Posts Tagged ‘Rome’

Rome Last Basilica: The Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura

Finally the last of our basilica tour – we headed to the Basilica of Saint Paul or Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura. First we saw this on the way, some ruins then the long wall around the church. I didn’t really know what awaits us on this last cathedral… I almost thought we could not make it anymore because the guide book says that big churches close at 5 p.m… it was almost 5 p.m.

When we got in, there was a mass a sort of music going on – I thought first that this was from the choir but when we got nearer this was from the monks …singing or chanting the bible.. it was really nice – the church was so big so there was a wonderful acoustic and it’s almost listening to a concert/cd and the monks really sang well. We decided to sit there and just enjoy the mass – unfortunately I wasn’t able to take pictures because I don’t want to be moving so much and distract the people. Mama was so happy again because she could end the day with a beautiful mass and even officiated by the Bishop who had such a wonderful, angelic voice he could be a professional singer.

It was a wonderful experience-  the monks actually live here because it is as well as Monastery and the basilica is part of it. We were just fortunate to hear them sing. It was actually a pity  that not many people were there as you could see on this picture with Mama. Also just about a tenth of the church is being used – the rest is just left empty like this. Such a big space!!! This is just the middle lane… so you could just imagine how big it is.. Vlado thinks you could put 3 football fields here (soccer fields)

After seing so many churches for the day, I just wanted to enjoy this church and listen to the wonderful music from the monks.

I took a picture of the walls – these are all so big in real life and so beautiful. 

Here you can see what I am telling you about the church not being used and occupied – just the part where the dome is mostly being used with benches..This Basilica also has the tomb of Saint Paul – it has a very long history dating back as far as the first century AD where  Saint Paul’s followers erected a shrine (cella memoriae) over the grave. Early Christians frequently visited the site to honor the great Apostle to the Gentiles. The first church on the site was a small one, founded by Emperor Constantine and consecrated on November 18, 324.  Of course there  has been numerous renovations/extensions plus the great fire which damaged the basilica in 1823

lots of people writing prayers to Saint Paul to be prayed over by the Monks.

I was fascinatedwith this big sculpture – made in the 12th century it is almost like a big candle with lots of figures around it. We were very impressed with all that we saw and glad to see the other famous Basilicas of Rome – please don’t miss them when you get the chance to go to Rome because they are all beautiful and each has a story to tell. 

Rome Day 2 The Basillicas – Vatican and Saint Peter’s Basillica

This is the highlight of the day – we asked Mama what she wanted to do first go to the Vatican Museum or to Saint Peter’s?  We heard that on Sundays the museum is actually for free (“,) so we thought maybe we could do this first since it was still relatively early. Mama said no nevertheless, since it is as well a Sunday – then we had to go to church first.

Mama got a bit emotional the moment she was in the Vatican.. she cannot believe she finally made it to here.. to Rome and yes she indeed The Vatican – something very important for Filipino Catholics.

the very popular dome

and the sign that just proves they won’t let you inSaint Peter’s or to the other basillicas  if you wear short sleeves/spaghetti straps and shorts or above the knee skirts. We did see a few people being turned down after the very long que to get in.
It took us about 15 or 20 minutes till we could get in. There was a super  long line and it was just about 10:00 am- nevertheless we were happy that it wasn’t actually that long. Once inside Mama was so relieved – a sigh of relief indeed!

Just very near the entrance is Michaelangelo’s Pieta — is is covered in glass because it was vandalized a few years ago.

The entire ceiling with its dome is just so overwhelming and beautifulThere are many things to see here .. the church is just surrounded with beautiful art everywhere.

Just in front of the wooden arch is where the people were gathered to hear the mass but it is actually closed and they only let a few people get in. Here’s another shot to show you that…

You can go up the dome and have a view of Rome from outside – this we did not do this time. If you look at the picture below you could see the people going around.

Everything is just gold and shiny here.. it’s like the add the letter L to God  😦

Finally the mass is over and we could go over and see the altar in front.

We noticed there were a few cardinals here ..

We decided to stop here a few minutes.. rest and just be quiet.. just after a few minutes a man told us that there is another mass. Mama said we had to stay here and hear the mass- so we all sat there.. we did not understand anything but just enjoyed the special moment. It was actually very quiet in front.. you would not hear the thousands of people behind wandering in the church.

Just a few of the things I saw around St. Peter’s
Vlado and Mama done for the day – oh I mean just for the moment..and one last picture…

Next stop is the Vatican Museum.

Unfortunately it was already closed ;( it was almost 2 pm when we got out of the church. That’s it you cannot have everything in one day. We still need to see 2 more Basillicas… San Giovani and San Paulo

Last picture of the Vatican – here you could see the walls and the ever famous panini stand for hungry tourists.