Pictures from Rome, and Prayers

Morning Rainbow next St. Peter’s Basilica (my balcony view)

St. Peter’s at night.

Pope Francis, for the Sunday Angelus.

The Basilica of St. Cecilia.

The Basilica of St. Paul

In the Church of St. Alphonsus Liguori, with the original icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

The Blessed Sacrament Chapel in St. Mary Major Basilica.

Mary Queen of Peace, in St. Mary Major Basilica.


Private Devotions to Ss. Peter and Paul: My Scriptural Meditations

Luke 5:5-10  5 Simon replied, ‘Master, we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’  6 And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear,  7 so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled both boats to sinking point.  8 When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’  9 For he and all his companions were completely awestruck at the catch they had made;  10 so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is people you will be catching.’

St. Peter, overcome by the holiness of Christ…     Pray for me.

Isaiah 22:20-22  when that day comes, I shall summon my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah.  21 I shall dress him in your tunic, I shall put your sash round his waist, I shall invest him with your authority; and he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the House of Judah.  22 I shall place the key of David’s palace on his shoulder; when he opens, no one will close, when he closes, no one will open.
Matthew 16:16-19  16 Then Simon Peter spoke up and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’  17 Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a blessed man! Because it was no human agency that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven.  18 So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my community. And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it.  19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

St. Peter, who confessed the divinity of Christ by the revelation of the Father…      Pray for me.

St. Peter, made the Rock of the Church’s foundation by Christ…      Pray for me.

St. Peter, who in the Church’s name received the keys to the kingdom of heaven…      Pray for me.

St. Peter, prime minister of the Kingdom of God…      Pray for me.

St. Peter, sharing the charism of Christ’s unshakable permanence…      Pray for me.

Matthew 16:22-24  22 Then, taking him aside, Peter started to rebuke him. ‘Heaven preserve you, Lord,’ he said, ‘this must not happen to you.’  23 But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because you are thinking not as God thinks but as human beings do.’  24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.

St. Peter, humbly accepting Christ’s rebuke to your pride…      Pray for me.

Luke 22:31-32   31 ‘Simon, Simon! Look, Satan has got his wish to sift you all like wheat;  32 but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail, and once you have recovered, you in your turn must strengthen your brothers.’

St. Peter, chosen to confirm the faith of the brethren by the mediation of the Messiah…      Pray for me.

John 21:15-17  15 When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’  16 A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’  17 Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt that he asked him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.

St. Peter, the penitent who thrice confessed his love of Christ to undo his threefold rejection…      Pray for me.

Acts 1:4-5  4 While at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. ‘It is’, he had said, ‘what you have heard me speak about:  5 John baptised with water but, not many days from now, you are going to be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’

St. Peter, partaker of the Holy Spirit of Christ…      Pray for me.

Acts 1:15-20  Peter stood up to speak to the brothers — there were about a hundred and twenty people in the congregation,  16 ‘Brothers,’ he said, ‘the passage of scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit, speaking through David, foretells the fate of Judas, …  20 Now in the Book of Psalms it says: Reduce his encampment to ruin and leave his tent unoccupied. And again: Let someone else take over his office.

Acts 2:33-35   33 Now raised to the heights by God’s right hand, he has received from the Father the Holy Spirit, who was promised, and what you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit.  34 For David himself never went up to heaven, but yet he said: The Lord declared to my Lord, take your seat at my right hand,  35 till I have made your enemies your footstool.

St. Peter, master of the Messianic knowledge in David’s Psalms…      Pray for me.

Acts 1:21-22   21 ‘Out of the men who have been with us the whole time that the Lord Jesus was living with us,  22 from the time when John was baptising until the day when he was taken up from us, one must be appointed to serve with us as a witness to his resurrection.’

St. Peter, overseer of the election of Matthias…      Pray for me.

Acts 1:13-14  when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James.  14 With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

St. Peter, son of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Upper Room…      Pray for me.

Acts 2:14   14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed them in a loud voice

Acts 2:36   36 ‘For this reason the whole House of Israel can be certain that the Lord and Christ whom God has made is this Jesus whom you crucified.’

St. Peter, first proclaimer of the Resurrection on Pentecost…      Pray for me.

