Going on pilgrimage to Italy to see religious and historic sites can be a helpful aid to participants in growing in their Catholic faith. Fr. Mike Hanifin, pastor of St. Joachim Church in Costa Mesa in the Diocese of Orange, California, has led many groups of pilgrims to Italy, and is well-read on the history of the Church and Italy. I asked him to share some thoughts about some of the sites in Italy most popular to visitors.
“God is good! I felt the power of the Holy Spirit the second I got off the plane. God wants to bless and heal his people!
The first evening we had dinner with the local Bishop. He was very excited we were there! We were blessed to have him show us his residence and the beautiful Cathedral. Truly spectacular! The Bishop gave us his blessing and words of encouragement!”
We were invited to attend one of the Novena masses for the Santo Nino Feast Day coming up to January 12th. What we were astounded by was the mass of people that attend this mass, for the Basilica holds 11 masses every day of the year. Each mass can hold 15,000. Wow! As we arrived we we were escorted not knowing where our destination was within the crowds. We soon realized we were given seats on the altar area! What a blessing to see all the faithful people celebrating Santo Nino.