Friday, July 9, 2010

Back to Rome, pt 1

Last week, Friday and Saturday, saw more visits to Churches in and around Rome, plus a few other stops.

Friday morning, we had Mass in St. Mary Major, the main side chapel to the left as you face the Main Altar. The section on the other side, where I had Mass with my folks on my last visit to Rome, was closed. :(
In the above, we can see St. Pius IX praying in the Confessio of the main altar. Why Pio Nono? He declared the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Notice the size of that statue, as well. He'd be well over 10 feet tall!
We had a quick tour of the church before going to the Church of St. Alphonsus, which is the shrine of the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, with the original icon, at that. My first time in this Church, it was a nice little church. Below is the main altar/apse area.
After, we jumped back on the bus to visit and tour St. John Lateran, where we had Mass earlier in the week. One can always tell pics of SJL b/c of the massive statues of the Apostles along the nave, here my confirmation patron: James the Greater. Remember, this is the Pope's Cathedral Church, not St. Peter's.
After St. John Lateran, the group returned to the hotel and had time for some shopping. I would rather pluck my eyeballs out, so I noticed from the map that the last two pilgrimage Churches in Rome were nearby, so I started walking.
To go down the boulevard directly out the front doors of John Lateran is to come to Sante Croce in Jersulam, the Church of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem. Alas, LOCKED for siesta! How are pilgrims supposed to take advantage of all that Rome has to offer when one encounters Siesta?!?!
Alas, I continued on, outside the walls to Saint Lawrence, which, conveniently enough, we ALSO LOCKED! Strike TWO! (lesson: don't explore during Siesta!) Below is a pic of the front square of St. Lawrence. As a side note, this was the home parish of Eugenio Pacelli, aka Pius XII. This is where he stood during the bombing of WWII, with arms outstretched, interceding for the city and the people. Beautiful spot!

Ok, fine, I succombed to Siesta and took the Metro back to the Hotel.

After Siesta, I journeyed out again, this time on search of Caravaggio's, wishing for more luck that pilgrimage churches.

First stop: Santa Maria del Populo, which was a rather short walk from the hotel. Alas, I found what I thought was the right Church, turns out there are two of the same name, or that it is a 'split church,' only Romans would think this a good idea! I was in, what I would learn, is the wrong one! To find the paintings of the martyrdom of St. Peter and the calling of St. Paul, go to Piazza del Populo, on the north end of the old city, the two Churches at the north end of the square, and they are in the one closest to the River Tiber. Now I know.....

Not to be totally thwarted, I did find the Madonna with the Peasants at San Augustino's, which is a truly stunning work. Earlier in the week, we had visited Sante Luigi dei Francesca (St. Louis of France) and the Matthew Chapel to see his works there.

Back to the hotel for dinner and a sleep.

1 comment:

Ed Winkle said...

God Bless you Father and all priests and we pray for travel safety for all.