Tag Archives: Jesus

UNESCO Wine Regions in Vino con Vista Piedmont Italy

English: Fountain at Agliè castle (The castle ...

English: Fountain at Agliè castle (The castle in one of the residences of the Royal House of Savoy), Agliè, Turin, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Piedmont is one of Italy’s finest wine regions. In northwestern Piedmont, Nebbiolo grapes thrive and ultimately become Barolo and Barbaresco wine. “Rare vintages of Barolos (1985 or 1990) become favorites of serious wine enthusiasts with an extraordinary aging capacity. Click on this link to view Wine Spectator’s Piedmont wine map:

http://assets.winespectator.com/wso/Maps/Piedmontmap.pdf

This region’s terroir is also perfect for Barbera, Dolcetto, Brachetto and Grignolino.

The Castle of Agliè is one of the residences o...

The Castle of Agliè is one of the residences of the Royal House of Savoy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many interesting sites in this region of Italy. In the middle of the 16th century, the Savoy dynasty built a number of castles, villas and hunting lodges in and around Turin creating a UNESCO World Heritage complex.

In the hilly areas of the Langhe, Monferrato and the foothills many monastic complexes were built. The Sanctuary of San Michele is a Benedictine monastery founded in the 10th century on the summit of Mount Pirchiriano.

Piedmont is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/multimedia/photos/photos-for-the-new-inscriptions-2014/italy/

 

Reggia di Venaria Reale, Torino - interni cate...

Reggia di Venaria Reale, Torino – interni category:user:Twice25 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Turin is the largest city in the hilly region of Piedmont. It was historically under Austro-Hungarian domination www.turismotorino.org.  The  amazing residences of the Royal House of Savoy include the Palazzo Reale, the Royal Armory, the Library and Stables.

Filippo Lippi

Filippo Lippi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fra Filippo Lippi - IMGP6044

Fra Filippo Lippi – IMGP6044 (Photo credit: indianadinos)

Fra Filippo Lippi - Sts Gregory and Jerome - W...

Fra Filippo Lippi – Sts Gregory and Jerome – WGA13179 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Castello di Rivoli (Torino)

Castello di Rivoli (Torino) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Royal house of Savoy Coat of Arms, flags of th...

Royal house of Savoy Coat of Arms, flags of the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Collar of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation Italiano: Stemma della casa reale di Savoia, bandiere del Regno di Sardegna e collare dell’Ordine supremo della Santissima Annunziata. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fra Filippo Lippi - The Doctors of the Church ...

Fra Filippo Lippi – The Doctors of the Church – WGA13177 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Visit the Pinocoteca dell’Accademia Albertina and the Galleria Sabauda for Renaissance art. Bellini, Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi masterpieces can be found in these galleries.

Fra Filippo Lippi - Sts Gregory and Jerome (de...

Fra Filippo Lippi – Sts Gregory and Jerome (detail) – WGA13182 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The original Holy Shroud (Sacra Sindone) of Turin is kept in Turin’s Duomo in a silver casket inside a marble coffer. The replica is available for viewing. Carbon testing in the late 1980’s indicated that the shroud dates back to the 12th century; so it apparently was not wrapped around Christ after his crucifixion. Visit the  museum of the Holy Shroud  on Via San Domenico.

Travel to Castello del Poggio.  Admire the 390 acres of vineyards dominated by the medieval fortification that belonged to the nobele Buneis family that once gaurded the city of Asti. You can see a vast amphitheater called the Val del Temp that was owned by the Templars in the 12th century. I love their fruity Barbera DiAsti DOC. Guided visits and tastings are by appointment only. www.poggio.it

Here are some of the Annual Festivals in Piemonte:

ASTI Douja D’Or; prestigious producers participate in the parade and celebration the second Saturday and Sunday in September.

The Palio of Asti is Italy’s most ancicent horse race with a historic procession and over 1000 people dressed in medieval attire in September.

lesser coat of arms of the Kingdom of Italy (1...

lesser coat of arms of the Kingdom of Italy (1890), instituted by Royal Decree n. 7282, 3rd series, 27 November 1890. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alba Palio degli Asini is the Race of the Donkeys is on the first Sunday of October.

The Alba Truffle Festival is also in October.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Books at www.vino-con-vista.com

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Witness the Story of Easter in Rome: Buona Pasqua

c. 1580

c. 1580 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Master of the Tiburtine Sibyl Princeton

Master of the Tiburtine Sibyl Princeton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Tiburtine Sybil, woodcut from the Nurember...

