Wednesday, November 28, 2012

St. Peter's Basilica

This didn't get "published" so is out of order.  Sorry.  One of the things that started our "minor mutiny" was the lack of a visit to St. Peter's.  Who would plan a tour of Rome without including it?  When we arranged Thursday in the city instead of Tivoli, we agreed to get up early Friday and spend the morning at St. Peter's Basilica before heading to Civitavecchia (where the Costa ship left from before hitting the rock!). 

The first thing to greet you are the symbols of the papacy, the keys to the church.  Next up would be Michaelangelo's Pieta.  This was our second sculpture of his to see having seen the only one outside of Italy in Bruegge, Belgium.

I would normally rent one of the audio tours but I knew I did not have enough time to listen to it and see the entire inside of the church.  Going to the crypts below was out of the question but we could see through grates in the floor.

This is an altar dedicated to Pope John XXIII.  He has been Beatified which is a step to being declared a saint.  His body is encased in a glass coffin.  I believe it said there has been wax put over his face but his body remains intact.

There is much to see and the only way to get the full effect would be to take your time and use the audio tour.  There is so much church history, artwork, sculptures, etc. to admire.  But our time was short.  And we took time to attend Mass in one of the many side chapel alcoves.  Some young boys were servers at our Mass. I imagine they will always remember the time they served Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. I know I will always remember attending All Soul's Day Mass there.

Just as it was finished about five cardinals in their red hats came out following someone all in white with a white miter hat who went to another chapel where the gate was closed and no one was given access.  I was tempted to tell them my joke "I'm an important Catholic.  In case of emergency, call the bishop."  But I didn't. 
Outside was a well where people were getting drinks.  It appeared to be very old but I cannot find any information on it.  One can only imagine how many centuries ago it was dug and put into use.  If I am not mistaken, those top structures are symbols of the papacy.


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