Another early start on Saturday and a couple of crazy Italian buses took us out to the Catacombs, which believe it or not was very close to where we had walked to the night before. We were privileged enough to be allowed to celebrate Mass in the Catacombs before then being given a tour and explanation of them. Our tour guide was very good. The Catacombs that we visited show the first picture of Mary thereby showing that devotion to Our Lady was present in the life of the early Christians.
Our next stop was the Church of St Lawrence the Deacon. There was a funeral happening when we arrived but God rewards those who wait patiently. After the funeral we were allowed to stay a little longer in the Church even though it was being locked for the lunch break. We were even allowed to view the private cloister which was beautiful and had many interesting things on the wall. The Church of St Lawrence has in it the body of St Lawrence, St Stephen and St Justin. It is an amazing Church.
By the time we had done all this we were starving. We found a place to sit in the sun and eat our picnic. It was good just to have a bit of time to sit and chill in the sun. Some even decided to lie down (see picture below). We then took a walk towards San Clemente, which unfortunately was closed for lunch, but seeing as it is such a beautiful Church we decided to wait a while. Some went for a quick walk down to look at the Colosseum. San Clemente was well worth the wait!
The next Church we visited was a favourite of a few people, it was Santa Maria in Aracoeli which is known as the Church of the Baby Jesus. Absolutely stunning Church. After this we walked around a little more and Fr Alex explained a bit more about Rome and the significance of some of the Churches. Then it was back to our awesome hotel to meet Anne-Marie who was a student at SPES last year. Just happens that her mid-term break falls when we are in Rome. For some of us it was a reunion and a catch up, for Alfonso it was an introduction. It was lovely for Anne-Marie to be able to join us for supper. We had supper with Fr Kevin, who is a Carmelite and a very good friend of SPES. He took us to a fantastic restaurant where we had our first real Italian pizza - it was very good! All in all another busy full day.