The Pilgrim’s Guide to Rome

Well, as I announced a few weeks ago…I have a real live sponsor sending me to ROME!  aaack!! Who knew that blogging could be THIS much fun!?

takeapilgrimage picture

Now although I agree that Divine Mercy Sunday is the PERFECT day for the canonization of our beloved Bl. Pope John Paul 2, JP2 being responsible for establishing this huge and awesome devotion in our Catholic Church, the Canonization Pilgrimage of April 25-May 2, 2014 presents a more-difficult-than-usual time for me to get away. While we are still discerning whether or not we should cancel a few things and I should attend…I think the more likely ETA for me in Rome is October 2014!

Although I have posted my love for Bl. Pope John Paul a number of times in my Pope posts and would be ecstatic to be there for his eagerly awaited canonization,  I confess that I am also drawn to my trip-of-a-lifetime pilgimming through Rome at a little less historically-spectacular time. I’d like to soak in AS MUCH of Rome and Rome’s Principal Churches as I can…and if I can sneak in just a few more sights….without a couple million other pilgrims …maybe October 2014 is the time for me to go.

That said…if YOU want to be there for this awesome event…please check out St Gemma’s Catholic Pilgrimages for the Canonization Pilgrimage of April 25-May 2, 2014 .  I hope to receive a steady stream of pictures from my friends Mike and Sue Denz as they lead a pack of pilgrims to St Peter’s on this day. I’ll pass them along!

Wow…9 or 12 days with a backpack, sketchbook, ipad and camera, my kids safe and lovingly taken care of at home, wandering through magnificent Churches I studied 20 years ago by slide-show in Architecture School? Strolling down the cobblestone streets, tasting Rome’s finest food, visiting holy places with relics of my favorite saints, attending daily Mass with nary a squirming toddler? Uh, yes please!!  It’s true I’d love to share it all with my awesome hubby…but alas…he gets the loving-care-of-the-kids part at home.

Speaking of Rome’s Principal Churches, I was SO pleased to spy this book at the recent Catholic Marketing Tradeshow and honored that the gentlemen at the Angelus Press’ booth entrusted me with this beautiful book to review.

So here it is:

The Pilgrim’s Guide to Rome’s Principal Churches  by Rev. Father Tylenda

Pilgrims Guide BookI am so excited about this book, especially in light of my upcoming opportunity to take a pilgrimage to Rome, thanks to my new sponsor! I have been pouring over this book and I can’t believe the wealth of information about each of these 52 Churches in Rome. I was holding off writing my review of this book, because I wanted to read it ALL and comment on ALL of the awesome Churches I’m eager to visit…but I decided instead to break my review into smaller posts, and share my absolute must-see destinations in preparation for my big trip. With sticky notes at the ready… and my highlighter in hand, these are my first two must-see destinations (after St Peter’s, of course).

With the recent feastdays of St Monica and St Augustine, I was so happy to confirm the location of the Tomb of St Monica at St Agostino. The church doesn’t look too far from St Peter’s…and I know we’ll be starting each day out at the Basilica, so we should be able to squeeze St Agostino’s in.


I was also interested to see that the skull of St Agnes resides in St Agnese, a Church that seems quite close to St Agnostino. I haven’t always owned up to my middle name’s patron saint, ever since my brother called me ‘Egghead’, in the same shocking conversation that he announced to me that my middle name was indeed Agnes.

Yes, it was news to me…and not the best delivery of the message.

Although my Mom still stands by her opinion ‘it’s a beautiful name’ and although I agree that St Agnes is a very cool Saint, I don’t advertise my middle name too much, but I would jump at the chance to visit this special reliquary of this inspiring young martyr.

It’s just starting to sink in for me…the remains of these actual Saints who I have read about and admired all my life…are honored in these beautiful Churches in Rome! I have only read through a fraction of this 400+, color handbook, but I can only imagine the gems I am to discover and place on my ‘must-see’ list.

Not venturing all that far from the convent where we will be staying, St Peter’s and these two other Churches are definitely on my ‘must-see’ list. I love the facts, tours and pics in this book…and I suspect it will have a coveted spot in my hopefully-not-too-big travel bag. Thanks to Angelus Press for the book….and thanks again to St Gemma’s Catholic Pilgrimages for this trip of a lifetime to look forward to!



  1. As you can see, we really had to twist Monica’s arm to come with us to Rome! We are really looking forward to having her with us on a pilgrimage next year!

    • Meg Paolini says:

      I can just see how she will be suffering! I am so looking forward to my trip this coming October- just a few short weeks away. I have heard such glowing reports of the quality of this pilgrimage with St. Gemma’s Catholic Pilgrimages from friends who have gone.

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