Fr. Dwight Longenecker | 6/24/2019 | Dwight Longenecker
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I’m enjoying a vacation-pilgrimage with our two youngest children in Italy. Some time ago I kind of gave up on vacation for vacation’s sake. I got bored with the beach and don’t do relaxation very well.

So, when our son Elias was spending some weeks in Spain on his study abroad program I suggested we meet up in Italy for a vacation-pilgrimage. Theo was free so he decided to join us. We’ve been having a great time so far.

Ground - Friday - Hours - Vatican - Museums

We hit the ground running on Friday evening with three hours in the Vatican Museums. You can avoid the usual long lines of tourists by booking tickets online. They have a special opening on Friday nights. We were overpowered by the Raphael rooms and the Sistine chapel. It hit me for the first time (duh) that both Raphael and Michelangelo bear the names of archangels. Their work is so amazing that they must have had special inspiration and angelic power.

What an age was the sixteenth century! To think of all that happened in that tumultuous time! Martin Luther, Henry VIII, Clement VII, William Shakespeare,Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Christopher Columbus, Caravaggio. Think of the changes the world was going through! The discovery and settlement of the New World, the dissolution of the monasteries, the changes in communications with the invention of moveable type. Amazing!

Alive - Rome - History - Buildings - Monuments

It’s all very much alive here in Rome. If you know your history you can read it all in the buildings and monuments everywhere.

One of the things that has impressed me during this visit was how much the popes of the Renaissance saw the church as the New Rome. Christianity had conquered. The faith was triumphant, and while we are inclined to focus on the decadence and corruption that went with that concept, there was also a positive side to it. When...
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