Tag Archive for: Italy

The Shroud of Turin, A NEW JOURNEY

Join Mary Jane Fox and Nan Balfour, as they guide us on a different kind of journey. They are giving you a behind-the-scenes story of how Pilgrim Center of Hope has come to work on our biggest project yet! In fact, it has been over ten years in the making, a new journey with the Shroud of Turin, an ancient burial cloth that mysteriously has eluded scientists and experts for hundreds of years. In a groundbreaking, new streaming media series from Pilgrim Center of Hope; Who is the Man of the Shroud? will explore the facts from science, art, history, and more.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Who is the Man of the Shroud? Exhibit
  • How is Pilgrim Center of Hope involved?
  • Tips on how we can evangelize

Click here to subscribe to upcoming episodes and stay up to date with Who is the Man of the Shroud?

We are so grateful to this month’s sponsor, Veronica Leal in honor of Deacon Dan McShane, who made this podcast episode possible.

Listen to this program now:

Jewel for the Journey:

The Holy Shroud of Turin represents an extraordinary witness of the Paschal Event: the Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a silent yet shockingly telling witness! To the believer the importance of the Shroud lies in the fact that it provides a mirror to the Gospels… The Shroud is indeed an extraordinary sign that refers us back to Jesus, the true Word of the Father. It bids us follow the example of the One, Who gave Himself up for us. – St. Pope John Paul II on the Shroud of Turin

Related Media

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Our Upcoming Who is the Man of the Shroud? Media Series


Where is The Shroud of Turin Located?

Meet St. Dominic Savio

Have a Social with the Saints! Receive encouragement for your daily life as we meet & discuss St. Dominic Savio, a student of St. John Bosco and a role model for people of all ages.

Hear his story, and be inspired to know & love God and neighbor more.


1. Meet St. Dominic Savio
At the time listed, watch the video below (or via our social media).

2. Discussion
Listen as we discuss how St. Dominic Savio can inspire us in daily life. Use the audio player below (or your favorite podcast app).

3. Live with Hope!
Download the pamphlet & quote cards below, and share with friends. Send us your feedback to join the conversation!

Miss the premiere time? All media will be available on-demand afterwards.

Cost: Pilgrim Center of Hope is a non-profit evangelization ministry, sustained only by donations. While there is no required fee for attending, please consider donating a one-time gift or showing your support with a monthly donation. Every bit helps this mission of hope to continue. Thank you!

Our thanks to the Rawicki family in honor of Deacon Luke Rawicki, for their sponsorship donation toward this Social with the Saints!

1. Meet St. Dominic Savio

2. Discussion

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3. Live with Hope!

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Journey to St. Peter’s Basilica – An Introduction

It’s time to add another stamp to your spiritual passport! Come along with Mary Jane Fox and her guest, Ester Scoditti (licensed professional guide in Rome) to St. Peter’s Basilica! This holy site is the most iconic landmark for pilgrims visiting Rome.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Why is it called “St. Peter’s”?
  • St. Peter’s Tomb Chapel, Pieta, John Paul II’s tomb, Main Altar Area.
  • What can pilgrims experience here?
  • 2025 Jubilee Year, “Pilgrims of hope.”
  • Much More!

Click here for Vatican News about Jubilee Year 2025.

Listen to this program now:

Jewel for the Journey

Hope to the end! (1 Peter 1:13)

Guest Information

Ester Scoditti

Ester is an archaeologist who has worked on projects in Italy, France and England. She graduated in Classics and Archaeology at Rome’s Sapienza’s University, where she continued in post graduate studies in medieval archaeology. With academic publications in Italy, Britain and the U.S.A., she has taught for John Cabot and Torvergata Universities in Rome. Ester Scoditti has been a tour guide there since appointed to the task by the Archaeological Superintendence of Rome in 1979, and she has written well known guidebooks on the Roman Forum, St Peter’s and the Vatican’s Extraordinary Jubilee. Ester is beloved by her colleagues for her unfailing kindness and her extraordinary generosity in sharing her otherworldly knowledge of the ins and outs of the Byzantine tour regulations in Rome!

Click here to visit Masters’ Gallery Rome. Learn about Roman Masterpieces from the Masters in the Field.

Bio courtesy of Masters’ Gallery Rome

A Closer Look at St. Peter’s Basilica:


Where is St. Peter’s Basilica Located?

Journey to the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy

Come on a journey with Mary Jane Fox and her guest, Debbie Garza, Ministry of Pilgrimage Group Leader for Pilgrim Center of Hope to the Basilica of Santa Croce (or Basilica of the Holy Cross) in Florence, Italy! This pilgrim destination has many connections to a multitude of famous artists, is the largest Franciscan church in the world, and is the final resting place of Michelangelo.

During our journey, you will discover:

  • The church that is called the Temple of Italian Glories, its history and some of its many famous works of art.
  • What was the faith of the Renaissance artists like?
  • How can sacred art greatly impact our daily spiritual journey?
  • Visio Divina – a brief guide in contemplating art and more!

Featured Image: “Firenze – Basilica di Santa Croce” by Fred Romero from Paris, France, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Listen to this program now:

Jewel for the Journey

Painters, sculptors, and musicians, … photographers and poets, artists of every discipline, are called to shine beauty, especially where darkness or gray dominates everyday life. They are the custodians of beauty, heralds, and witnesses of hope for humanity. – Pope Francis

A Closer Look at the Our Mother of Africa Chapel:

Where is the Basilica of Santa Croce Located?

With St. John Bosco to Our Lady, Help of Christians – Turin, Italy

We will dive into the life & spirituality of perhaps one of the most influential saints in modern times, as we take an audio pilgrimage with St. John Bosco to the Basilica of Our Lady, Help of Christians in Turin, Italy. Come along with host Angela Sealana as we hear stories about Don Bosco, patron saint of magicians & youth, from guest Salesian Sister Guadalupe Medina, FMA.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • St. John Bosco, patron saint of magicians, students & laborers 
  • The Basilica he built in Turin, Italy
  • Why the Virgin Mary is called “Help of Christians”
  • How Don Bosco can give us hope & courage in daily life

Photo of Basilica of Our Lady, Help of Christians courtesy of Franco56CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Listen to this program now:

Jewel for the Journey

Walk with your feet on earth, but in your heart be in heaven. – St. John Bosco

A Closer Look at Basilica of Our Lady, Help of Christians:

Where is the Basilica of Our Lady, Help of Christians?

Assisi, Italy – A Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Bl. Carlo Acutis

Come on a journey with Angela Sealana and Jason Nunez as they spiritually travel to the Church of Saint Mary Major Assisi, Italy. Inside one of the oldest churches in Assisi, is the Shrine of the Stripping. This site recalls the incredible act of St. Frances renounced his patrimony, including his clothing, in the bishop’s residence in the presence of his father. This is also the final resting place of Bl. Carlo Acutis. He was only 15 years old when he passed in a hospital in Monza, Italy, in 2006, offering all his sufferings for the Church and for the Pope.

During this program:

  • Learn about the life of Bl. Carlo Acutis and the legacy he has left for the world.
  • Discover the significance behind The Shrine of the Stripping and why Bl. Carlo’s tomb is located there.
  • Take away some lessons of how Bl. Carlo lived his life.
  • Much more!

Images captured from the Official website for the Carlo Acutis Association and the Cause of Canonization of Blessed Carlo Acutis.

Click here to view a live stream of the Tomb of Bl Carlo Acutis
*Webcam at the time of our recording appears to be temporarily down.

Listen to this program now:

Jewel for the Journey:

“All people are born as originals, but many die as photocopies.” – Pope Francis, quote of Carlo Acutis as highlighted in Christus Vivit

Websites Created by B. Carlo Acutis:

Quotes from Bl. Carlo Acutis:

  • “The Eucharist is the highway to heaven.”
  • “Our soul is like a hot air balloon. If by chance there is a mortal sin, the soul falls to the ground. Confession is like the fire underneath the balloon enabling the soul to rise again. . . It is important to go to confession often.”
  • “Continuously ask your guardian angel for help. Your guardian angel has to become your best friend.”
  • “All people are born as originals but many die as photocopies.”
  • “Find God and you will find the meaning of your life”.
  • “Conversion is nothing more than moving your gaze from the bottom up, a simple movement of the eyes is enough”.
  • “Only those who do God’s will be truly free”.
  • “The true disciple of Jesus Christ is he who in everything tries to imitate him and to do God’s will”.
  • “Why do humans care so much about the beauty of their body and then don’t care about the beauty of their soul?”
  • “What will truly make us beautiful in God’s eyes will be only the way we loved him and how we loved our brothers.”
  • “A life is truly beautiful only if we come to love God above all else, our neighbor as ourselves”.

The Tomb of Bl. Carlo Acutis:

Images captured from the official website of the Carlo Acutis Association and the Cause of Canonization of Blessed Carlo Acutis

Where is the Church of Saint Mary Major Assisi, Italy?

A NEW JOURNEY: Monte San Angelo, Italy

Join Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox as they spiritually travel to Monte San Angelo, a city and comune in the province of Pescara, Abruzzo, Italy. This small city was made famous by an apparition of St. Michael the Archangel. His appearance has made this holy site a place of healing for pilgrims who travel from around the world.

