Tuesday, 15 June 2010

3/7 St Sebastian's

I must admit I was initially disappointed when I entered the church of St Sebastian. Having been to St Peter's and St Paul's and knowing little about the Seven Church Pilgrimage I had expected something on a grander scale than what lay before me.
A short flip through my guides however revealed to me the spiritual significance of the place, especially for any individual fond of St Philip at it was in St Sebastian's Catacombs on Pentecost in 1544 while deep in prayer the St Philip became aware of the action of the Holy Spirit in the fire of his love, which he could feel localised in his heart. The experience resulted in his heart actually enlarging to the extent that his ribs were forced outward. It was also known to palpitate violently on occasions and emitted a great deal of warmth.

When I was there it was late in the day and I was fortunate enough to be the only English person their and so as given my own private tour which was wonderful. Upon seeing my enthusiasm the lovely gentleman added additional interesting pieces of information was happy to answer all my questions and we even took a moment to stand silently in prayer.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

2/7 St Paul's Outside the Walls

Two things immediately struck me about St Paul's. The first is quite how ordinary the building looks on approaching it from the side, however, this is dispelled when you get round the front and presented with a tranquil cloister and beautiful facade.

The Second it with the absence of any side altars and no dominating monuments you are drawn straight into the sheer loftiness and openness of the nave, where after admiring the Confession and Baldacchino your eyes trace over the portraits of the Popes from St Peter to the current Pope Benedict XVI.

If St Peter's helped me appreciate the size of the Rome Catholic Church then with its Popes St Paul's helped me appreciate the age of the Church.