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Sunday, May 8, 2016
Pilgrimage to Rome: Part III

In the next installment of my Roman pilgrimage, I share three additional sites on my journeys: Chisea Gesu e Maria (the Institute of Christ the King's Church in Rome) as well as the Pantheon (known to us Catholics as the Basilica of St. Mary and the Martyrs) and the Coloseo.

Chiesa Gesu e Maria:

The Church of Chiesa Gesu e Maria is a small but beautiful church on Via del Corso.  While not used full time by the Institute of Christ the King, the parish does offer Sunday Mass at 9:30 AM by the Institute.  I was present for Palm Sunday Mass this year and was impressed by the beauty and care for the liturgy (as the Institute always does).  The Church itself is in need of some repair in spots but it is still a beautiful place to worship the Triune God.

The Pantheon:

Next, needing very little introduction, is the Pantheon.  One of the oldest structures in Rome, this building was an engineering marvel for its perfect dome construction millennia ago.  In fact, engineers and architects studied this dome before designing structures like the US Capitol. 

The Pantheon features the tomb of Raphael as well as the first two kings of unified Italy.  Inside, the structure is often packed, leaving little chance for prayer.  But if you are able to find a spot for prayer, it is a ideal place to pray for the intercession of the martyrs through Our Lady of the Martyrs.

The Coloseo:
And lastly, while not a church, this place was the scene of so much death and carnage for the sake of entertainment.  The Coloseo was the site of martyrdom as saints were killed for rejecting the pagan Roman religion.  These deaths - along with thousands of others killed for political or entertainment reasons - joined with the tens of thousands of animals killed, make the Coloseo the site of untold suffering.  Let us pray for peace and justice and charity.

Check out more photos from these sites (and all others on my trip posted so far) on my Flickr account.


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