Acts 2:23-28   23 This man, who was put into your power by the deliberate intention and foreknowledge of God, you took and had crucified and killed by men outside the Law.  24 But God raised him to life, freeing him from the pangs of Hades; for it was impossible for him to be held in its power since,  25 as David says of him: I kept the Lord before my sight always, for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me.  26 So my heart rejoiced my tongue delighted; my body, too, will rest secure,  27 for you will not abandon me to Hades or allow your holy one to see corruption.  28 You have taught me the way of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence.

St. Peter, proclaimer of the Ascension and the incorruptibility of Christ…      Pray for me. 

Acts 2:17   17 In the last days — the Lord declares — I shall pour out my Spirit on all humanity. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young people shall see visions, your old people dream dreams.

St. Peter, announcer of the Day of the Lord…      Pray for me. 

Acts 2:38   38 ‘You must repent,’ Peter answered, ‘and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

St. Peter, herald of the saving grace of Baptism…      Pray for me. 

Acts 2:40   40 He spoke to them for a long time using many other arguments, and he urged them, ‘Save yourselves from this perverse generation.’

St. Peter, teacher of the commandments of Christ with the Apostles…      Pray for me. 

Acts 2:42   42 These remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.

St. Peter, minister at the Breaking of the Bread…      Pray for me. 

St. Peter, united to his brethren in prayer and charity…      Pray for me. 

Acts 8:14-17   14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,  15 and they went down there and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit,  16 for as yet he had not come down on any of them: they had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus.  17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

St. Peter, bestower of the sacrament of Confirmation to the Samaritans with the Apostle John…      Pray for me. 

Acts 10:9-16  Peter went to the housetop at about the sixth hour to say his prayers.  10 He felt hungry and was looking forward to his meal, but before it was ready he fell into a trance  11 and saw heaven thrown open and something like a big sheet being let down to earth by its four corners;  12 it contained every kind of animal, reptile and bird.  13 A voice then said to him, ‘Now, Peter, kill and eat!’  14 But Peter answered, ‘Certainly not, Lord; I have never yet eaten anything profane or unclean.’  15 Again, a second time, the voice spoke to him, ‘What God has made clean, you have no right to call profane.’  16 This was repeated three times, and then suddenly the container was drawn up to heaven again.

St. Peter, receiving the vision and call to the Gentiles…      Pray for me. 

Acts 10:46-48  Peter himself then said,  47 ‘Could anyone refuse the water of baptism to these people, now they have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’  48 He then gave orders for them to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ.

St. Peter, the first to baptize the Gentiles…      Pray for me. 

Acts 15:7-11  after a long discussion, Peter stood up and addressed them. ‘My brothers,’ he said, ‘you know perfectly well that in the early days God made his choice among you: the gentiles were to learn the good news from me and so become believers.  8 And God, who can read everyone’s heart, showed his approval of them by giving the Holy Spirit to them just as he had to us.  9 God made no distinction between them and us, since he purified their hearts by faith.  10 Why do you put God to the test now by imposing on the disciples the very burden that neither our ancestors nor we ourselves were strong enough to support?  11 But we believe that we are saved in the same way as they are: through the grace of the Lord Jesus.’

St. Peter, announcer of the circumcision of the heart by faith…      Pray for me. 
St. Peter, confirmer of the Gentiles as co-heirs with Israel by faith…      Pray for me. 
St. Peter, interpreter of the fulfillment of the Law…      Pray for me. 

John 21:11  11 Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net ashore, full of big fish, one hundred and fifty-three of them; and in spite of there being so many the net was not broken.

St. Peter, bringing the catch of souls to the Lord in a net untorn…      Pray for me. 

1 Peter 5:2-4   2 give a shepherd’s care to the flock of God that is entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly, as God wants; not for sordid money, but because you are eager to do it.  3 Do not lord it over the group which is in your charge, but be an example for the flock.  4 When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the unfading crown of glory.

St. Peter, feeding the lambs of the Lord…      Pray for me. 

St. Peter, tending the sheep of the Lord…      Pray for me. 

John 13:6-8   6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’  7 Jesus answered, ‘At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.’  8 ‘Never!’ said Peter. ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash you, you can have no share with me.’

St. Peter, taking part in Christ’s priesthood…      Pray for me. 

1 Peter 5:5  Humility towards one another must be the garment you all wear constantly, because God opposes the proud but accords his favour to the humble.

St. Peter, girding your waist with humility…      Pray for me. 

John 21:18-19  when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go.’  19 In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, ‘Follow me.’

