The 70 members of the seminarians, faculty and staff from Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology and Borromeo Seminary who are on a weeklong pilgrimage to Rome began their experience on March 3. The group is sharing regular highlights of their experience.
(See photo gallery above.)
After a memorable day (March 6) during which the travelers had a private audience with Pope Francis and met him individually, they got an early start on March 7 for a day filled with sightseeing, including some of the most famous locations in the Vatican.
The group had a private tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel and breakfast at the museum, followed by a late morning visit and Mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
St. Paul’s is one of the four major basilicas in Rome. Its main altar was built over St. Paul’s tomb. Founded by the Emperor Constantine about 402, the basilica was damaged severely by fire in 1823 and rebuilding took almost a century. It is home to the holy door that is opened only during jubilee years.
The visitors also stopped by two of the other major basilicas, St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major.
The afternoon was free so they could explore other areas in Rome and dinner was on their own.
The trip is in conjunction with the 175th anniversary of Saint Mary Seminary, which was established in 1848, a year after the Diocese of Cleveland was founded.