Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

American Martyr Fr Stanley Rother: Confessor of the Faith

Pope St. Pius X: My Confirmation Saint

When yours truly was Confirmed on Nov. 11, 1992, as I approached the bishop to be Confirmed, I will never forget that moment.  The bishop just about fell over when he read on my name tag: "John Paul / St. Pius X."  He was thrilled I chose such an interesting saint to be my Confirmation saint and he said so himself.  I attribute the apostolate of this blog to the graces I received on that day through the sacrament of the Holy Ghost.   

La Vie Epuisante de Pèlerins!


The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School (Tip of the Fedora to Fr. Z)

Note to Una Voce: Time for a Rebranding

I would counsel for a new logo.  I don't know why no one has brought this up before.  The traditional Mass movement must not be myopic.  We must not lack in imagination.  I vote for a new insignia.  This time do it right with a crest/shield.  Something more Catholic.  Something that resonates more with the Catholic thing.

I also recommend a new international web platform for Una Voce International in which each and every affiliate can have their own website on the same web platform so as to more effectively get news out and share media in an instantaneous manner.  The educational arm of the pro-life movement in Canada has done the same with great effectiveness (see here: https://lifecollective.io/).  Such a site done for Una Voce could become the world's largest online resource for the international "Latin Mass" movement.  Further, it would grant impetus to Una Voce.         

Thursday, August 17, 2017

One of the Most Iconic Elements of American Catholicism


Saint Agnes: A Model Parish

At the solemn dedication in 1912, Archbishop John Ireland said: "You can be proud of your church, next to the Cathedral, the grandest church in Saint Paul."

http://churchofsaintagnes.org/

Vatican II Peritus Mons. Rudolph G. Bandas on Pope John XXIII "Opening the Windows"

Source: History of the Church of Saint Agnes of Saint Paul, Minnesota (1887 - 1987) by Mons. Richard J. Schuler. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

100th Anniversary of Fatima Devotions in Canada










This is my wonderful parish in Aldergrove, Canada, the church of Saints Joachim and Ann.

It is a suburban parish located in the fast-growing Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver.  The pastor is the famous Fr. William Ashley, son of the late Dr. John Ashley of St. John's Newfoundland.  

The future of the Archdiocese of Vancouver is here, where young families continue to settle in droves, seeking affordability and less traffic congestion. 

For the centenary celebration this year Fr. Ashley has initiated Fatima devotions the 13th of each month, beginning May 13.  About 250 faithful have showed up for each evening of prayer; everyone bringing their prayer intentions to the altar.  The ceremony consists of Marian hymns, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a sermon, rosary and outdoor procession.    

Fr. Ashley grew up experiencing the magnificent cathedral liturgies of his native parish, the Cathedral of St. John in St. John's.  He was ordained in the Vatican Basilica in 1977.  

Father Ashley has done pastoral work in both the USA and Canada.  I am immensely grateful to have him as pastor!  I cannot think of a better priest.  The faithful constantly sing the praises of this gifted priest with gratitude for his tenure as pastor, acclaiming it a true golden age and we truly appreciate every minute of it.  

Each Sunday he celebrates 3 Masses!  Plus Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Vespers.  Fr. Ashley has the best sermons, choir and best bulletin.  He is the foremost senior scholar on the liturgical praxis of the Roman rite in Western Canada.  Thank heaven for such a wonderful and fine priest.  The Church could use many more like him.  He is popular with seminarians and mentors many young people discerning a possible call to religious life.   

His entire priestly life has been spent in work for Catholic education.  He is above all a teacher, but primarily a very fine priest.  Currently he is adjunct professor of Latin at a nearby Catholic College.  Thank you, Father Ashley!    


Benefits of Group Travel


Catholic Travel


Feast Day of St. Joachim


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Catholic Pilgrimage

Don't miss out on these precious moments.  

August 2018: FSSP Pilgrimage to Poland

Stay tuned for details. 

Buona Festa dell'Assunzione della B.V. Maria e Buon Ferragosto!

