Brendan Johnson’s journal, June 6 2010:
After the (Corpus Christi) procession we had to quickly change out of our cassocks and surplices and move to the bus to make our way to Cascia to see St. Rita and the remnants of a Eucharistic miracle (very appropriate for the feast of Corpus Christi). St. Rita’s Basilica was a little modern and not terribly attractive, but it was wonderful to be able to pray before St. Rita’s tomb and even to see her a little bit. She wasn’t covered with wax as many of the saints are, but was out for all to see (not terribly well preserved, but it was neat to be able to see her body).
From Cascia we made the three-hour trip to Rome where we are staying (Fraterna Domus) and after a quick trip to our rooms to more or less settle in, we made our way over to St. Peter’s. Coming into St. Peter’s is pretty neat, but not as big as I had imagined it in my mind – not to say that it isn’t big, but I had a much more expansive view of St. Peter’s. Going into St. Peter’s was incredibly moving, though! We went to the central entrance to look at the altar over St. Peter’s tomb with the Holy Spirit window behind it – that was absolutely incredible! It was wonderfully ethereal in its look with the play of the lights, and just very beautiful and moving. In the short time that we were there, we were able to pray at the tombs of St. Peter, St. Pius X and Bl. John XXIII, and pray the Angelus in front of the Pieta. We had to leave very quickly but it was still very beautiful and a wonderfully apt way to begin our stay in Rome.