Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Pilgrimage to Rome 2017 (6) - Mass for All Saints

To celebrate the Feast of All Saints one couldn't do better than to be in Rome, surrounded by so many of the relics of the Saints, and upon the ground which so many of them have trod... except perhaps to be in the Roman Church dedicated to All the Saints (or almost so), the Pantheon, which was dedicated to Santa Maria ad Martyres. We had visited the Pantheon on Day 1 of our Pilgrimage, on the eve of All Saints, but include the pictures here.




























Mass for the Feast of All Saints in the Basilica of Sant'Eustachio in Campo Marzio On the Feast of All Saints itself, we came to the Basilica of Sant'Eustachio, only feet away from the Pantheon, for the celebration of Holy Mass and to explore our Catholic heritage in Rome a little further. Although called Sant'Eustachio in Campo Marzio, it is actually in the Rione or District of Sant'Eustachio. Saint Eustachio himself was one of those brave Roman Soldier converts and martyrs. His symbol, the stag with a cross in its antlers, is to be seen all over the Basilica. He is also one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, to which there was much devotion in the Middle Ages, and well worth recalling on the Feast of All Saints. The Church was founded, perhaps during the reign of Pope St. Gregory the Great, and is certainly mentioned in the reign of Pope Gregory II as a Diaconia, a Deacon's Church or center for Corporal Works of Mercy, and that work continues today with the poor of the area dining in the loggia of the Church each day. The only obvious remnant of the Medieval structure is the impressive campanile. The interior is decorated in a gentle French baroque style.










Monday, November 6, 2017

Pilgrimage to Rome 2017 (5) - Day 1 concluded

The Church of the Gesù
We concluded the first day of our Pilgrimage with our now customary visit to the Church of the Holy Name, The Gesù.  Having visited the Church of Sant'Ignazio it is only a few minutes walk down through the Piazza del Collegio Romano and down the famous Via della Gatta to the other main Jesuit Church in the City, where St. Ignatius lived in the attached House of the Professed, and where he is buried in the beautiful side Altar that is the focus, each evening at 5.30 p.m., of the ceremony of light and music and Scripture and Prayer, the Macchina barocca.  We made it in good time to enjoy the prayerful atmosphere of the Church in fading autumn light, to pray before the High Altar of the Holy Name, at the Chapel of the Madonna della Strada and the Chapel of the Sacred Heart where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved.  There are many echoes between Sant'Ignazio and the Gesù, particularly in the mirroring of the two main transept Altars, St. Ignatius in the Gospel-side and the arm of St. Francis Xavier in the Epistle-side.  Once again, the nave ceiling is a riot of baroque decoration but, in the case of the Gesù, it is more unconventional.  We are not only seeing the Heavens, as it were, through the frame of an open ceiling, but now the celestial (and infernal!) figures are in three dimensions and falling out of the frame and into our dimension.

After experiencing the Macchina barocca we returned to the Istituto Maria Santissima Bambina for Vespers of the Little Office of the Immaculate Conception and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.