Pilgrimages

This was my spontaneous explanation to my group of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. I shared the story of my first visit here as a Catholic. It’s only 6 minutes long.

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Our last day of the cruise and extension to Rome. Tomorrow morning we all head back home. But today was an exciting day to put the frosting on the cake.

We started out with Mass at the Church of St. Peter in Chains. (Fr. Cole’s homily here.) This church contains two sets of chains that fused together. One that bound Peter in Jerusalem and the other that bound him in Rome. When they came together they joined miraculously. You doubt it? I don’t!

Today we are emphasizing ancient Rome by walking through the Roman Forum and discussing the ancient history that laid the foundation for Christianity. Then we’ll go into the massive Colosseum which was built by slaves captured in Jerusalem in 70 A.D.. It was completed in 80 HD and even today is magnificent. This is where Saint Ignatius of Antioch, one of my favorite church fathers, was eaten by lions in 107 AD.

Free afternoon and other fun things before a great dinner at Schiavi D’ Abruzzo which is one of our favorite restaurants in Rome. Enjoy!

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We started today with Mass at St. Peter’s in the Hungarian Chapel. It was nice and quiet and private, down in the Crypt with the tombs of all the popes. You can hear/see Fr. Cole’s excellent homily here.

Then we followed the footprints of Saint Paul to the place where he was martyred and I gave my short talk on the end of Paul‘s life.

Then we went to The Church of St. Paul Outside the Walls where he is buried, which is the 2nd largest church in Rome.

Everyone had the afternoon free to explore and do what they wanted to do including shopping and resting and praying. Dinner at La Pilotta which is one of our favorite restaurants. Enjoy!

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Arrival in Rome

October 29, 2018

Most of our group returned back to the United States today but smaller contingency of us continued on to Rome. We boarded the Aegean Airline flight from Athens for the two hour flight. We started the day with Mass of San Stefano Rotondo. Fr. Cole’s homily here. Lunch (wow, back in Italy with the best […]

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Thessaloniki to Philippi

October 27, 2018

We drove just under two hours to Philippi from our very nice hotel in Thessaloniki. We have two sites to visit today which are both related to St. Paul. The first is Philippi where we will tour of the ancit site and see the prison where Paul and Silas were chained (Acts 16). Will also […]

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Busy Day from Athens to Thessaloniki

October 26, 2018

We disembark the ship at 7:00 AM gathered our luggage and boarded the bus for downtown Athens. Everyone had 3 to 4 hours of free time to enjoy the restaurants and shops and ambience of this ancient city. We boarded our plane and headed on the short flight to Thessaloniki after which we boarded our […]

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Islands of Crete & Santorini; free time on the ship

October 25, 2018

Today we landed in Heraklion in Crete, Greece’s largest island. According to Greek mythology it was the birthplace  of Zeus, the head of the gods. But for us, the most important thing is that St. Paul was on this island at least twice and established the church here. He later left Titus on Crete to […]

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Cruise Day 5: Rhodes and Steve’s Talk on St. Paul

October 24, 2018

Rhodes is a biblical site mentioned in Acts 21:1 where St. Paul stopped on his 3rd Missionary Journey. Private Mass at Santa Maria Catholic Church in Ialysos, Rhodes and you can hear the homily here. I was able to make the arduous climb all of the way to the top of the acropolis with about […]

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St. Paul Walks Passed the Brothal

October 23, 2018

Every time I visit Ephesus I show my tour group my favorite things in this ancient city. We are here today with 80 pilgrims. We filmed here for our Paul and Mary DVDs and have brought groups here on numerous occasions. One of my favorite things to show people in Ephesus is the Billboard for […]

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Boarding the Ship, Mass on High Seas and Mykonos Greece

October 22, 2018

After a great two days in Athens and Corinth this morning we boarded our ship, the Olympia. We headed out into the Mediterranean Sea and set course for Mykonos or everyone will have the evening to enjoy and explore the island. We also had Mass on the ship. The homily was marvelous — and you […]

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Corinth All Day! One of my favorite days of the cruise

October 21, 2018

This is one of my favorite days of the cruise. Corinth is such a fabulous biblical site. We filmed here extensively for our documentary “Paul, Contending for Faith.” St.Paul lived here for 18 months and wrote them at least three letters. It was an immoral city and in literature to “corinthianize” meant to corrupt. A […]

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Athens! Group Arrives to Climb Acropolis, See Parthenon & St. Paul’s Mars Hill

October 20, 2018

The majority of our group arrived at 1:30 PM at the Athens International Airport. Quick tour of Athens before climbing the Acropolis to see the Parthenon. My favorite place in Athens is Mars Hill (Aereopagus) which is mentioned in the Bible, book of Acts chapter 17 where St. Paul gives a presentation to the Aereopogites. […]

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Full Last Day: Via Dolorosa, Calvary, Western Wall, Shroud, Roof of Jerusalem

October 18, 2018

A full last day. The Via Dolorosa to Calvary, from Calvary we took a tour of the Holy Sepulcher and Mass in the Crusaders Chapel (homily here). Back for breakfast and a visit to the Western Wall before Lunch at Rossini’s. Everyone always enjoys a free afternoon to go see what they wanna see, take […]

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Camels, Dead Sea, Qumran, Jericho, Jordan River and more…

October 17, 2018

Exciting fun day! Camels and Dead Sea are enough to make it a fun day. Homily at Notre Dame here. See Jerusalem in miniature. Feet in Jordan River and floating in Dead Sea. These Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre are having a great time and the best Catholic experience […]

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Our Equestrian Order Group with Bishop of Jerusalem

October 17, 2018

We had a meeting in the Latin Patriarchate and this is our group after our audience with the bishop.  All of the Knights and Ladies received their Pilgrimage Shells at the hands of the bishop.  

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Wow! What a Day! Mass at Gethsemane, Equestrian Oder meets Jerusalem Bishop, Solemn Entry into Tomb…

October 16, 2018

There’s no way to capsulate all that we did today. And, we did it at a time when Israel is more crowded than we’ve ever seen it in 20 years. Buses everywhere people, people everywhere, not one room is available in any hotel in Jerusalem. But we did what we came to do. We had […]

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