Rome Pilgrimage: 7-10 May
14 May 2023
We departed at the very early time of 5am for Manchester Airport. After a safe flight to Rome, we checked in at Hotel Emmaus, 1000 yards or so from St Peter’s Square. After a restorative late lunch we had Mass in the local parish church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and our pilgrimage had begun! Monday we were up early again to access St Peter’s Basilica for an early morning Mass in the Grottos beneath the church, some 50 feet from the Tomb of St Peter himself. After Mass, we were able to make a visit to the Tomb of St Peter - just us - with no-one else around: both our Tour Guide and I had never experienced this in over twenty years of coming to Rome - to have a few moments of private prayer before the Tomb of St Peter without any other pilgrims or tourists around. Monday was a day for people to explore and we reconvened for our evening meal. Tuesday was a packed day, leaving on a coach for the Basilica of St Mary Major where we had Mass then on to the pope’s Cathedral, St John Lateran or St Saviour, as it is properly known! Some of us were able to go to the church of San Clemente in the afternoon and see the incredible First Century AD excavations underneath the Basilica. After a very packed 72 hours we arrived back safely on Wednesday lunchtime. All the intentions and petitions were carried to each Mass and you were all remembered specifically in our prayers.