2018 Pilgrimage to Nettuno, Italy

June 7, 2018
  • american-cemetery-nettuno

On Friday, June 8th, the Class of 2018 will make a special excursion to Nettuno and Anzio. Each year, we include an excursion to these towns so that the seminarians have the opportunity to visit the sites and reflect on what it means to live and die heroically— through the ordinary and extraordinary occasions of life.

“An apostle must not remain at the level of the mediocre. God calls him to be fully human in his actions, and at the same time to reflect the freshness of eternal things. —That is why the apostle has to be a soul who has undergone a long, patient and heroic process of formation” (St. Josemaria Escriva; Furrow, no. 419).

Shrine of St. Maria Goretti

Located approximately 40 miles south of Rome, Nettuno is home to the Shrine of St. Maria Goretti, known as the Basilica of Our Lady of Graces and Saint Maria Goretti.

In the basilica, pilgrims today can see and venerate the relics of St. Maria Goretti. And, located next to the basilica is the farmhouse where she was murdered (the kitchen is now a chapel) and the room where she lived with her mother and siblings.

Many know the story of St. Maria Goretti, as St. John Paul II wrote:

“Those who were acquainted with little Maria said on the day of her funeral: ‘A saint has died!’ The devotion to her has continued to spread on every continent, giving rise to admiration and a thirst for God everywhere. In Maria Goretti shines out the radical choice of the Gospel, unhindered, indeed strengthened by the inevitable sacrifice that faithful adherence to Christ demands.”

American Cemetery and Memorial

The American Cemetery and Memorial (shown above) is also located in Nettuno, which is near the city of Anzio, historically recognized as the site of the World War II Allied invasion. The cemetery holds the graves of 7,861 American military who died in war— the majority died in the liberation of Sicily (10 July to 17 August 1943); in the landings in the Salerno Area (9 September 1943); in the beach landings at Anzio and Nettuno (22 January 1944 to May 1944); and in air and naval support in other regions.

On All Soul’s Day 2017, Pope Francis visited the American Cemetery where he celebrated Mass and then toured the grounds and placed flowers on some grave headstones, including an unknown soldier, an Italian-American soldier, and a Jewish soldier: