Sunday, 24 January 2016

Open Doors

“As guardians of that door, we in the Church are called to be welcoming to all who seek to enter the fold of the Good Shepherd.  May the doors of our Christian homes be signs and symbols of the door of God’s mercy, a door ever open to all who knock and desire to meet Jesus.”
-- Pope Francis

Sunday, traditionally the day of rest but for us it was a marathon! At the beginning of 2016 Pope Francis declared that it would be a year of mercy and he called for the churches to open their doors. In his usual way he led by example and opened the doors of St. Peter's Cathedral, Vatican City. There are four doors that come highly recommended, we figured three were not an unreasonable goal, reality set it and we managed two! Two doors which we went through and two doors that opened to an amazing experience. We snapped pictures to upload for all of you following the blog but I can safely tell you that the pictures do not come anywhere near to doing the places justice and they surely can not express the overwhelming feeling that you experience as you walk in these holy places. It is an emotional experience, one that necessitates that you sit and soak in the place, pray and offer up for prayer all those that have entrusted the task to us . . . and just feel the holy.

the streets of Rome

St. Mary

St. Mary (front)

The Door

Very Impressive view as you walk through the doors

As you look back, some of the artwork over the entrance

One of the side Altars

The baptistery...a closer view of the yellowed window immediately following

Close up you can see the angels and the eye overlooking the baptismal area

As you enter the museum section these winged angel candelabras are on either side of the door 

Artifacts form the early church

Papal Vestments from the early 1600's the gold is embroidered with gold thread 

More artifacts from one of the early popes

Jesus encounters his mother on the way 

Reliquary of the true cross with a pedestal

flaps of the niche containing the holy reliquary of the crib of Jesus

Just because I love lapis lazuli  and these all have the lapis stone in them

the Nativity as we left the museum exhibit

High Altar of St. Mary, yes you can look underneath and there is a crypt

A look up the centre aisle of St. Mary

This is the field where Nero martyred the early Christians as they were blamed for Rome burning.  
St. Peter was martyred in this field.  It is approximately 600 metres long and while the sand is lovely and white now it was once red with blood from the martyrs.

Constantine felt that the simple grave that was given to Peter after his martyrdom was not enough and St. Peter's Cathedral was build over the grave.  Here you see the dome as we enter into Vatican City

Castle of Angels.  The tomb of Hadrian lies underneath.  Legend holds that the Archangel Michael appeared atop the mausoleum, sheathing his sword as a sign of the end of the plague of 590, thus lending the castle its present name.

The Bridge of Angels

The fountain in St. Peter's Square

the columns behind the fountain

St. Peter's High altar

Artwork off to the side

the Dome above

Each of these doors has a significance and because it is impossible to remember it all we bought the book as a reminder of what it is we saw

looking from the side towards the high altar.   Marble floors and columns

Another set of the doors, this one is all marble

The ceiling above

altar area of the prayer chapel

Looking back at 

Trying to give you some idea of the grandeur as you look upon the high altar
A picture can not do it justice

the columns and marble

As you prepare to depart there is a nativity scene
One to the things I really appreciate about the scenes here in Europe is that there is always a scene of the local people.  This one has a woman doing laundry and a man fishing

the nativity itself

The Second Door

Papal Guard of duty

the area that he was guarding

1 comment:

  1. wow amazing shots!!! love all the attention to detail here must be magnificent to see this all in person.