Friday, October 7, 2011

Day Three - Genazzano

On our third day in Italy, we traveled to the province of Genazzano where we visited the Church of Our Mother of Good Counsel, run by Augustinians.  The church not only contains the miraculous image of Our Mother of Good Counsel, shown in a previous post, but the relic of Blessed Stephen Bellesini, who was beatified by Pope Pius X.  The friars celebrated Mass for us in the chapel containing Blessed Stephen's remains and then we were permitted to tour the museum dedicated to him.  I was most interested in viewing the beautiful fiddle-back vestments Blessed Stephen wore when celebrating Holy Mass.  Here is a photo of one of them up close.  Click on it to zoom in.

Here is a link that will tell you all about Blessed Stephen, who was renowned for his education of boys.

Naturally, there was a gift shop which was inundated by our group.  I found a beautiful image of St. Joseph and the Holy Child that I bought for my father.  It was then that I encountered J at the counter, trying to get someone to pay for his purchases. Later, I was approached by the woman with whom I had shared a suite the first night who complained to me that J kept asking her for money because he had not exchanged his for euros.  She told me this would be the last time she was going to spot him.  It occurred to me that perhaps he could not figure out money and didn't know how to ask for help.  I pointed that out to her and she said while I might be correct, she was nevertheless going to refrain from lending him any more money as she felt he was starting to milk his situation.

After our tour of the church, we took a long walk through a wooded area to the restaurant where we would be having lunch.  An impossible set of steps awaited us and it was quite an effort to help some of the more elderly travelers traverse those steps.  We sat down in a rustic dining room that offered a beautiful view of the hills.  We had not one but two kinds of pasta followed by chicken, pork, potatoes and salad.  The lunch was topped off by a delicious homemade fruit-filled tart and espresso.  The owner took all of us into the kitchen to meet the woman who had done all the cooking.  This meal would be one of my favorites.

The Augustinian priest who was directing the religious portion of our travels wanted to take us to the church dedicated to St. Augustine in Rome so we could visit the altar where St Monica's remains were entombed.  Here is a photo of an image of the Virgin Mary in the rear of the Basilica where infertile couples come to pray to plead their cause.  In return for having their prayers answered, they leave bibs in pink or blue inscribed with their babies' names as prayers of thanksgiving.

It was at St. Monica's tomb (pictured below)  that I prayed especially for all of us who are pleading for the conversion of our children.  I lit a candle as well for everyone's intentions.

Following our visit, we took the short walk over to the Navona Piazza, where we had an hour to kill before returning to our hotel for dinner.  I had eaten so much at Genazzano that I had already decided I would not be eating dinner that evening, and also because I decided to indulge in a tartufo at the infamous Tre Scalini.  I got mine to go.  Too much chocolate for my liking but the whipped cream was divine.  There was nothing of religious interest here but I did pick up a couple of scarves from a street vendor for my girls. I hadn't noticed this at the time I bought them, but they would make beautiful mantillas, so I gave the ivory one to Rebecca upon my return home.


  1. Thank you so much Joyce, I can't tell you what a blessing you are! How beautiful to be prayed for at the tomb of St.Monica! Fr. Check has told us he prayed there for us as well. It is very comforting.

  2. Hi Joyce. Welcome back. I've been commenting on all your Rome blogs these past few days, but they didn't go through. I'm having trouble with Blogger again. I can get comments through when I log in through Fire Fox but not through Explorer, even though I'm clearly signed in. I should have realized something was wrong when I commented but never got that word verification password to type in. My comment just disappeared as if the comment took, so I didn't even think about the word verification thing. Anyway, I guess I'm not going to go back and recomment.

    Let me say, your pictures look wonderful. That guy J was certainly a problem. Does J stand for jerk? It seems like it was a bitter sweet experience. I hope it gets better as you tell us about the rest of the trip. One of my comments was that you might have a better time in the future if you go on your own without a group. Now that you know the lay of the land, you should be able to handle it with a good tour guide book. Too bad my comments were lost. I've certainly been reading your experience.

  3. How can I even begin to thank you for your prayers for all our children before such a precious site ...except to say that here in my humble, simple life in FL I will never forget yours. +

  4. I appreciate that Manny, thanks. Caroline, thank you, no matter where the prayers emanate from, they're heard and appreciated. Kelly, I thought of Father Check often while we were in Rome. Is he still there?

  5. How beautiful! You're so very fortunate to have the opportunity to go, even if it didn't go as smoothly as it might have. I can't imagine seeing all these beautiful things in real life.


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