Wednesday in Rome – More Apostles

10/29 – yesterday we walked to sights that were near our B and B (near the Roma Termini train station). Today our goals are farther away, so we had to navigate the bus system. We prefer to travel by Metro if we can, as the routes are fixed, and the maps and signs make it easy to identify where to get off. Buses are another matter. We can’t tell where we’re going, and are never sure if we are at a stop or just a traffic light. Our smartphone has been a godsend on this trip – we just program the GPS, and it tells us when to jump off!

Our first destination is Tiber, a tiny little island right in the middle of the city.

IMG_3413.JPG

On the island is the church of San Bartolomeo all’Isolla, which houses the remains of St. Bartholomew (also referred to as Nathaniel in the book of John). Here is the church, and the statue of Bartholomew outside:

IMG_3414.JPG

IMG_3415.JPG

The body of St. Bartholomew (or parts of it) lies in a Roman bathtub that serves as the base of the central altar:

IMG_3377.JPG

IMG_3378.JPG

The eastern iconography at the altar reminds us that he is the patron saint of Armenia.

IMG_3381.JPG

IMG_3384.JPG

IMG_3380.JPG

Bartholomew is said to have been flayed, so is often shown in art holding a tanner’s knife.

We hopped on another bus to get to the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the oldest basilica in Rome, dating back to the year 193. This place will knock your socks off, and my pix won’t begin to do it justice. Here is the main door – even from across the street, the building was too huge to capture.

IMG_3416.JPG

We are here to see the skulls of St. Peter and St. Paul, which found their way here around the year 900. They are the focal point of the main sanctuary. The golden reliquary for Paul, holding a sword, is on the left, and Peter, holding the keys to heaven, is on the right:

IMG_3406.JPG

IMG_3386.JPG

This sanctuary also displays life size marble statues of the 12 Apostles, leaving out Matthias (everyone leaves out poor Judas), and showing Paul as the twelfth apostle. Paul wasn’t on our initial list, but we added him on. The statues show each Apostle with his emblem. Here are Peter and Paul:

IMG_3404.JPG

IMG_3403.JPG

Here is Bartholomew, holding his skin:

IMG_3408.JPG

And for the folks back home, here is Thomas, with his carpenter’s square:

IMG_3389.JPG

This church also boasts the marble steps that Jesus walked up when he came before Pilate. These have been covered over in wood to preserve the blood stains on them. We didn’t get the steps, but here are a few more images of a beautiful place:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s