Le tradizioni della nostra terra sono la nostra identità, ricordiamocelo. La grandezza dell'Europa deriva dal patrimonio costituito dalla civiltà grece e romana, dalla tradizione religiosa ebraica e cristiana. La cultura dell’Europa è nata dall’incontro tra Gerusalemme, Atene e Roma – dall’incontro tra la fede in Dio di Israele, la ragione filosofica dei Greci e il pensiero giuridico di Roma. Buona Festa a tutti.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Place of Death of Martyr St. Maximillian Kolbe at Auschwitz















An indescribable experience.  An estimated 11 million died in the holocaust.  6 million Jews and 5 million others.   Many died at Auschwitz-Birkenau; we visited both. 

St. Maximillian Kolbe was killed in Block 11 of Auschwitz I (the fourth photo from the top).  We prayed at his hunger cell (the fifth photo from the top).  Everything has been kept original, including the paint job.

Visiting this killing center is chilling.  It reminds one of the abortion mills of today.  Silent holocaust.  Millions slaughtered  in the name of whatever, because it is/was legal to do so.  Any opposition is ruthlessly opposed by government and popular culture. 

Auschwitz is an easy day trip from Krakow.  It is a haunting place that is a must see for visitors to Poland. 

Amidst all of the horror of this episode in history, the priestly vocation of St. John Paul II was forged, in the shadow of this and the Divine Mercy convent of St. Faustina in Krakow.  I wish everyone could see these places.   

FYI: we are putting together a Spiritual Highlights of Poland FSSP Pilgrimage in 2018.  Stay tuned for details. 

St. Maximillian Kolbe Pilgrimage

AUGUST 14: FEAST OF ST. MAXIMILLIAN KOLBE. He died in a hunger cell in this building, block 11. To see the room and pray here is a tremendous experience. OC-Travel came here to Auschwitz on an Easter tour. We were not permitted to enter the actual room. However, we walked down the hallway and each person had a moment to look inside the open door. Everything has been kept original as it was when the Allies liberated the camp. Only new outdoor barbed wire has replaced the old that decayed from rust. May the saint from Auschwitz - Prisoner Number 16670 - pray for us.

EOHSJ Holy Land Tour


Acre, a city located on the northern coastal plain region of Israel, is included as a stop on every Knights Tour of the Holy Land. During the Crusades this port town was known as St. Jean d'Acre, named by the Knights Hospitaller (Order of Malta), who had a headquarters there. An important location on the Mediterranean with a rare natural harbor, the Crusaders made Acre their chief port on the sea. The earliest part of the Citadel building was originally built by the Knights Hospitaller. There is much to see here in this seaside paradise!

Annual Traditional Pilgrimage in Canada: Quebec Marie Reine du Canada Annual Pilgrimage to Our Lady of the Cape (September 1 - 4, 2017)


Marie Reine du Canada Annual Pilgrimage to Our Lady of the Cape.


SEPT. 1 - 4, 2017, LANORAIE, QUEBEC: Three days of prayer, penance, fraternal charity, and many graces! Walk 100km in the footsteps of the North American martyrs to the miraculous shrine of Our Lady of the Cape. Daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

FOR MORE INFO: http://www.marie-reine.ca/index_en.php

K of C Debacle: Return to the Old 1940 White Tie and Tails!

In the words of a Vaticanista: "Very disappointed in the response today from the leadership of the Knights of Columbus.  The decision to change the uniforms was apparently made with little input from the members; and was presented as a fait accompli.  Now, in the face of overwhelmingly negative feedback, the leadership is refusing to engage their members, and ordering them simply to obey. I hope they will reconsider this decision, and work to rebuild trust and respect among the brother Knights."

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Liturgical Co

Please support the new kid on the block.

They make nice stuff.

Purchase a nice vestment set and gift your parish.

Photo from Rome.  

See here: http://www.theliturgicalco.com/

Early Glimpse of St. Agnes Parish in the 1890s (Saint Paul, Minnesota)


Pius XII on the Holy Land

From the 1949 Apostolic Exhortation, SOLLEMNIBUS DOCUMENTIS

"Presso la Grotta di Betlemme, come tutti sanno, gli Angeli, cantando la gloria di Dio, annunziarono la pace agli uomini di buona volontà(2); per le città, i castelli, i villaggi di Palestina passò facendo del bene(3), Colui che dette agli uomini, erranti come pecore senza pastore(4), non solo il Suo precetto, ma anche l’esempio dell’amore; sul Golgota, Cristo, Dio e Uomo, offrendosi Vittima immacolata per i peccati degli uomini, meritò col Suo Sangue il trionfo della vera libertà e della giustizia.

