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A sleeping child with lantern - too cute to pass up.
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My favorite, be careful trying to walk through this door - the monk will show you the way.
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On the exterior, it is hard to get a good view of the baths (Trivia note, in Latin: termae, or Italian terme, therefore the nearby by train station is called Termini because it is near the baths, not because it is the terminal.)
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On the interior, the excellent preservation of the baths is due to its conversion into the church of S. Maria degli Angeli by Michelangelo
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Santa Maria degli Angeli was the official state church during the Kingdom of Italy (1870-1946). Currently it is the titular Church of William Cardinal Keeler of Baltimore.
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The picture is very fuzzy, making it ever harder to tell that the columns are just an illusion painted on the wall.
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The three soaring vaults of the church transept provide, as does the Pantheon, one of the few glimpses of what the original splendor of the Roman building must have been like.
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Basilica Nostra Signora di Guadalupe e San Filippo Martire - Minor Basilica to Our Lady of Guadalupe (and St. Philip), a parish built (1960) and staffed by the Legionaries of Christ, at the request of the diocese of Rome.
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Interior of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is the Mexican national church and a place of prayer for all Latin-American pilgrims who come to Rome
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Monday morning Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, where I celebrated at the Altar of St Gregory the Great.
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Visiting the Church of the Holy Apostles (or 12 Apostles), to pray at the tomb of the Apostles Philip and James (the lesser).
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Crypt which contains the tomb of the two apostles. This is also the Church in which Bishop Bruskewitz was ordained a priest.
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Ceiling fresco by Baciccia (1707) depicts the Triumph of the Order of St Francis. (Holy Apostles church is now served by Conventual Franciscans, whose Generalate is adjacent to the church.)

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