There were two groups going to two different churches. One to a baptist church that many international students go to. Decided to check that one out another time, because a few other people wanted to go to the Vatican.
I'm not catholic, and felt slightly ignorant of their traditions... but I joined in!
The Vatican is its seperate city, and the St. Peters Basilica is open to anyone to worship. Walking into the area at the same time were a bunch of student aged kids through teens were protesting or cheering or something with lots of whistles and shouting. Then we were surrounded by the circling columns, with all the saints (who i am completely oblivious to, unfortunantly..) statues on top and looking down. The building was before us, with the stairs roped off, but amazing when you think of it's symbol of being the center of the Catholic (and therefore Christian too?) faith. There was a short line we went through with a metal detector, i guess because there's so many enemies of the catholic faith right now?? sheesh.
Once inside, everything was so silent. Even though it was crowded, with lots of people talking and whispering, one could easily hear the priest in the front of the church singing the prayers in latin or italian. It was beautiful. To look around and see the paintings softly lit, and to tilt my head back and make out the paintings on the ceilings with different painted heavenly images. From every corner and wall; angels alighted in stone, and Saints, apostles, and disciples were painted into scenes. And everywhere were there stories illustrating Christ's life.
I can't even do it justice.
it finally sunk in that Peter was buried RIGHT THERE, 30 ft from my noes. a statue was to the side of him. People and travelers come and rub his feet and say a prayer. The bronze ( i think thats the metal) of his foot is smooth from so many people over time rubbing it.
Too much to absorb. Fully intend on returning again...
by the way...starting to get the hang of this bus bit! beginning to love public transportation :)