Superb tour providing an intimate encounter with the physical objects collected and/or related to the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. This tour visits the Basilica of St Mary Major containing wood from the manger in which Jesus once lay, the original icon of the Virgin of the Passion aka Mother of Perpetual Succour, San Prassede containing a fragment of the pillar on which Christ was flogged. Walk up the the Holy Stairs that Jesus walked when being judged by Pontius Pilate, see the church built by S. Helena over spread earth brought from Jerusalem and a chapel containing relics of the Holy Sepulchre, the Cave of Bethlehem, a nail of the crucifixion, a thorn of the crown of thorns and a small walnut board reading INRI.
When the Roman Empire embraced the faith it once persecuted, it exploded into a frenzy of observance for the history and truth of the Christian faith manifest in the literary, the artistic and the relics of the early Christian church. Many of these were then brought to the then capital of the world - Rome.
We begin our tour with a visit to one of the oldest Churches dedicated to Theotokos (Mother of God) in Rome containing, beneath its center altar, wood from the manger in which our Lord Jesus Christ once lay. The church adorned by every epoque of Italian art history even holds the body of the devout baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
We then walk over to the Basilica of San Prassede built in the 8th century it holds some of the finest examples of medieval Christian art and holds a fragment of the pillar upon which Christ was flogged.
Only a few yards away we then enter the church of San Alfonso Ligouri to see the beautiful 15th century Byzantine icon “Our Lady of Perpetual Help / Succour” also known as the Virgin of the Passion or Theotokos of the Passion.
After we visit the Church of the Holy Stairs brought from Jerusalem and so named because they are the steps which led to the praetorium of the then Roman procurator - Pontius Pilot. Since our Lord Jesus did descend those very steps in condemnation, all pilgrims ascend them on their knees. From there we visit the Cathedral of Rome, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran and finally enter a Church built by the mother of Constantine - St Helena. The church built over spread earth brought with relics from Jerusalem was her personal chapel holding to this day relics of the Passion of Christ including those of the Holy Sepulcher, the Cave of Bethlehem, a Nail of The Crucifixion, a Thorn of The Crown and a small walnut board reading Jesus the Nazarene king of the Jews.
Finally we visit the Basilica of Santa Croce containing fragments of the true cross and a nail of the crucifixion.