Monday, September 19, 2011

Additional Pilgrimages We Made

Our pilgrimage to Vatican City in Rome was accented by additional little pilgrimages to various surrounding churches that certainly had beautiful treasures of our faith!  Most everything in Roma was just a metro ride, cab ride, or walk away.  Here are some pictures of what we got to see!!

This is a piece of the manger!

The reliquary holding the piece of the manger is just below us, under the altar.

Here's my Michael next to our Saint Michael the Archangel!

This is the famous statue of St. Teresa of Avila in Ecstacy!

This is the coffin of St. Victoria!  Her bones lie within this life-sized doll.  If you look carefully inside the mouth of the wax face, you can see her real teeth.  Trust me; they were real, not fake!

This was such a special place that Michael took me to!  When Constantine made Christianity legal in the Roman Empire, his very wealthy mother (St. Helena, who had been praying for Constantine's conversion) joyfully ordered that the marble stairs which Christ ascended to see Pontius Pilot and receive his condemnation be moved from their original location to Rome.  Those marble stairs are visible from the side but covered in wood to protect them.  The faithful climb the stairs on their knees, thinking constantly about Jesus' suffering which he endured for us.

I snapped this photo moments before I got down on my knees and started crawling up.  Whenever possible, I snuck my hand beneath the wood to touch the marble.  It was a very emotional experience for me!  I was touching what Jesus' feet had touched!

When I neared the top, I turned around to snap a photo of the pilgrims that were climbing behind me.  The climb was very slow, since all of us wanted to pray a bit on each step.

These are the chains that held St. Paul!  They reside in a crypt beneath the main altar of one church in particular.  Forgive me that at this moment, I cannot recall which one!  I shall have to consult my travel journal for further details!  :)

Michael has great devotion to St. Paul.  He may not even fully realize this, but it was most evident to me when we visited the reliquary containing the chains that held him as a prisoner for the faith.  Michael chose to light a candle that was nearby and stay a while to pray.

Here is the candle that Michael lit for our prayer intentions!

In a separate location from the church that holds St. Paul's chains is the actual prison cell where St. Peter and St. Paul were once held.

Look at this beautiful, ancient image of Christ and Peter, painted on the walls of the prison!

This is the cell which once held St. Peter and St. Paul as prisoners.  A miracle happened and water sprung forth from the floor, as you can see by the hole.  Peter and Paul used this water to baptize the other prisoners that were with them before an angel came to release them.