Day 19 St. Lawrence

Today is Sister Mary Hanah's birthday, so we celebrated first by going to Mass at the Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls. The statue of Pope Pius XII commemorates the day he drove out to pray with the people of this neighborhood who had suffered from a bombing during the war (aimed at the railway, but damaging homes and part of the Basilica too).

Statue of Pope Pius XII
The Sisters prepare for Mass and the visit to the Basilica

It is difficult to give a sense of the Basilica, as each photo only shows one or two elements.
From the lower level looking up

The Main Altar as seen from the main level

The tomb of Blessed Pope Pius IX is in the lower level.

As we left the Basilica, our first wish was to go to Saint Peter's for the Angelus and receive the Holy Father's blessing. After waiting a long time for the bus, we were informed by a young woman that a tram could take us there, although by a very long route. We thought we had nothing to lose -- this tram would at least take us to St. Peter's, where we could transfer to another bus and return home. But as our tram moved quite quickly through the neighborhoods, we began to calculate whether we might be in time for the Angelus  after all.

On the tram

Seen from the tram

Following our progress...

Another view from the tram...

Crossing the Tiber in the tram...

We did indeed arrive and receive the Holy Father's blessing!

In the afternoon, we learned more about the Sistine Chapel in preparation for our visit later in the week.


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