Sunday, October 24, 2010

Popes and Artists

Yet another surprise packed day. We set off to check out the transport for our trip to the airport tomorrow, bought tickets and are prepared to hop on the train tomorrow afternoon. Goodness, home again very soon. It has been a wonderful trip and it will be nice to get home to the family.

We went to the Spanish Steps and into the Church della Trinito dei Monti, with the fresco “the Demountation from the Cross”.  There were several other beautiful frescoes there also, particularly one to the Nativity – the light on the Christ Child and the face of the Madonna was magnificent.
As we arrived at the Spagna Station we found a tourist reference to the Café Greco, 1760. The foot note said it was the meeting place for intellectuals and artists. So as several of our acquaintances over the past few days had called us artists we decided to celebrate and affirm to ourselves that indeed that is what we are!
At the Cafe 1760 Greco near the Spanish Steps

for "intellectuals and artists"

Then we went on to the Scarvi. The Scarvi is an excavation site of the Necropolis beneath the crypt of Saint Peter’s Basilica. Excavation was commenced in 1940 but no part of it was opened to the public until the 1970’s. St Peter was buried near where he was slain and the tomb very early became a destination for pilgrims. When the Emperor Constantine built the first Basilica it featured the monument that marked the site of Peter’s burial. When St Peter’s Basilica was rebuilt in the 16th Century the altar and the central dome were positioned over the tomb and memorial.  It is humbling to be allowed access to this sacred site.
The Chair of St Peter, where we attended Mass for the 9th International Festival of Sacred Music and Art
I am still trying to absorb the experience. Being able to pray at the tomb of Saint Peter brought to mind the role of the papacy in the life of the Church. This was emphasised then when we attended Mass in the Basilica which was celebrated at the Chair of St Peter – that is behind the main altar and under the Holy Spirit Window.

So much to see and do - so little time
The Mass was celebrated as part of the Ninth International Festival of Sacred Music and Art, dedicated to His Holiness Benedict XVI in the fifth year of His Pontificate.

So today has been all about the papacy and celebrating Sacred Art and those who make it and we felt part of that. It was not quite the day we had planned or expected but neither of us are complaining!!!!!!
It was quite late when we left the Basilica of Saint Peter.


  1. Congratulations Sue you have done a fantastic job and I really enjoyed the Blog felt like I was there!
    May St Mary of the Cross MacKillop bless always

  2. I have been catching up with your travels since I left Rome and am pleased to see all the photos of icons and views! Sounds like it was all you hoped for and more. Sorry to have been rushed away from dinner on the last Monday night without saying goodbye. Mark.

  3. hi,
    i am sch. Christu Sj a jesuit seminarian, doing philosophy in pune, india. i just ran into your blog. your relection on your pilgrimage was inspiring. i found it heplful for my life. hope to read more from you. bye
    you can get me at
    with prayerful wishes,