Se dunque il ricordo riconoscente di così grandi benefici è indissolubilmente legato a quella sacra regione, è strettamente doveroso che oggi più che mai si elevino al Cielo ardenti preghiere per quella Terra, che, nei secoli, fu meta di fervorosi pellegrinaggi di innumerevoli cristiani; che suscitò in loro entusiasmi capaci di qualsiasi sacrificio; che occupò ed occupa a buon diritto un posto di privilegio nel pensiero e nell’affetto di ogni cristiano."

-Pius XII

Note to Vatican website (you need to have this in English!): https://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/it/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_p-xii_exh_19491108_sollemnibus-documentis.html

Pius XII on the Holy Places in Palestine

REDEMPTORIS NOSTRI CRUCIATUS
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII
ON THE HOLY PLACES IN PALESTINE
TO THE VENERABLE BRETHREN THE PATRIARCHS, PRIMATES,
ARCHBISHOPS, BISHIOPS, AND OTHER ORDINARIES
IN PEACE AND COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE



1. The passion of Our Redeemer, rendered present, as it were to us during these days of Holy Week, makes the minds of Christians turn with deepest reverence to that land which Divine Providence willed to be the cherished home-country of the Word Incarnate, and in which Christ Jesus lived His earthly life, shed His blood and died.

2. Yet at the present time, as We recall the memory of those Holy Places with more ardent devotion, Our heart is full to overflowing with keenest anxiety because of the difficulty and uncertainty of the situation which there prevails.

3. During this past year, We have urged you insistently, Venerable Brethren, in successive letters, that all should join in public prayer to implore the cessation of hostilities which have brought destruction and death in that land, and settlement of the dispute on principles of justice, which would fully safeguard the freedom of Catholics and at the same time provide guarantees for the safety of those most Holy Places.

4. And now that hostilities have ended, or at least have been suspended after the recent truce, We offer Our most sincere and heartfelt thanks to God and voice Our emphatic approval of the labor of those whose noble efforts have contributed towards the re-establishment of peace.

5. But although the actual fighting is over, tranquillity or order in Palestine is still very far from having been restored. For We are still receiving complaints from those who have every right to deplore the profanation of sacred buildings, images, charitable institutions, as well as the destruction of peaceful homes of religious communities. Piteous appeals still reach Us from numerous refugees, of every age and condition, who have been forced by the disastrous war to emigrate and even live in exile in concentration camps, the prey to destitution, contagious disease and perils of every sort.

6. We are not unmindful of the considerable aid contributed by public and private agencies for relief of these suffering thousands; and We Ourselves, continuing the work of charity, organized from the beginning of Our Pontificate, have left nothing undone, within Our means, to meet the more urgent needs of this same unhappy multitude.

7. But the condition of these exiles is so critical and unstable that it cannot longer be permitted to continue. While, therefore, We encourage all generous and noble souls to put forth their best effort to aid these homeless people in their sorrow and destitution, We make an earnest appeal to those responsible that justice may be rendered to all who have been driven far from their homes by the turmoil of war and whose most ardent desire now is to lead peaceful lives once more.

8. During these holy days this is Our fondest hope, and likewise that of all Christian peoples: that peace may finally shed its light over the land where He, Who is called by the Sacred Prophets, "the Prince of Peace" (Is. 9: 6) and by the Apostle of the Gentiles Peace Itself (Eph. 2: 14), lived His life and shed His blood.

9. We have never ceased to pray repeatedly for this enduring and genuine peace. And to the end that it might be brought to fruition and permanence at the earliest possible moment, We have already insisted in Our Encyclical letter In Multiplicibus, that the time has come when Jerusalem and its vicinity, where the previous memorials of the Life and Death of the Divine Redeemer are preserved, should be accorded and legally guaranteed an "international" status, which in the present circumstances seems to offer the best and most satisfactory protection for these sacred monuments.

10. We cannot help repeating here the same declaration, encouraged by the thought that it may also serve as an inspiration to Our children. Let them, wherever they are living, use every legitimate means to persuade the rulers of nations, and those whose duty it is to settle this important question, to accord to Jerusalem and its surroundings a juridical status whose stability under the present circumstances can only be adequately assured by a united effort of nations that love peace and respect the right of others.

11. Besides, it is of the utmost importance that due immunity and protection be guaranteed to all the Holy Places of Palestine not only in Jerusalem but also in the other cities and villages as well.

