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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Headed back to Rome

 Today was quite a long day - surprise? Not!

I woke up at 5:45 to get ready for a nice morning run. By 6:30 I was on the road heading for the Benedictine monastery that we visited yesterday.  My phone promised me it was just under two miles away.  However, it felt much longer as it was almost entirely uphill the whole time. 
I went down to the creek and started running the hiking trail up the other mountain.  I came up to a Roman water fountain - the faucet is a modern adaptation. :)

After breakfast we headed to the shrine of our lady of the rosary (Madonna del Rosario). We had Mass for just the group Ina nice side chapel. The church was phenomenal and all because of the witness of one man who converted from a very sinful life and ultimately found his peace in praying the rosary daily, and spent himself helping children from up well despite their difficult life circumstances.

 Then we went to Pompei just down the road to see the ancient Roman ruins of the town where Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79AD and people died due to smoke and the whole town was then covered in lava for about 1700 years. Much of it still waits for excavation. I would guess that it is currently the size of about 10-20 city blocks. 
Then we went to another Benedictine monastery, Monte Cassino. It was founded by St. Benedict himself, and holds the remains of this great founder of Wester monasticism as well as his sister, St. Scholastica.

 The monastery was totally destroyed during WWII by the Allies since the Germans used it as a stronghold and lookout (the drive up the mountain was treacherous!) and the Allies lost many lives trying three times to take it with troops.  Bombs were the last resort. Since the war, it had been beautifully rebuilt! Sadly, few monks now inhabit it.

Then we went to Rome. Here we had the evening free. I led my parents and three others to a mini tour of Saint Augustine basilica and a few special places before eating dinner. We ate too much, but still had room for gelato as we walked to the cab! :)
We had a great time.

Tomorrow we start early to see the Pope!!!! :)

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