The Quo Vadis tradition is the story of St. Peter’s flight from the Emperor Nero’s persecution of Roman Christians in the first century.
As legend has it, Peter decided to flee Rome at the outbreak of the persecution, perhaps in fear, perhaps because he thought “the rock” should be somewhere safe so others could eventually find and cling to it, and to him.
Heading out the Via Appia, Peter meets Jesus, who is heading into the city of Rome to face the persecution. “Quo vadis, Domine,” Peter asks – “Lord, where are you going?” “I am going to Rome to be crucified,” Jesus answers – and disappears.
At which point Peter turns back into the city to embrace martyrdom.
In Rome, you can visit the place on the Via Appia Antica where this meeting is said to have occurred. Christians have built a church on the spot to commemorate it.
Quo Vadis events are designed to help you encounter Jesus. Each one of us comes to this sacred place from different situations. Like St. Peter, we will meet Jesus through Quo Vadis events. We too will have a choice to make - Do we follow Jesus where He leads us or go our own way?
Ask Jesus as did St. Peter, “Quo vadis, Domine?” Listen to Jesus, follow Him, and find your vocation and joy—purpose of your life.