St. Peter, being led by the Holy Spirit where you would not go of your own…      Pray for me.  
St. Peter, stretching out your hands to glorify God by your death…      Pray for me. 

St. Peter, Apostle and martyr for Christ…      Pray for me. 

Acts 7:59-60   59 As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’  60 Then he knelt down and said aloud, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ And with these words he fell asleep.
St. Paul, recipient of the intercessory prayer of Steven…      Pray for me. 

Acts 9:3-5  suddenly a light from heaven shone all round him.  4 He fell to the ground, and then he heard a voice saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’  5 ‘Who are you, Lord?’ he asked, and the answer came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
St. Paul, who met the risen Christ…      Pray for me.  

Acts 9:8-9  Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing at all, and they had to lead him into Damascus by the hand.  9 For three days he was without his sight and took neither food nor drink.
St. Paul, blinded by the brightness of the Resurrection…      Pray for me. 
St. Paul, seeing the Light who is Christ…      Pray for me. 

Acts 9:17-18  17 Then Ananias went. He entered the house, and laid his hands on Saul and said, ‘Brother Saul, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, so that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’  18 It was as though scales fell away from his eyes and immediately he was able to see again. So he got up and was baptised,
St. Paul, given sight by the hands of Ananias…      Pray for me. 
St. Paul, baptized and enlightened to receive sight…      Pray for me. 

Acts 13:2   2 One day while they were offering worship to the Lord and keeping a fast, the Holy Spirit said, ‘I want Barnabas and Saul set apart for the work to which I have called them.’
St. Paul, chosen by the Holy Spirit with the Apostle Barnabas to preach to the Gentiles…      Pray for me.

Acts 13:46-47   46 Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out fearlessly. ‘We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life, here and now we turn to the gentiles.  47 For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said: I have made you a light to the nations, so that my salvation may reach the remotest parts of the earth.’
St. Paul, becoming a “light to the nations” for the Church…      Pray for me. 

Acts 16:6-10   6 They travelled through Phrygia and the Galatian country, because they had been told by the Holy Spirit not to preach the word in Asia.  7 When they reached the frontier of Mysia they tried to go into Bithynia, but as the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them,  8 they went through Mysia and came down to Troas.  9 One night Paul had a vision: a Macedonian appeared and kept urging him in these words, ‘Come across to Macedonia and help us.’  10 Once he had seen this vision we lost no time in arranging a passage to Macedonia, convinced that God had called us to bring them the good news.
St. Paul, obedient to the Holy Spirit…      Pray for me. 

Acts 14:27   27 On their arrival they assembled the church and gave an account of all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the gentiles.
St. Paul, expositor of the opening of “the Door of Faith”…      Pray for me 

Acts 15:2  after Paul and Barnabas had had a long argument with these men it was decided that Paul and Barnabas and others of the church should go up to Jerusalem and discuss the question with the apostles and elders.
St. Paul, witness of the Holy Spirit at work in Peter…      Pray for me. 

Acts 15:7-9  after a long discussion, Peter stood up and addressed them. ‘My brothers,’ he said, ‘you know perfectly well that in the early days God made his choice among you: the gentiles were to learn the good news from me and so become believers.  8 And God, who can read everyone’s heart, showed his approval of them by giving the Holy Spirit to them just as he had to us.  9 God made no distinction between them and us, since he purified their hearts by faith.
St. Paul, rejoicing in the disciplines of the Apostles and Presbyters of the Church…      Pray for me. 

Acts 15:12  12 The entire assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul describing all the signs and wonders God had worked through them among the gentiles.
St. Paul, zealous for apostolic mission…      Pray for me. 

Acts 16:14-15  One of these women was called Lydia, a woman from the town of Thyatira who was in the purple-dye trade, and who revered God. She listened to us, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying.  15 After she and her household had been baptised she kept urging us, ‘If you judge me a true believer in the Lord,’ she said, ‘come and stay with us.’ And she would take no refusal.
St. Paul, baptizer of households and families…      Pray for me. 

Acts 17:22-23   22 So Paul stood before the whole council of the Areopagus and made this speech: ‘Men of Athens, I have seen for myself how extremely scrupulous you are in all religious matters,  23 because, as I strolled round looking at your sacred monuments, I noticed among other things an altar inscribed: To An Unknown God. In fact, the unknown God you revere is the one I proclaim to you.
St. Paul, proclaimer of the God unknown to the pagans…      Pray for me. 

