Friday, November 18, 2016

Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Peter & Paul

Today, 18 November, is the feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul in Rome.

These two great Archbasilicas house the relics of the great Saints and Apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul, the patron saints of Rome.  They sit at the Vatican hill just west of the Tiber and on the Ostian Way just south of the city walls, respectively.

File:Vatican City at Large.jpg
St. Peter's Basilica with the Tiber River and Ponte Sant'Angelo in the foreground.
["Vatican City at Large" by Sébastien Bertrand from Paris, France - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commonsg]

St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican is perhaps the most famous church in the world.  It was constructed on the site of the tomb of St. Peter -- the first Basilica constructed during the reign of the Emperor Constantine.  Indeed, the November feast commemorates the dedication of the structure in 325AD by Pope St. Sylvester I.  Beginning in 1506 under Pope Julius II, and concluding in 1626, the current structure was constructed.

File:Vatican Altar 2.jpg
An interior view of St. Peter's with the confessio and main altar in the center.
["Vatican Altar 2" by Patrick Landy known as FSU Guy at en.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons]

Here is an article on St. Peter's Basilica: Old Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Peter's Basilica

Follow this to the official webpage of the Basilica: Basilica of San Pietro in Vaticano

File:Roma San Paolo fuori le mura BW 1.JPG
The facade of St. Paul's Outside the Walls -- San Paulo fuori le mura.

St. Paul's Basilica -- St. Paul's Outside the Walls -- is the burial place of St. Paul the Apostle, and home to a Benedictine Abbey.  This Basilica, located on the Ostian Way, was, like St. Peter's first constructed during the time of the Emperor Constantine.  A fire in the 19th century, however, meant that the majority of the structure was rebuilt and rededicated in 1823.  When it was reconstructed, however, it was done in much the same style of its original construction.  The Basilica of St. Paul's is famous for its medallions of all of the Popes.

The interior of St. Paul's.  Notice the circular medallions right above the arches -- those picture the various successors of St. Peter.
["Rom, Sankt Paul vor den Mauern (San Paolo fuori le mura), Innenansicht 1" by Dnalor 01 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons]

Here is an article on the Basilica of St. Paul's: Old Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Paul's

Follow this link to the official website of the Basilica: Basilica of San Paolo fuori le mura

Live well!