Today was such a great day, with very few things actually planned. We intended to get up at 8 so we could go to mass at 10. Well, the alarm was not set properly and we were exhausted from our first day. We did not get up until nearly 9:30. So we figured we would go to a late morning morning mass, but we had the wrong time noted. We are in Rome, surely we can find a church with a later mass time. Well, we ended up attending one in the evening. More on that later...
In our pursuit for a church to attend, we came across many beautiful sites. We have some pics to share, but mostly I can only say "Rome is amazing! "
We came across a neighborhood church: Santa Maria dell Orto. We saw many cars parked, and figured it might be time for Mass. Well, we arrived just in time for the final blessing...oops! We were moved by the absolute beauty, literally from floor to ceiling! This was the first "small" church we went into, so I expected something more plain and simple. Far from it! Rome loves her churches!
By this time, we realized that we would not make it to a morning Mass, so we decided to continue wandering around. Bruce knew he wanted to see the area known as the Jewish Ghetto. It is just over the Tiber River. Actually, the area we are staying in was once known as the Jewish Ghetto, because many of the early Christians were Jewish by heritage. They converted to Christianity, and remained here until they were pushed to the other side of the river. Sad, isn't it? The poor have been shoved aside for millennia, even by people in the Church. In the area over the river, we walked passed the synagogue. We were unable to go inside, but it was a beautiful. We then continued around the neighborhood, and saw shops and restaurants.
Then we saw unexpected wonders:
Wow! What we saw were ruins of pagan temples in an area that became filled with Christians. And I think it is fascinating to see the layers of building upon building. I was in awe, being in the midst of such ancient ruins, with a large, modern street just a few feet away. In the US, we tend to get rid of anything old and crumbling. Thank goodness for the efforts of historical societies! Any way, after we walked through the outdoor area, we turned down the other side of the street to see the "modern" area.
It was there that we saw yet another amazing church! Known as Sant' Angelo de Pescheria, it took my breath away. De Pescheria refers to the fish market that was held in the area. One thing I want to point out is the beautiful flowers inside the dome. Those are almond flowers, and they were used to symbolize the resurrection. I only know this because our pastor recently had a parishioner add sculpted flowers in our sanctuary. He told us of the symbolism, but I had no idea how prevalent this flower was used in sacred art! We have seen them everywhere! I love that we have a touch of early sacred art in our own parish now. Way to go, Father Greg!
There's more to this day, but this post is getting long. I am going to end here, but come back with 2 more church stories, and a bit about getting lost in Rome. Yep, seriously. I am still here and Bruce is still alive, so it wasn't too bad! More later!