thomas.kochi + rome   3

Even amid attempts at revolution, Rome remains the same
.. magical city, whose very ground is (in the words of Pius V) inzuppata col sangue dei martiri, soaked with the blood of the martyrs like a piece of bread dipped in soup.A full survey of Rome’s churches, shrines, and hospitals would constitute a summa of the Christian faith, with no doctrine neglected, no duty of love overlooked, no divine favour forgotten. It is a credo in stone, an ebenezer to the mighty works of God. Gregory Martin’s 1581 work Roma Sancta, a rapturous defence of the city against its Protestant critics. Writers such as Martin Luther and William Fulke believed that Rome had broken with primitive Christianity. Though such polemics have cooled in the last 500 years, this view is still common. Last year the Protestant philosopher James K.A. Smith wrote, “Anyone who’s actually read Augustine would have to conclude: he would be more at home at St Pierre’s in Geneva than St Peter’s in Rome.”Martin counters such arguments by quoting patristic encomia to the city and praising the devoutness of the city’s Christians. “They are so ravished with devotion and sodenly touched with sweete compunction,” he writes, “that I was ashamed of my own hardnesse and coldnesse.” But Martin’s most important argument is historical. “Rome now is nothing degenerated from Rome in old tyme shuch as the fathers have described.” He contrasts the decay of pagan temples with the perdurance of the Catholic faith.No Roman Christian from 1518 or 518 would have trouble joining the men and women who visit the Madonna del Parto in Sant’Agostino to pray that God will bless them with children, and return to pin up pink or blue bows in thanks.For those disturbed by the direction the Church has taken under Pope Francis, nothing is more reassuring than the fulfilment of one of Martin’s more eccentric predictions: “Thou shalt never see Rome without some Athanasius and Paulus.” I saw both Athanasius and Paul. Whatever their own concerns about current events in the Church, they are confident that God will once again rescue and save his elect inheritance. So am I.
catholic  Rome 
4 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
If it’s hot, airy churches like San Giovanni provide the weary pilgrim with a spiritual and physical oasis. Most likely, you’ll be sweaty and your feet sore from treading the miles of cobblestone streets in the Eternal City. Walk up the worn marble steps of San Giovanni and enter. Head down the left aisle and, at the end, you’ll notice a striking silver reliquary in the shape of…a foot. Inside this reliquary is the foot of Saint Mary Magdalen. (This is Rome, folks, so get used to seeing bones encased in elaborate gold and silver surrounded by vigil candles and corpses under altars and many other things that will certainly strike some Americans as odd or macabre. The Church has been doing this for ages.)
C.Herald  catholic  Rome  saints 
12 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
The Fitness-Friendly Way to See Rome’s Bloody Side
If you’re visiting Rome and want a change from the Colosseum or the Sistine Chapel, why not explore the city’s walls? These are among the oldest and best preserved of their kind in Europe. And, if you know where to look, their stones have many stories to tell, of Rome’s most traumatic and violent moments. Somehow Rome emerged as the extraordinary, beautiful and fascinating city it is today. A tour of the city’s walls, sites of so many traumas and disasters, shows us how remarkable this is.
Rome  Italy  history  books 
june 2018 by thomas.kochi

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