Our afternoon was time for some Friday Penance. It all began with catching a couple of buses out to the Scala Sancti (the Holy Stairs), which are believed to the steps that Jesus climbed up to Pilate. There are 28 steps in total and the only way to climb these steps is on one's knees and they are not the smoothest set of steps. But a bit of pain and penance does us a lot of good, so we're told. I believe each one of us found it a very moving experience.
After the Scala Sancti we crosses over the road to visit San Giovanni Laterano (St John Lateran). It is the Diocesan Basilica of Rome and the Pope's Church. We spent some time praying there before walking on over to Santa Maria Maggiore. Santa Maria Maggiore is beautiful and is situated on one of the hills of Rome.
On our way to Santa Maria Maggiore we stopped in for a moment at St Alfonso's Church since we have our own Alfonso with us. The Church of St Alfonso is also a shrine to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
From Santa Maria Maggiore we started the 'short' walk to meet some friends of Father's who had invited us over for supper. Our 'short' walk turned into an hour long march as we realised it was further out the road than first thought! Oh well, on the bright side we had walked off whatever dinner we were about to receive! We had a wonderful time with Father's friends who were very welcoming to us.
This trip has been fantastic, there really is so much to see in Rome and although we are only here a short time we are seeing loads. Keep checking back for updates of what we are doing and hopefully when we get back we will update with more information in some of the places we have seen.