The Tiburtine Sybil, woodcut from the Nuremberg Chronicle Français : La Sibylle Tiburtine, bois gravé tiré de la Chronique de Nuremberg, feuille 93 verso (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 12th Station of the Cross - Jesus dies on ...

Image via Wikipedia

A 14th-century of Jesus Christ bearing the cro...

A 14th-century of Jesus Christ bearing the cross, from the monastery in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italiano: La Sibilla Tiburtina, 1483, affresco...

Italiano: La Sibilla Tiburtina, 1483, affresco nella Chiesa di S. Giovanni Evangelista a Tivoli (Roma). L’immagine è racchiusa in un tondo e deliminata in un anello bianco con il basso l’espressione SIC AIT riferito alla profezia che viene riportata sotto il ritratto. La profezia inizia all’interno del medaglione per proseguire al di sotto di esso. The Tiburtine Sibyl, 1483. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Tiburtine sibyl and the Emperor Augustus i...

The Tiburtine sibyl and the Emperor Augustus is a 16th-century chiaroscuro woodcut by Antonio da Trento. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pope Francis and the Vatican gear up for Holy Week Celebrations and ancient traditions in and around Rome. These events commemorate the last week of the life of Jesus Christ before his painful death on the cross and ultimate Resurrection.

The Tiburtine Sybil named Albunea, told Emperor Augustus (27 BC-AD 14) in a mystic meeting, that the first-born of God would one day rule his empire: “Haec est ara primogeniti Dei”-This is the altar of the first-born of God.

Augustus commemorated the spot by erecting an altar. The church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli (altar of Heaven) now crowns the highest point of the Campidoglio in Rome with 124 steps that lead to the entrance of the church. In the church, the figures of Augustus and the Tiburtine Sibyl are painted on either side of the arch above the high altar.

English: Santa Maria in Aracoeli (façade), Rome.

English: Santa Maria in Aracoeli (façade), Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Antonio da Trento, Tiburtine Sibyl and the Emp...

Antonio da Trento, Tiburtine Sibyl and the Emperor Augustus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inside this church are the relics of St. Helen in a porphyry urn. Saint Helena was the mother of Emperor Constantine who ultimately decreed the Christianization of pagan Rome. Inside the church, there is a chapel of the Santo Bambino. The Bambino is carved from olive wood from Jerusalem using wood from the Garden of Gethsemane. It was created by a Franciscan monk in the 15th century.

Furthermore, the Tiburtine Sibyl prophesied a final Emperor named Constan who would “vanquish the foes of Christianity and end paganism.” Michelangelo portrayed the Sibyls in the frescos of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The Tiburtine Sybil's prophecy to the Emperor ...

The Tiburtine Sybil’s prophecy to the Emperor Augustus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Easter story of the “Passion of Christ” is depicted in the 14 “Stations of the Cross.” The “INRI” on the cross is the abbreviation of “King of the Jews” in Hebrew. During his lifetime, Jesus encountered the same type of pain that normal people excounter. He endured physical pain, mental anguish, rejection, abandonment and betrayal. Holy Week allows us to recall the great sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us and signifies new beginnings.

Holy Week is one of the most religious and exciting times of the year to visit Rome and many other towns in Italy and Spain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZl_Ab29id4&NR=1. Holy Week events begin on Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday. On this day, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on  a donkey and was welcomed as royalty with the path paved with branches and palms. The ceremonies during the week revolve around the story of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. On Palm Sunday,  Holy Week begins with the Pope‘s blessing of the palms in St. Peter’s Square.

The three days before Easter are called the Paschal Triduum of Death, Burial and Resurrection of the Lord http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcNFTNu1I4M. The Easter Vigil is the high point of the Triduum: “The night Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.”  The church empties the Holy Water from the fonts on the days of the Sacred Paschal Triduum in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil. The Passion is read three times during Holy Week: Passion Sunday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The words of Jesus are always read by a priest.

On Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), the Pope performs a rare morning mass. “The Mass of the Chrism” is held in St. Peter’s Square when the oils are blessed and the Chrism is consecrated.  Chrism is a combination of balsam and oil and is used for annointing for occasions like confirmation and ordinations.