1 Corinthians 1:22-24   22 While the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom,  23 we are preaching a crucified Christ: to the Jews an obstacle they cannot get over, to the gentiles foolishness,  24 but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is both the power of God and the wisdom of God.
St. Paul, proclaimer of Christ crucified…      Pray for me. 

Acts 17:30-31   30 ‘But now, overlooking the times of ignorance, God is telling everyone everywhere that they must repent,  31 because he has fixed a day when the whole world will be judged in uprightness by a man he has appointed. And God has publicly proved this by raising him from the dead.’
St. Paul, proclaimer of the Man Resurrected and appointed by God for the Day of Judgment…      Pray for me. 

1 Corinthians 11:23-26  For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you is that on the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread,  24 and after he had given thanks, he broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’  25 And in the same way, with the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’  26 Whenever you eat this bread, then, and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes.
St. Paul, handing on the New Covenant in the Body and Blood of Christ…      Pray for me. 

Acts 19:5-6  5 When they heard this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus,  6 and the moment Paul had laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on them, and they began to speak with tongues and to prophesy.
St. Paul, Administrator of the Holy Spirit by “the laying on of hands”…      Pray for me. 

1 Corinthians 4:1  People should think of us as Christ’s servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God.
St. Paul, steward of the mysteries of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders…      Pray for me. 

Acts 13:8-10   8 but Elymas the magician (this is what his name means in Greek) tried to stop them so as to prevent the proconsul’s conversion to the faith.  9 Then Saul, whose other name is Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked at him intently  10 and said, ‘You utter fraud, you impostor, you son of the devil, you enemy of all uprightness, will you not stop twisting the straightforward ways of the Lord?
St. Paul, confounder of Judases and false prophets…      Pray for me. 

Acts 20:22-24   22 ‘And now you see me on my way to Jerusalem in captivity to the Spirit; I have no idea what will happen to me there,  23 except that the Holy Spirit, in town after town, has made it clear to me that imprisonment and persecution await me.  24 But I do not place any value on my own life, provided that I complete the mission the Lord Jesus gave me — to bear witness to the good news of God’s grace.
St. Paul, ready to be “bound and to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus”…      Pray for me.

Acts 7:55-58   Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand.  56 ‘Look! I can see heaven thrown open,’ he said, ‘and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.’  57 All the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they made a concerted rush at him,  58 thrust him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul.
St. Paul, the penitent believer remembering the witness of Steven…      Pray for me. 

Acts 20:24  I do not place any value on my own life, provided that I complete the mission the Lord Jesus gave me — to bear witness to the good news of God’s grace.
St. Paul, called by Christ to bear witness…      Pray for me. 

Acts 20:22-23   22 ‘And now you see me on my way to Jerusalem in captivity to the Spirit; I have no idea what will happen to me there,  23 except that the Holy Spirit, in town after town, has made it clear to me that imprisonment and persecution await me.
St. Paul, imitator of Christ, imprisoned out of jealousy…      Pray for me. 

Acts 23:11  Next night, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Courage! You have borne witness for me in Jerusalem, now you must do the same in Rome.’
St. Paul, destined by God to endure every peril to your final witness…      Pray for me. 
St. Paul, before whom the powers of the world have no power…      Pray for me.

Acts 25:11-12   11 If I am guilty of committing any capital crime, I do not ask to be spared the death penalty. But if there is no substance in the accusations these persons bring against me, no one has a right to surrender me to them. I appeal to Caesar.’  12 Then Festus conferred with his advisers and replied, ‘You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go.’
St. Paul, witness to the Resurrection by your appeal to Caesar…      Pray for me. 

Acts 28:30-31   30 He spent the whole of the two years in his own rented lodging. He welcomed all who came to visit him,  31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ with complete fearlessness and without any hindrance from anyone.
St. Paul, reaching the “ends of the earth” with the Gospel…      Pray for me. 

2 Timothy 4:7-8   7 I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith;  8 all there is to come for me now is the crown of uprightness which the Lord, the upright judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his appearing.
St. Paul, fighter of the good fight and finisher of the race…      Pray for me. 
St. Paul, attainer of the crown of righteousness…      Pray for me.
St. Paul, Apostle and martyr for Christ…      Pray for me. 

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