18 Nov

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Today began with Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major, a Basilica owned by the Vatican but in the city of Rome.  From there, we went to the Basilica of St. John Lateran, which is the cathedral of Rome, and the church of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.  The Pope’s chair is in this basilica.

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At Saint John Lateran, which is the Cathedral for the city of Rome, we saw the relics believe to be the heads of St. Peter and St. Paul.  Each is encased in a statue, so you don’t see these relics.

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Across the street from the Basilica, we visited the Scala Santa – the Sacred Steps.  St. Helen brought back the steps from Jerusalem – the steps Christ walked up to be condemned by Pontius Pilot.  Many climb these steps on their knees, praying at each step.  The picture is of steps next to the Sacred Steps, as no pictures are allowed of the Sacred Steps.

We then went on a walking tour of Rome.  We visited the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and the Pantheon.  The Pantheon is an ancient pagan temple that was converted to a church in the 6th century.

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