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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Basilica and Catacombs of Saint Sebastian

Once again we were able to start our day at Saint Peter’s Basilica. It was a great joy to be able to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice at the tomb of Saint Gregory the Great.

Later we visited the crypt, and were permitted to go to the various chapels.

What a surprise! As we were in the Vatican, who should we bump into, but one of the Theology professors from the Fraternity of Saint Peter Seminary in Denton NE, Br. Ansgar!

In the Afternoon we were able to visit the catacombs of Saint Sebastian. We took the bus, and walked the last part.

Descending into the Catacombs.

It was a wonderful experience to walk the same paths that so many Saints and Martyrs walked, and to see the places where their mortal remains, after their earthly trials, were finally laid to rest.

Often damage was done to the remains when the tombs were opened. Now, with advances in technology, the tombs are no longer opened. Instead a small hole is drilled in the tomb, and a tiny camera is inserted, so that photos can be taken and the remains examined, without damage to them.

Often the early Christians wrote out their prayers and petitions on pieces of terracotta and stone. Many pieces have been found, and looking closely, many instances of the names of Saints Peter and Paul can be seen.

We ended with a visit to the Basilica of Saint Sebastian.

1 comment:

grotto said...

thank you for sharing this.

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