“Seven Nation Army”

NOTE: I had some another place that I blog and I decided to delete it, but I wanted to keep the memories. So I’m combining everything on to this blog.

Day 13 – Ancona, Loreto, Lower Assisi
Nov 3rd

There wasn’t too much except for the poor drug smelling dog who would much rather play with us than do his job sniffing out drugs. That and he went insane after one truck, which of course meant that the Italian police really, really wanted to talk to him.

In Loreto, we saw the Basilica which houses three of the four walls, the roof, and the floor of the house that Mary was born, raised in, and conceived Jesus in. Seeing this house/shrine and the Eucharistic Miracle and the Pope were my top three moments of my trip I think.

In Lower Assisi, we went to one of the Basilicas that was built around one of the churches that St. Francis restored by himself with his own hands. While we were there, Father Jose and I wanted to see the altar of St. Clare and so I had to use my French, because I don’t speak Italian and the women didn’t speak English or Korean to talk the women into letting us see the altar.

We had to wait a while to go to the hotel because Charlie and not me, I promise, was lost, so we had to wait for him to show up.

Day 14 – Upper Assisi
Oct 4th St. Francis & St. Clare Basilicas, San Damiano

This was the day about visiting as many churches as possible. We went to

St. Francis Basilica was massive. Everywhere you turned around there was something to see and to marvel at. In the basement, there was a museum of things that were from St. Francis’s life. At the top of the Basilica, there was a lawn with some bushes trimmed to spell out “Pax” with the tau cross, the one that St. Francis used and preferred.

St. Clare’s Basilica, which was a little disappointing because it really wasn’t as well kept as I thought it would be. It was a bit smaller than the other Basilicas that I have been to. The frescos had been chipped away. In the basement was a shrine of things that came from St. Clare’s life and her tomb.

The house that St. Francis was brought up was turned into a small chapel. But you could still see the room that St. Francis’s parents locked him inside in the hopes of making him “sane.”

During lunch we went to another Basilica, this is the church (then) that St. Francis and St. Clwhile he was are were baptised in. We unfortunately got there too late to go down through the catacombs. Inside the Basilica there was a statue of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows and to see her there with the seven swords stabbing her just made me cry. In a side chamber, there were these amazing fresco paintings of the late Pope John Paul II. My favorite was titled “Strength in Weakness,” it showed the Pope praying while kneeling during the latter stages of Parkinison’s disease and the disease taking a toll on his body, but not his Faith.

Of course there was a Father John moment: he touched one of the paintings and of course the alarm went off. So then he was trying to turn it off, but there was nothing he could do. I thought that Guy was going to kill Fr. John, but then he had this sign of resigned understanding that it was Fr. John on his face.

After lunch we prayed the rosary in the Church of Mary over Minerva. It was a converted Roman temple dedicated to Minerva, the outside of the church looked like Roman temple, but inside there was a beautiful altar of Mary with Jesus.

In the afternoon we made the hike to San Damiano, which became the original chapter house for the Poor Clares. We weren’t supposed to take pictures inside San Damiano but thanks to Fr. John we were able to.

Day 15 & 16 – Assisi, Rome, Seoul
Nov 5 & 6

So everyone had to leave for a flight either at 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m. and of course my flight wasn’t until 4 p.m. So I left my luggage at the airport and went to St. Peter’s Square to attend the Pope’s General Audience. After I made it through the security, and there was enough security to make sure that nothing happened to the Pope, there was about one Swiss National Guard member, Italian military member, or one Roman police officer to every three or four people. Eventually the Pope drove around St. Peter’s Square in the popemobile. I was so close to him that he waved at me and of course being the goober that I am I completely forgot about the camera in my hands until it was almost too late to take a picture of him. And the same thing happened when he was giving his speech. I just stood there thinking about how amazing Pope Benedict is and how lucky we are as Catholics to have him as our Pope that it took a while to remember to film what he was saying. At the end of the General Audience, he invited everyone to sing with him “Pater Noster.”

On the plane back to Seoul, I proved how much of a Korean girl that I am…I was so happy to be on a Korean Air flight because I was craving kim-chi and Korean food, but really I just wanted kim-chi.

I was so tired from my very long day that I didn’t care that the taxi driver took the long way back to SEV.

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