During our journey, our hosts will discuss:

  • Basilica of St. Michael–the only one consecrated by a celestial being, St. Michael.
  • Historical site in many ways –small groups would spend time on retreat here before sailing to the Holy Land during the Crusades.
  • Why the prayer of St. Michael is so powerful.
  • Consecration to St. Michael

Click here (Congregation of St. Michael the Archangel) for the St. Michael Chaplet and other intercessory prayers to St. Michael the Archangel.

For more information on Saint Michael and the Angels (TAN Books), click here.

Featured Image by MboeschCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Listen to this program now:

Protection Prayer to St. Michael:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Consecration to St. Michael the Archangel:

Prayer of Consecration Oh, most noble prince of the angelic hierarchies, valorous warrior of Almighty God,
and Zealous lover of His glory, terror of the rebellious angels, and love and delight of all the just ones,
my beloved Archangel, Saint Michael, desiring to be numbered among your devoted servants,
O, today, offer and consecrate myself to you, and place myself, my family, and all I possess under
your most powerful protection. I ask you not to look at how little, I, as your servant, have to offer,
being weak and sinful, but to gaze, rather, with favorable eye at the heartfelt affection with which this offering is made,
and remember that if from this day onward I am under your patronage, you must during all my life assist me,
and procure for me the pardon of my offenses and sins, the grace to love with all my heart my God, my dear Savior Jesus,
and my sweet Mother Mary, and obtain for me all the help necessary to arrive at my crown of glory.
Defend me always from my spiritual enemies, particularly in the last moments of my life. Come then, O glorious prince,
and help me in my last struggle, and with your powerful weapon, cast far from me and into the abyss that proud angel that one day
you defeated in the celestial battle. Saint Michael, defend us in our daily battle so that we may come to glory in the last judgment, Amen

Jewel for the Journey:

“The battle against the Devil, which is the principal task of Saint Michael the Archangel, is still being fought today, because the Devil is still alive and active in the world.” –  Pope John Paul II

A Closer Look at Monte San Angelo, Italy:


Where is the Basilica of St. Michael?

Italy – Abbey of Montecassino

Join Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox as they spiritually travel to Montecassino, Italy, the site of an ancient Benedictine Monastery where the tombs of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica are located.

During our time together, our Hosts discuss the following:

  • A look at the history of the Abbey of Montecassino.
  • Meet Saints Benedict and Scholastica.
  • Learn about the Monastic Rules of Life and the famous St. Benedict Medal.
  • Much more!

For a complimentary St. Benedict medal along with a card explaining its significance, call us at 210-521-3377.

Cover Photo by Abbey of Monte Cassino, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Listen to this program now:

Jewel for the Journey:

“The first degree of humility is prompt obedience.” – St. Benedict

A Prayer by Saint Benedict:

Gracious and Holy Father,
give us the wisdom to discover You,
the intelligence to understand You,
the diligence to seek after You,
the patience to wait for You,
eyes to behold You,
a heart to meditate upon You,
and a life to proclaim You,
through the power of the Spirit of Jesus, our Lord.

A Closer Look at the Abbey of Montecassino:

Where is Abbey of Montecassino?

Lanciano, Italy – Eucharistic Miracle

Join Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox as they spiritually travel to Lanciano, Italy. It is a few miles from the Adriatic coast, in the heart of the southeastern corner of the Italian region of Abruzzo. Lanciano is also a pilgrim destination, to see the Eucharistic Miracle that took place in the 8th century in a small church dedicated to St. Francis.

During our time together, our Hosts discuss the following:

  • What is a Eucharistic Miracle?
  • What does the church look like?
  • What if we are struggling to believe in the Real Presence as a Catholic?
  • Much more!

Listen to this program now:

Jewel for the Journey:

“Wherever the sacred Host is, there is the living God. There is your Savior as truly as when he lived and spoke in Judea and Galilee, and as truly as he is now in paradise.” – Blessed Charles de Foucauld

A Closer Look at the Church of St. Fancis:


Venice – Basilica of St. Mark

Join Angela Sealana and Debbie Garza – a pilgrimage group leader for Pilgrim Center of Hope – as they spiritually travel Venice, Italy, and the Basilica of St. Mark. The Basilica today is really considered to be a combination of Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian culture. It is built in the shape of a Greek cross. Angela and Debbie also speak about St. Mark the Evangelist whose feast day is April 25th.

During this program:

  • Learn about St. Mark the Evangelist. Who was he?
  • Discover the religious and historical significance of a city like Venice having a Patron Saint, especially in those times.
  • Take a dive into the various elements of the holy site.

Listen to this program now:

Jewel for the Journey:

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1).  

A Closer Look at the Basilica of St. Mark:

Where is the Basilica of St. Mark?