12. Not a few of these places have suffered serious loss and damage owing to the upheaval and devastation of the war. Since they are religious memorials of such moment - objects of veneration to the whole world and an incentive and support to Christian piety - these places should also be suitably protected by definite statute guaranteed by an "international" agreement.

13. We are well aware of the intense desire of Our children, following the ancient tradition, to go on pilgrimage once more to these places from which they were barred by the general disturbed conditions. The Year of Atonement which is at hand increases all the more these desires; it is only natural that during this period the faithful should be more eager than ever to visit that land which was the scene of our Divine Redemption. God grant that these longings be satisfied as soon as possible.

14. To bring about this happy result, it will be necessary, or course, to make such arrangements as will allow pilgrims to approach freely those sacred edifices; enabling each to profess his devotion openly and without hindrance, and to remain there free from fear and danger. It must also be considered objectionable that pilgrims should see these places profaned by sinful and worldly entertainments, which are assuredly an offense to the Divine Redeemer and to the Christian conscience.

15. Moreover, We very much desire that the many Catholic institutions which have been erected in Palestine to help the poor, to educate youth and give hospitality to visitors, may be enabled, as is fitting, to carry on unimpeded the work they did so laudably in the past.

16. Nor can We omit to point out that all rights to the Holy Places, which Catholics during many centuries have acquired and time and again defended valiantly, and which Our predecessors have solemnly and effectively vindicated, should be preserved inviolate. These, Venerable Brethren, are the considerations We wished to put before you.

17. Encourage the faithful committed to your charge to be ever more concerned about the conditions in Palestine and have them make their lawful requests known, positively and unequivocally, to the rulers of nations. But let them especially implore unceasingly the help of Him, Who is the Ruler of Men and Nations. May God look down with mercy on the whole world, but particularly on that land which was bedewed with the Blood of the Incarnate Word, so that the charity of Jesus Christ, which alone can bring tranquillity and peace, may conquer all hatred and strife.

18. Meantime, may the Apostolic Blessing, which We lovingly impart to you, Venerable Brethren, and to all your flock, be a pledge of heavenly gifts and a token of our affection.

Given at Rome, St. Peter's the fifteenth day of the month of April, Good Friday, in the year 1949, the eleventh of Our Pontificate.
PIUS XII

Pius XII on Peace in Palestine


IN MULTIPLICIBUS CURIS
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII
ON PRAYERS FOR PEACE IN PALESTINE
TO THE VENERABLE BRETHREN, THE PATRIARCHS, PRIMATES,
ARCHBISHOPS, BISHIOPS, AND OTHER ORDINARIES
IN PEACE AND COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE




1. Among the multiple preoccupations which beset us in this period of time, so full of decisive consequences for the life of the great human family, and which make Us feel so seriously the burden of the Supreme Pontificate, Palestine occupies a particular place on account of the war which harasses it. In all truth We can tell you, Venerable Brethren, that neither joyous nor sad events diminish the sorrow which is kept alive in Our soul by the thought that, in the land in which our Lord Jesus Christ shed His blood to bring redemption and salvation to all mankind, the blood of man continues to flow; and that beneath the skies which echoed on that fateful night with the Gospel tidings of peace, men continue to fight and to increase the distress of the unfortunate and the fear of the terrorized, while thousands of refugees, homeless and driven, wander from their fatherland in search of shelter and food.

2. To make Our sorrow more grievous, there is not only the news which continually reaches Us of the destruction and damage of sacred buildings and charitable places built around the Holy Places, but there is also the fear that this inspires in Us for the fate of the Holy Places themselves scattered throughout Palestine, and more especially within the Holy City.

3. We must assure you, Venerable Brethren, that confronted with the spectacle of many evils and the forecast of worse to come, We have not withdrawn into Our sorrow, but have done all in Our power to provide a remedy. Even before the armed conflict began, speaking to a delegation of Arab dignitaries who came to pay homage to Us, We manifested our lifelong solicitude for peace in Palestine, and, condemning any recourse to violence, We declared that peace could only be realized in truth and justice; that is to say by respecting the rights of acquired traditions, especially in the religious field, as well as by the strict fulfillment of the duties and obligations of each group of inhabitants.

