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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Visiting Holy Places

Today, the Angel of Orkney favoured us again with generous cloud cover, sufficient breeze and rain. After morning Low Mass we set out to spend the day visiting holy places.
(Click the images to see them clearly)
Solemn High Mass in the church of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.
Then to the Basilica of St. John Lateran....
Dwarfed by the doors, columns....
... inscriptions ...
... and relics...
For example: Beneath this altar is kept the portable wooden altar used by St. Peter to celebrate Mass; it needed to be portable in case of persecution; it is there; we still have it! Above this altar are the holy relics of the skulls of St. Peter and St. Paul. A few yards to the right of this photo is the very table on which Our Divine Lord, on Holy Thursday, offered the first Mass; it is carefully treasured.
Beneath the statue of St. Paul with friends from Ireland.
The highlight of the day was our visit to the Scala Sancta.
Scala Sancta
These are Pilate's steps that Our Lord ascended and descended several times during His Passion. They are now covered with walnut. There were hundreds of people there today. We took our place in the perpetual line of pilgrims ascending the steps on our knees and meditating on the Passion of Our Saviour as we prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. It takes about half an hour to arrive at the top. It seemed that everybody was praying and one cannot but be touched by the devotion of the pilgrims. An old woman near us went up the steps with great difficulty on hands and knees; she was holding her beads and praying earnestly. God bless her and grant her humble petitions.
The Holy Face
At the top of the steps we arrived at this grill behind which is a chapel. An ancient sign reads: "No other place in the city is more holy than here." Through the grill can be seen the image of the Holy Face. St. Luke outlined the face, but angels finished it; therefore it is called "the image not painted by human hands."
St. Peter's Basilica
Tomorrow at 7.00 A.M. we are going to offer Holy Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Thank you so much for sharing a little of your visit to the Eternal City. I was there, in all of the same places, this past October for the 1st time. I too found the climbing on one's knees at Scala Sancta a profound experience. And to see that beautiful photo of Ss. Trinita dei Pellegrini - I absolutely love that church! God bless all of you.

St. Jude Pray For Me said...

Give thanks to the Lord for have granting you all to undertake the Pilgrimage to Rome into a state of deep meditation and pure joy.

Thanks, Dear Rev. Father, for sharing with your friends such a moving experience.

God bless
A.B.

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