Monday, July 1, 2013

Church Art

Today was an experience of beautiful Roman art. We started with mass this morning at Santa Maria sopra Minerva, the only gothic church in Rome, and the resting place of Catherine of Siena. Then we were met by renowned art scholar Dr. Elizabeth Lev who took us on a tour of the Pantheon and surrounding churches. The highlights of the tour for me was finding the resting place of St. Monica, St. Augustine's mom, and seeing famous two famous works by Caravaggio: Madonna of the Pilgrims and The Calling of St. Matthew. I have studied these works in art classes and just assumed they were in museums somewhere. I was thrilled to find that they are actually in their original locations, still being used to foster worship.

St. Catherine of Siena's tomb

The interior of the Pantheon

St. Monica's tomb

Madonna of the Pilgrims

The Calling of St. Matthew 

After lunch I left the group in order to finish preparing some talks, and I finally got to visit St. Peter's Basilica. You actually have to go through security, which surprised me, but after getting in I was awed by the size and the majesty of the place. The first thing I did was climb to the top of the dome, then I spent quite a bit of time in adoration, then I explored the inside of the church.

St. Peter's Square from the roof

The dome as seen from the roof. The pillars above the curved part of the dome are the point-of-view for the previous picture. 

The back of the statues above the front of the basilica.

The Sistine Chapel from the basilica's roof.

From inside the dome, looking down.

The immensity of St. Peter's 

A cool angle on the baldicheno (canopy) and dome. I like the light shining on the baldicheno's cross. 

The crypt of the church

This is St. Longinus, the soldier who pierced Christ's side with a lance, he later became a martyr.

Peter and company

Just a Swiss Guard being awesome

In  the evening, I connected with the the pilgrims from Holy Trinity in Cheyenne for another delicious dinner at a random street side restaurant. What a great day! 

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