In the evening after sun-down, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and the Last Supper of Jesus with the Apostles. This event includes a reading of Matthew’s account of the “Passion of Christ”; the narration of Jesus’ capture, suffering and death. It includes the representation of Jesus Christ washing the feet of his Disciples which was carried out by Pope Benedict at the Cathedral of St. John Lateran where he washed the feet of 12 priests http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngIUmGhwwqs.

On Good Friday, the day of Christ’s brutal crucufixion in AD33, choirs sing St. John’s version of Christ’s crucifixion. Peter Paul Rubens’ “Ecce Homo” (Behold the Man) portrays Christ with his “Crown of Thorns” before his Crucifixion. After his crucifixion, he was covered with a shroud http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dVQnkKlphY&feature=relmfu.

On this day in Catholic churches around the world, Christians glorify the cross in their individual parishes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubkiKyjo9WU. The cross is venerated as a symbol of our faith by kneeling in front of the cross and kissing it. In this way, we honor the Lord’s Cross as an instrument of our salvation. The cross was the means of Jesus Christ’s execution and as a sign of victory over sin and death. The church does not celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist on Good Friday, rather the Church commemorates the Lord’s Passion.

In Rome on Good Friday, a solemn “Via Crucis Procession” (The Way of the Cross) involves an evening torch-lit procession that follows the Pope as he traces the Stations of the Cross from the Colosseum to Palatine Hill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2qwjLTFcwQ. The church in Rome adopted the practice of “Adoration of the Cross” from the Church in Jerusalem where a fragment of wood believed to be the Lord’s cross has been venerated every year on Good Friday since the fouth century http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8eDPyXYv50.

St. Helen, the mother of emperor Constantine, discovered this fragment of wood on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 326. Pope Alexander VII had the top of the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square adorned with his insignia. There is a relic of Christ’s “True Cross” encased in this emblem of Pope Alexander that crowns the Obelisk.

Jesus had 12 disciples. They were pupils or followers of Christ. The Passion of Christ was initiated when the Temple Guards, guided by Judas Iscario, captured Jesus. Judas was a Disciple of Jesus who betrayed him by telling the guards that whomever he kisses, they should arrest. Judas was paid in silver for his betrayal which is portrayed  in “The Kiss of Judas.” The trial and painful crucifixion of Jesus ensued. Judas ended up returning the silver and committing suicide.

On the Joseph Maria Subirachs “Magic Square” on the facade of Gaudi’s Sagada Familia in Barcelona (Quadrato magico di Sagrada Familia) next to “The Kiss of Judas” in the picture below, notice that all colums, diagonals and rows add up to 33, the year of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Judas Betrayed Jesus Christ before his Crucifixion

Judas Kiss and the Magic Square of 33

Pictured above is Caravaggio’s famous portrayal of “The Kiss of Judas.”

On Holy Saturday, Jesus’  lifeless body was cradled in the arms of  Mary, as portrayed in Michelangelo’s “Pieta.”  He was then laid to rest in the borrowed grave of a friend. Churches around the world conduct an Easter Vigil where we celebrate Jesus Christ; our light who drives away the darkness of our lives http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3d9LTi_U2w&feature=relmfu. At the beginning of the Easter Vigil, the church is darkened and gradually springs to life with the Ressurection of the Lord as faithful parishoners light candles inside the church. The Easter Vigil service includes the Service of Light, the Blessing of the Fire and the Preparation of the Paschal Candle and Procession.

The gloomy darkness of Good Friday is followed by the joyful celebration of trumpets at Easter which “dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy, casts out hatred, brings us peace and humbles earthly pride” (Paschal Praeconium, the Exsultet). Easter Sunday celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. His Ascension into Heaven is the 40th day after Easter. On Easter Sunday, Pope Benedict delivers his blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and to the world) in St. Peter’s Square http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5axrSsEU_U0&feature=related.

In the picture below, Jesus Christ is ascending into Heaven above the altar of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain. The term apostle came into use after the Ascension of Jesus Christ when the disciples (followers) who had witnessed his resurrection, became apostles (ambassadors of the Gospel: evangelists and teachers). The true apostolic age ended when the last apostle died in about 100AD.

Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain

The Pope delivers several messages to faithful pilgrims between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBwIefKXY0s.

Here was the 2011 Easter Message in Italian http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0mEEVTPU2I

Happy Easter and have a wonderful Vino con Vista celebration with your family and friends!

 

Learn more about Rome  @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

 

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The Easter Story: Paschal Triduum of Death, Burial and Resurrection

Mosaic (Jesus) from Hagia Sophia

Mosaic (Jesus) from Hagia Sophia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Português: Mosaico do Portão Imperial em Hagia...

