Monday, February 9, 2009

The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls

I am more than happy to say that I visited the beautiful Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls today. This is a great jubilee year in honor of the 2000th birthday of St. Paul. Along with that celebration, comes the opportunity to obtain a plenary indulgence. What a great gift from the Church!

It is always special for me to visit this particular Basilica, not only because of its incredible beauty or that it is one of the four major basilicas, but because it held a special place for Pier Giorgio who also visited it. St. Paul was his favorite saint and an inspiration for his life of charity.

The Basilica has undergone some changes since my last visit. Most likely because of the crowds expected during this jubilee year, they have constructed a great bathroom facility. If you have done any traveling in Italy, you will understand why I am mentioning that detail! They have moved the gift shop/bookstore from its previous location and have installed turnstiles that you must pass through to visit the courtyard area. Unfortunately, you have to pay a few euro to go through the turnstiles. Inside the Basilica, they have done some additional excavation and you can see a part of the tomb of St. Paul. They have a new little area that makes it extremely easy to offer Mass intentions, as well.

The Pier Giorgio Pilgrimage 2009 will begin with a visit to St. Paul Outside the Walls. What a great way to begin a journey in the footsteps of Pier Giorgio! The trip is now filled but we will do it again next year and you won't want to miss it.

Even though it takes a little extra effort to visit this Basilica when you are in Rome, I hope that you will make a point to do it if you find yourself here at any time. Just hop on Bus 23 and tell the driver you are going "verso l'alto!"

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