4. When war was declared, without abandoning the attitude of impartiality which was imposed by Our apostolic duty, which places Us above the conflicts which agitate human society, We did not fail to do Our utmost, in the measure which depended upon Us, and according to the possibilities offered to Us, for the triumph of justice and peace in Palestine and for the respect and protection of the Holy Places.

5. At the same time, although numerous and urgent appeals are received daily by the Holy See, We have sought as much as possible to come to the aid of the unhappy victims of the war, sending the means at Our disposal to Our representatives in Palestine, the Lebanon, and Egypt for this purpose, and encouraging the formation among Catholics in various countries of undertakings organized for the same purpose.

6. Convinced, however, of the insufficiency of human means for the adequate solution of a question the complexity of which no one can fail to see, We have, above all, had constant recourse to prayer, and in Our recent Encyclical Letter, Auspicia Quaedam, We invited you, Venerable Brethren, to pray, and to have the faithful entrusted to your pastoral care pray, in order that, under the auspices of the Blessed Virgin, matters may be settled in justice and peace, and concord may be happily restored in Palestine. As We said on June 2nd to members of the Sacred College of Cardinals, informing them of Our anxieties for Palestine, We do not believe that the Christian world could contemplate indifferently, or in sterile indignation, the spectacle of the sacred land (which everyone approached with the deepest respect to kiss with most ardent love) trampled over again by troops and stricken by aerial bombardments. We do not believe that it could permit the devastation of the Holy Places, the destruction of the great sepulcher of Christ.

7. We are full of faith that the fervent prayers raised to Almighty and Merciful God by the Christians throughout the world who, together with the aspirations of so many noble hearts, are ardently inspired by truth and good, will render less arduous to the men who hold the destinies of peoples the task of making justice and peace in Palestine a beneficial reality and of creating, with the efficient co-operation of all those interested, an order that may guarantee security of existence and, at the same time, the moral and physical conditions of life conducive to spiritual and material well-being, to each of the parties at present in conflict.

8. We are full of faith that these prayers and these hopes, an indication of the value that the Holy Places have for so great a part of the human family, will strengthen the conviction in the high quarters in which the problems of peace are discussed that it would be opportune to give Jerusalem and its outskirts, where are found so many and such precious memories of the life and death of the Savior, an international character which, in the present circumstances, seems to offer a better guarantee for the protection of the sanctuaries. It would also be necessary to assure, with international guarantees, both free access to Holy Places scattered throughout Palestine, and the freedom of worship and the respect of customs and religious traditions.

9. And God grant that the day may soon dawn when Christians may resume their pilgrimages to the Holy Places, there to see more clearly revealed, as they contemplate the evidence of the love of Jesus Christ, Who gave His life for His brethren, how men and nations may live harmoniously together, at peace with their world and themselves.

10. With reliance, then, on this hope, as a pledge of heavenly favors and in token of our affection, gladly in the Lord do we impart to you, Venerable Brethren, and to your flocks, as to all who will take this appeal of Ours to heart, Our Apostolic Benediction.
Given at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, on the 24th day of October, in the year 1948, the tenth of Our Pontificate.
PIUS XII

Pius XII on Prayer for Palestine in 1948

Just days before Israel was founded.

Encyclical Letter  AUSPICIA QUAEDAM, 12-19.

"But there is another special reason today which brings affliction and keen anxiety to our hearts. We mean to refer to the Holy Places of Palestine, which have long been disturbed.

Indeed, if there exists any place that ought to be most dear to every cultured person, surely it is Palestine, where, from the dawn of antiquity, such great light of truth shone for all men, where the Word of God made flesh announced, through the angels' choir, peace to all men; where, finally, Christ hanging on the Cross acquired salvation for all mankind, with arms outstretched as if He were inviting all nations to fraternal harmony; and where He consecrated His precept of charity with the shedding of His blood.

We desire, therefore, Venerable Brethren, that supplications be poured forth to the Most Holy Virgin for this request: that the situation in Palestine may at long last be settled justly and thereby concord and peace be also happily established.

We place great confidence in the most powerful patronage of Our Heavenly Mother- a patronage which, during this month dedicated to her, innocent children especially will implore in a holy crusade of prayer.

It will be precisely your task to invite and stimulate them with all diligence - not only children but also fathers and mothers, who in great numbers should give them leadership and example.

