Sunday, July 1, 2007

Bottom of St. Lawrence's, top of St. Peter's

On Saturday we spent some time touring Rome and seeing things we hadn't seen before. Our first stop was the church of St. Lawrence. Inside was this nice painting of the Saint, surrounded by the poor, the "treasures of the church".

This church was built over the spot where St. Lawrence was incarcerated, and where a spring gushed up out of the ground which he used to baptize his jailers.

Here's his prison cell, down in the crypt of what is now the church.

Next we went to the church of Santa Prassede. This church was comissioned by Pope Hadrian I in 780 and was built to house the relics of St. Prassede and St. Pudenziana. These two sisters were the daughters of St. Pudens, believed to have been St. Paul's first convert in Rome. The church has some of the best mosaics in Rome, including these in the little side chapel of San Zenone.

In the chapel is the column that Christ was chained to during the scourging.

Here's a shot of the interior of the church.

Next we went to the church of St. Alphonsus, where there is the original image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Here's the interior of the church, looking at some of the neo-gothic work on the ceiling.

And here's a shot looking down the nave.

This would be St. Alphonsus de Liguori's alb.

And here is the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The icon was brought from Crete to Rome in the 1400's, and kept in the church of St. Matthew until St Matthew's was destroyed. The icon remained hidden until Pope Pius IX had it made available for public veneration in 1866.
Our next stop was the Basilica of St. Peter's, because it was the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. On this day the statue of St. Peter is vested in the papal garb, complete with tiara.
Then we began the 551-step ascent to the top of the dome of St. Peter's. As you can see, once you're inside the dome, the walls begin to slant inwards. It was definitely a very tiring climb up the more than 450 feet to the top!
But once you get to the top, you get the view that in my opinion, is the best in Rome. This is looking down the main artery that leads to St. Peter's Square. You can see the Square, the obelisk, and the colonnade.
Here's a shot showing some Papal offices, along with the current Pope's coat of arms worked into the shrubbery.

In this picture of Rome I've added some colored dots so you can pick out a few landmarks. Red dot-Pantheon. Yellow dot-Victor Emmanuel Monument. Purple dot-Colosseum. White dot-Ara Coeli church. Green dot-Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
After we got down, Augustin got to have his picture taken with this nice Swiss Guard.
In the evening we went to the church of St. Paul outside the Walls where they were having a huge fair. We spent the evening wandering around the booths.....
And watching the fireworks.


Anonymous said...

I love the July "post" Augustine looks like the Guard in miniature. What amazing looking fireworks, and I like the idea of the dots. It was very helpful. We'll hit Starbucks when you get home! I'm going back to finish looking..rica

Aggie said...

"The church has some of the best mosaics in Rome, including these in the little side chapel of San Zenone" did you lay on the ground to get this picture looking up. Love the photo of Gus with the Guard. He (the guard) even smiled for the photo.

Charlotte said...

those fireworks have got to be the weirdest ones I've ever seen.
Say hi to Phili for me.