16 Nov

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The morning started with a taxi ride to the Hermitage of Carceri,  This is where St. Francis spent much of his time in solitude.  It is a beautiful place in the mountains, surrounded by forest with beautiful views of the valleys below. See:  http://www.amoitaly.com/assisi/carceri.html.

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Returning to the buses after our visit, we left for Rome.  We stopped along the way for lunch in a pretty typical roadside gas station / deli.  Once we reached Rome and checked into the hotel, we left for the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. This is a spectacular church, with incredible art works, history and a very busy Mass schedule.  Fr. Prince said Mass in one of the chapels, followed by a tour of the basilica.  The basilica was built “outside the walls of Rome” over the tomb of St. Paul, the gospel writer.  In 2008, a scientific excavation found the remains of Saint Paul, and part of his coffin is now visible in the center of the church.  Around the church, high on the walls, are portraits of every Pope since Peter, with the portrait of Pope Francis lighted.  It was interesting to note that popes that were martyred  or canonized were painted with a halo.

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Returning to the hotel, we all enjoyed a wonderful dinner (they do eat late here in Rome!).