One thing I beg of the Lord, one thing will I ask: that I may live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

Obviously, I didn’t stick to the original schedule of blog posting that I intended to.  I apologize for that.  After Sunday, my daily itinerary in Rome became very, very busy.  Due to our fast-paced schedule that involved walking/running almost everywhere on tough cobblestone streets, by the time I returned back to the hotel each evening I wanted to do nothing but to shower, take care of my poor feet, and go quickly to sleep.  Also I stopped having much of an Internet connection after the first few days.  While I could not remain digitally connected with you, dear friends and family, you were certainly with me in my thoughts and prayers.  At the end of this post I’ll let you know when and where I remembered your intentions, beginning on Monday where I left off.
Intentions:
Nota bene–These are the intentions I purposely listed for each day to not forget them.  I thought about and prayed for all of them at least twice, I’m sure, spontaneously at other times.  Your prayer requests really helped me to strengthen my faith, and my connection with all of you specifically and humanity in general as brothers and sisters.  Each and every one of you is so important in the eyes of God, and so is everyone you meet.  So thank you very much for allowing me to remember you on my pilgrimage.
Monday, April 2
Mass at the Catacombs of St. Callixtus
RCM, LEB, LR, MR, AR, MPR, AR, TFM, TM, NJM, ZTM, JEJ, ABJ, MIJ, GS, KMT, CM, BJL, SL, PL, RL, AJDS, Deacon MV, AC, JMW, AN, BSD, MCM(D)
Tuesday, April 3
Mass at Argogrande, a center of Opus Dei
MCG & mother, VPL, KM, Br. DDB and intentions, LD and intentions, Women of Grandevue (EM, LC, A, AA, L, GC), CAL, EL, FM, JMR, MM
Wednesday, April 4
Mass at Fraterna Domus (our hotel) and the Audience with our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI
AM, LK, ER, KM, SRM, PV, EW, LP and intentions, DD, MCG
Holy Thursday, April 5 and Good Friday, April 6
Focused on meditation of the day’s feasts/fasts and general intentions for the Pope, the Church, the world, and all souls.
Holy Saturday, April 7
AO, LET, ES, CF, JG, AR and intentions, JM, AJM and intentions, KSBS
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Lord, I love the house where you dwell, the place where your glory resides.

This has been a very long day, and breakfast tomorrow is at 6:30, so I’ll try to make this as brief as possible.  Here is a small selection of the 74 photos I took today in Rome.  My flight landed at 8:30am, and I didn’t sleep very well on the plane, so I’ve pretty much been awake for three days.  But I got a second (or third or fourth…) wind when I beheld the beauty and vitality of this city.  A short description of the pictures, in gallery order:

  1. Looking up at the columns and statues that line the sides of St. Peter’s Square.  Note the exceptionally beautiful weather.
  2. The stairs and outdoor altar area of St. Peter’s, where we will be at Palm Sunday Mass tomorrow!  It will probably be decorated more at that time.
  3. I can’t believe my camera captured this gorgeous lighting decently.  I don’t need to describe to you how beautiful that view was, except to say that it took my breath away, as it was my first glance at the interior of St. Peter’s.
  4. A photo that does no justice to the Holy Spirit stained glass window behind the back altar.
  5. Another photo of the same stained glass window, with a better view of the surrounding area, but still no definition on the window itself.  I kept trying to get that shot right because it’s my favorite thing in the world, probably.
  6. “I saw water flowing from the right side of the temple,” and a mosaic of Pope John Paul II’s episcopal heraldry, on the drinking fountain.
  7. My Camelbak capturing the water from the right side of the temple!  I never knew plain water could taste so smooth and sweet as the water does here in Rome.  I half expected it to be dirty city water, but it tastes so fresh.
  8. Another shot of the outside of St. Peter’s.
  9. This is where the Pope lives!
Some of my favorite experiences of today were unphotographable — especially the tomb of St. Josemaría, where we had Mass, the tombs of Sts. Peter, Andrew, Paul, Bl. John Paul II, and other various Popes.  Enjoy the photos!  I will begin praying for all the intentions you’ve requested tomorrow morning at Mass.  Until tomorrow, good night!