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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fishing for Saint Peter and Paul

Yesterday evening was beautiful here in Orkney so we took advantage of the good weather - and the feast day - to go fishing. Saint Peter smiled upon us and we caught a good number of fish. It was far from a draught of fish so big that we had to call a second boat, but it was enough to make it worth while and it was tremendously enjoyable. Unfortunately, we forgot to take the camera so no pictures were taken of the trip itself, however there are a few pictures taken after we returned.

Br. Martin Mary, Br. Ivan Maria and Br. Louis Marie holding the biggest fish of the catch.

The unpleasant but necessary task of preparing the fish.

Br. Yousef Marie with our catch. Most of it is mackerel. Hopefully we will be able to catch more of them before the season is over. We can then freeze them for use throughout the year.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Saints Peter and Paul

Celebrating the great feast of Saints Peter and Paul, we see the Pauline year brought to a close. It was called both to honour the 2000th anniversary of his birth, and to increase devotion to this great Apostle of the Gentiles. But what joy is ours to discover, from the mouth of the Successor of Peter, that an archaeological probe had been inserted into the tomb believed to be Saint Paul's and that carbon dating had been done on bones found there, “confirming the unanimous and uncontested tradition that they are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul".

We thank God for this discovery which will give so much more strength to the devotion and piety of Catholics everywhere. It calls back memories of our own recent pilgrimage to Saint Paul's Outside the Walls to gain the plenary indulgence.

Rev. Fr Michael Mary entering the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the walls, while on pilgrimage to Rome with the FSSR students.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Our Mother of Perpetual Succour

We would like to wish everyone a very happy and holy feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour! We had the great privilege to visit the original icon and to pray before it while we were in Rome. What a lovely feast to be welcomed home to!

Today we also celebrate Fr. Anthony Mary's 18th anniversary of priestly ordination. He celebrated Holy Mass for the community this morning.

Happy anniversary Father; may Our Mother or Perpetual Succour Watch over you!

Our Mother of Perpetual Succour
Pray for us!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Saint Philip Neri

On This, Our last day in Rome, It was a great privilege to celebrate Mass over the relics of Saint Philip Neri!

Br. Edward, (second from right) from the London Oratory is studying in Rome. He showed us around the church as well as the rooms of St Philip.

The original Death mask taken of St Philip's face after he died.

When Saint Philip decided that he would no longer go on the pilgrimages to the 7 basilicas, he allowed this life-sized image to be painted of him and to be carried on the pilgrimage in his place. It was therefore painted during his lifetime!

This is the last thing that the Saint saw as he died. Saint Philip died holding this very crucifix!

A relic of the tissue that surrounded Saint Philip's miraculously expanded heart.

The relics of Saint Philip, below the altar at which Mass was celebrated thins morning.

Pray for us!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

At the General Audience with Pope Benedict XVI

Today we were blessed to get good seats at the Holy Father's weekly general audience. The Pope here makes his way through the vast crowds that had gathered in St. Peter's square for the event.

Two hours of waiting in the relentless Roman sun were well worth it to get this photograph of the Holy Father waving to the section of the crowd we were in.

The Holy Father descends to greet the crowds that had gathered in St. Peter's square.

There was at least one ecstatic mother in Rome today as the Pope receives the infant held out to him.

The Pope blesses the crowds at the end of the general audience.

In the afternoon we were able to visit the beautiful basilica of St. Paul's outside the walls.

The nave of the basilica with the confession of St. Paul in the distance, where the body of St. Paul lies below the high altar.

In the confession we were also able to venerate the chains that St. Paul was bound in.
At the end of another tiring day, with the sun setting and the pilgrimage to Rome almost at an end, the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer line up in front of the obelisk in front of St. Peter's basilica.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Basilica and Catacombs of Saint Sebastian

Once again we were able to start our day at Saint Peter’s Basilica. It was a great joy to be able to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice at the tomb of Saint Gregory the Great.

Later we visited the crypt, and were permitted to go to the various chapels.

What a surprise! As we were in the Vatican, who should we bump into, but one of the Theology professors from the Fraternity of Saint Peter Seminary in Denton NE, Br. Ansgar!

In the Afternoon we were able to visit the catacombs of Saint Sebastian. We took the bus, and walked the last part.

Descending into the Catacombs.

It was a wonderful experience to walk the same paths that so many Saints and Martyrs walked, and to see the places where their mortal remains, after their earthly trials, were finally laid to rest.

Often damage was done to the remains when the tombs were opened. Now, with advances in technology, the tombs are no longer opened. Instead a small hole is drilled in the tomb, and a tiny camera is inserted, so that photos can be taken and the remains examined, without damage to them.

Often the early Christians wrote out their prayers and petitions on pieces of terracotta and stone. Many pieces have been found, and looking closely, many instances of the names of Saints Peter and Paul can be seen.

We ended with a visit to the Basilica of Saint Sebastian.

Monday, June 22, 2009

More from Rome

Another busy day in Rome!

The day began wonderfully with the great privilege of offering the Holy Mass in Saint Peter's.

After morning Mass we were able to take a good look around the Basilica.

The relics of the great Pope Saint Pius X.

The high altar was beautifully illuminated by the morning sun coming through the windows.

We also had the good fortune to clime the dome right to the top. The view of the Vatican and of all Rome was fantastic!

On the top of Saint Peter's.

A visit to the church of Saint Andrew, patron of Scotland.

And then to the Gesu. The Paintings in this Church are really amazing.

The relics of Saint Ignatius Loyola...

...and the incorrupt arm of Saint Francis Xavier.

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