We know well that We have never appealed in vain to the ardent zeal which inflames your hearts. That is why We seem to enjoy already the sight of dense multitudes of children, of men and women, crowding the churches to beg from the great Mother of God all the graces and favors of which we stand in need.

May she, who has given us Jesus, obtain for us that all those who have wandered from the path of rectitude may straightway return to Him, moved by salutary contrition.

May she obtain for us - she is our kindest Mother, who has shown herself always, in the face of every danger, our powerful helper and channel of grace - may she obtain for us, We say, that even in the midst of the grievous need surrounding us a just solution will be found for disputes, and that a firm and free peace will finally dawn resplendent for the Church and for all nations. 

-Pius XII

Rome Quotes

"Let there be an end to dissensions that redound to no one's advantage.
Let there be a reconciliation of disputes that often sow the seeds of further misfortunes.
Let international relations, public and private, be fittingly strengthened.
Let religion, the foster mother of all virtues, enjoy the liberty to which she is entitled.
And let men set about their peaceful work of abundant production for the common welfare - with justice their guide and charity their motive."


-Pius XII

Pius XII Consecrating the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

"Some years ago, as all will remember, while the late war was still in its fury, when human means showed themselves to be uncertain and inadequate to that terrible conflagration, We addressed our fervent prayers to the all merciful Redeemer, invoking the powerful patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And even as our predecessor of immortal memory, Leo XIII, at the dawn of the twentieth century saw fit to consecrate the whole human race to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, so We have likewise, in the guise of representative of the whole human family which He redeemed, desired to dedicate it in turn to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary.

It is our wish, consequently, that wherever the opportunity suggests itself, this consecration be made in the various dioceses as well as in each of the parishes and families. And We are confident that abundant blessings and favors from Heaven will surge forth from this private and public consecration"

-Ven. Pius XII 

Travel Quote Meme


Aquinas on Islam


Standing Up


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Pro-Life Marketing Done Well on a Giant National Pro-Life Web Platform

I would like to see this replicated in the USA.

It worked in Canada.
 
A giant national pro-life web platform designed to launch national media campaigns: https://lifecollective.io/

Designed by my wife, no less!

Sing!


Secrets of the Vatican!

Have you heard of any of these???

Check out our OC-Travel 5 BEST Off-the-Grid Vatican Sights!

1. Did you know the Swiss Guard have a gift shop in their barracks? Don't worry, no one knows! Actually, it's more a hallway. Bring cash in Euro. They are open Friday mornings only. Approach the Swiss Guard on the left at the Porta Sant'Anna entrance to the Vatican and ask!
 

2. Did you know the Vatican has a soup kitchen for homeless men? Did you know the Mother Teresa sisters staff it? Yes, they speak English! Did you know you can volunteer there? Ring the bell at the entrance of the southwestern corner of the Vatican. The sign on the wall reads in white marble: Dono di Maria (Gift of Mary). You can also ask them to show you the hidden tomb of Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani (aka Big Al), a famous Catholic prelate of the twentieth century, located in their chapel, attached to the Palace of the Holy Office.
 

3. Did you know you can observe the Swiss Guard marching maneuvers in the Vatican Gardens when they drill on (some) Saturday mornings? Enter the Vatican Museums early on a Saturday and follow the signs down to the gardens in front of the Pinacoteca Gallery and watch for them. Hint, you will hear them first!
 

4. Did you know you can take the Vatican Gardens tour and walk by the home of Pope Benedict and wave? Buy tickets ahead of time from Vatican Museums online ticket office. Ask your guide. Also check out some of their other new and unique tours such as "Vatican by Train" and "Pontifical Residence of Castel Gandolfo" and "Hidden Vatican Museums" tours: https://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do
 

5. Did you know you can request photos and papal blessing parchments in the Vatican? Enter at the Porta Sant'Anna. You can feel very smart with official business in the Vatican! No, you don't need your passport! After you pass the Swiss Guard, turn right. You may be stopped by the Vatican Gendarmes. Tell them you are headed to the l'Osservatore Romano Photo Shop or the Office of Papal Charities (FYI: only open in the mornings).

Gratitude After Pilgrimage

A big thanks to my beloved brother, Andrew, who was my assistant and a big help on my last tour.  It was an immense relief to have him to rely on as a sturdy aide-de-camp.  Thank you, brother!

Best Vatican Museums Tour

4 hours in the Musei Vaticani.  

Choose wisely.