Founder of Word on Fire Bishop Robert Barron is taking his social media followers on a virtual pilgrimage through Rome while he attends the Synod on Synodality.

The Diocese of Winona–Rochester, Minn. bishop is in Europe for five weeks. As he visits various historic Catholic locations, he shares an explanation of each basilica.

"Friends, while I’m in synod meetings, my production crew is journeying through Rome, capturing the great spiritual pilgrimage sights of this city and bringing them to you," Bishop Barron posted on Oct. 12.

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Thus far, Bishop Barron visited several beautiful basilicas, including Santa Maria sopra Minerva (the final resting place of Saint Catherine of Siena), Sant'Andrea della Valle, Santi Cosma e Damiano, San Pietro in Vincoli, Saint Paul Outside the Walls, San Giovanni in Laterano, and many more.

He also visited Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls, Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Santa Croce, Santi Apostoli, and Santa Maria in Ara Coeli.

Along with a brief explanation and history of each basilica, Bishop Barron also provides a couple of photos.

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In an Oct. 10 post, Bishop Barron wrote, "Friends, Santa Maria sopra Minerva is the final resting place of Saint Catherine of Siena and five popes, including Pope Benedict XIII."

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In an Oct. 16 post, Bishop Robert Barron discussed the San Giovanni in Laterano as the actual seat of the Bishop of Rome. He said, "It is the highest-ranking church in the Catholic faith."

"Saint John Lateran holds many titles of distinction besides: it is the oldest church in Rome, the oldest basilica in the Western world, and was the papal residence for centuries," the Bishop explained.

"Pope Leo XIII, well known for his encyclical 'Rerum Novarum,' a foundational document for Catholic social teaching, is among the popes buried here."

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In a post on Oct. 10, Bishop Barron discussed the beautiful story of Saint Helena, who obtained the relics of the True Cross of Christ.

He also shared photos of these relics and those from the life of Jesus.

The relics reside in Rome's Basilica of Santa Croce.

"In the early fourth century, Saint Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, traveled to the Holy Land on a mission to find the true cross. Returning to Rome, she brought with her many relics from the Passion, as well as soil from Jerusalem," Bishop Barron said.

"Santa Croce was built upon the soil she brought back," he continued. "Today, relics from the True Cross, thorns from Christ’s crown, a fragment of the 'titulus' of the cross that proclaimed 'King of the Jews,' fragments of the grotto of the Nativity and the Holy Sepulchre, the joint of the finger of Saint Thomas, and a part of the cross of the good thief are all on display for the pilgrimage."

In several of the posts, Bishop Barron discussed the changes these basilicas experienced throughout the centuries.

He said many of the churches, including Santa Croce, were "renovated and restored by various popes."

Social media users expressed their gratitude for Bishop Barron's posts.

One user said, "Thank you for sharing Bishop!"

Another user said, "Deo Gratias!"

This user added, "Absolutely stunning. Thank you for sharing, sir."

Let us pray for Bishop Barron and all those participating in this year's Synod on Synodality!

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