Wednesday, 13 November 2019

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Rome Thursday 16th February

In Rome there are more than three hundred and sixty Catholic churches, each remarkable for their architecture, their paintings and decorations.  The pilgrims wanted to try to visit some of the most notable.  At 9 o’clock they assembled in the Church of St Clement, which is situated in the street leading from the Colosseum to the Basilica of St John Lateran, to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

       


   

 

Afterwards they heard about the church, the recent discoveries therein and then they visited the crypt.  Under the altar rested the remains of St Clement and St Ignatius.

The next church visited was the Church of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem where a large portion of the True Cross, two thorns from the Crown of Thorns, one of the Holy Nails used at the Crucifixion of our Divine Lord and the Title which was written by Pontius Pilate and affixed to the Cross are to be found.  There is also preserved, in this church the finger of St Thomas which touched our Lord’s side, and a portion of the Cross of St Dismas.

From the Church of the Holy Cross they proceeded to the Basilica of St Lawrence, which is situated outside the walls, and contains the tomb of Pope Pius IX.  Beneath the high altar are the bodies of St Lawrence, St Stephen and St Justin, martyrs. 

Returning to the city the pilgrims passed by Porta Pia, through the Piazzi Barberine to the Pincian Hill where they were able to look down over the city.  Immediately beneath them lay the Church of Santa Maria del Populo in which Martin Luther resided for some time before his apostacy.

At 4 0’clock they all assembled at the Church of S Maria della Pace (St Mary of Peace)
to witness the Cardinal Primate take possession of his Titular Church.  This church is situated close to the Piazza Navona and the Piazza and adjoining streets were thronged with the carriages of those coming to take part in the ceremony.  The church was beautifully draped with crimson and cloth of gold and when the choir began to sing the scene was described as soul-stirring and impressive.  Later His Eminence gave an interesting description of the church.  St Mary of Peace occupies the site of a chapel dedicated to St Andrew of the Water Carriers.  In the porch of this old chapel was a painting of the Virgin and Child.  According to tradition a woman struck it with a stone and blood flowed miraculously from the injured part.  The Pope of the time, Sixtus IV went in procession to venerate the sacred image and made a solemn vow that he would build a church to the Virgin Mother if there was peace in Italy.  The prayer was heard and the church was erected in the shape of a Latin cross.  In one of the chapels ‘The Madonna della Pace’, the original picture, hangs over the altar.

In the evening His Eminence held a Reception attended by over seven hundred people.

 
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