Thursday, July 26, 2007

Scala Sancta

Right across the piazza from St. John Lateran is part of the old Lateran palace, which houses the 28 marble steps that were climbed by Christ to the praetorium of Pilate when he was judged. They were brought from Jerusalem in the 300's by St. Helen, mother of the Emperor Constantine. Today they are covered by protective wood casing, and are climbed on one's knees.

A close up of the marble steps seen throw the windows in the wood.

Also cut into the wood are little windows through which you can view stains of Christ's blood.

At the bottom of the stairs are several beautiful statues depicting scenes from Christ's passion. Here is the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.

A Pieta'.

Christ condemned.

And lastly Judas the traitor betraying Christ with a kiss.


Aggie said...

Scala Sancta (got the Holy part, Scala must mean "steps???") 2 questions. Atop the steps is a picture of the crucifixion, is that an altar under the picture, although you said this was in a palace not a church so probably not. Other question, what is on the walls to the sides of the steps, is it just tile/stone work or is it murals.

babybreederbabe said...

At the top of the steps is a chapel. The chapel is viewed through a window, in front of which is a kneeler, which is what you see at the top of the stairs. The chapel contains very holy relics, including an image of Christ that is reputed to have been created supernaturally (or maybe by St. Luke.)

On the walls by the holy stairs are frescoes depicting Christ's passion.