Shamir Johnson ’17 – After waking up at a very early 7:30 it was time to make our way to the Catacombs of Priscilla, also know as the Queen Catacomb. It is named Queen Catacomb because it is said to have the most martyrs and 7 popes. Here we were able to get a picture of early Christian tombs. The tombs consisted of 3 layers of cemeteries which stretched 13 kilometers. The travel there was a bit lengthy because catacombs are only on the outskirts or outside the sacred boundaries of Rome. The location also helps protect from disease in the aorta of Rome. Nonetheless, in the Catacombs we were able to see authentic frescoes of Mary holding Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the Three Magi, and others.
After leaving the Catacombs we made our way to the Church of Santa Costanzo and Mosoleum where the tombs of Constantine’s mother and daughter were both at one time and are honored. The Mosoleum was interesting because of the contrast from the other basilica we have visited these last few days, because of the circular structure the focus is at the center where the altar is located and immediately continues in a vertical way rather than a horizontal focus that is the norm for basilica.
Immediately after leaving the basilica we stopped by “Heaven”. Don’t be be confused this was not the name of the restaurant, but just an implication of how good the food tasted. It was a buffet with meats, and cheeses, and pastas, and pizzas and green vegetables, and salads, and fruits, and vegetables, and deserts, and espressos. After indulging in the fruits of the heavens with our swollen bellies we made our way to a few Churches all which seemed to be in a ten-minute radius of each. I hope this gives you an idea of how many basilicas and churches Rome holds. It’s mind boggling; when you pass six churches in a ten minute walk. The churches each housed relics as well as offered visual aids in learning more and more about the Roman Christian and Early Christian architecture. Overall, after a little reflection it is another good day in the books as I impatiently wait for tonight’s feast. Ciao!!