Português: Mosaico do Portão Imperial em Hagia Sophia. Ajoelhado à direita do Cristo Pantocrator está o imperador bizantino Leão VI. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A 14th-century of Jesus Christ bearin...

English: A 14th-century of Jesus Christ bearing the cross, from the monastery in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beginning of 11th century

Beginning of 11th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bishop John washes the feet of Eleanor, who wa...

Bishop John washes the feet of Eleanor, who walks to St. Giles, Wrexham, in bare feet, on Maundy Thursday 2007. Photograph by Brian Roberts, Wrexham (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Christ washing the feet of the Apostl...

English: Christ washing the feet of the Apostles. Icon of Pskov school. Русский: Омовение ног (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christ icon in Taizé

Christ icon in Taizé (Photo credit: lgambett)

Français : Christ en Croix d'Agnolo Allori, di...

Français : Christ en Croix d’Agnolo Allori, dit Bronzino, vers 1545, huile sur panneau, 145 x 115 cm, Musée des beaux-arts de Nice, France. Italiano: Cristo in croce di Agnolo Allori, detto Bronzino, circa 1545, olio su legno, 145 x 115 cm, Museo di belle-arti di Nizza, Francia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Jesus Christ - detail from Deesis mos...

English: Jesus Christ – detail from Deesis mosaic, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The three days before Easter are called the Paschal Triduum of Death, Burial and Resurrection of the Lord http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcNFTNu1I4M.

This is a three day liturgical celebration. The liturgy held on the evening of Maundy Thursday initiates the Easter Triduum. This period includes Good Friday, Holy Saturday and ends Easter.

The Easter Vigil is the high point of the Triduum: “The night Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.”  The church empties the Holy Water from the fonts on the days of the Sacred Paschal Triduum in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil. The Passion is read three times during Holy Week: Passion Sunday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The words of Jesus are always read by a priest.

The Holy Seapulchre Church, Jerusalem. Catholi...

The Holy Seapulchre Church, Jerusalem. Catholic Holy Mass on Maundy Thursday / Crkva Svetoga groba u Jeruzalemu. Katolička sveta misa na Veliki četvrtak. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Icon of Jesus Christ

English: Icon of Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), the Pope performs a rare morning mass. “The Mass of the Chrism” is held in St. Peter’s Square when the oils are blessed and the Chrism is consecrated.  Chrism is a combination of balsam and oil and is used for annointing for occasions like confirmation and ordinations.

In the evening after sun-down, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and the Last Supper of Jesus with the Apostles. This event includes a reading of Matthew’s account of the “Passion of Christ“; the narration of Jesus’ capture, suffering and death. It includes the representation of Jesus Christ washing the feet of his Disciples which was carried out by Pope Benedict at the Cathedral of St. John Lateran where he washed the feet of 12 priests http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngIUmGhwwqs.

Deposition of Christ, 1507, drawing from Roman...

Deposition of Christ, 1507, drawing from Roman sarcophagi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Good Friday, the day of Christ’s brutal crucufixion in AD 33, choirs sing St. John’s version of Christ’s crucifixion. Peter Paul Rubens’ “Ecce Homo” (Behold the Man) portrays Christ with his “Crown of Thorns” before his Crucifixion. After his crucifixion, he was covered with a shroud http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dVQnkKlphY&feature=relmfu.

English: Mosaic in baptistery of San Marco - &...

English: Mosaic in baptistery of San Marco – “Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” Русский: Мозаика баптистерия базилики Сан Марко – “Распятие Христово” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On this day in Catholic churches around the world, Christians glorify the cross in their individual parishes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubkiKyjo9WU. The cross is venerated as a symbol of our faith by kneeling in front of the cross and kissing it. In this way, we honor the Lord’s Cross as an instrument of our salvation. The cross was the means of Jesus Christ’s execution and as a sign of victory over sin and death. The church does not celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist on Good Friday, rather the Church commemorates the Lord’s Passion.

Jesus helped by Simon of Cyrene, part of a ser...

Jesus helped by Simon of Cyrene, part of a series depicting the stations of the Cross. Chapel Nosso Senhor dos Passos, Santa Casa de Misericórdia of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Oil on canvas, XIXth century, unknown author. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Rome on Good Friday, a solemn “Via Crucis Procession” (The Way of the Cross) involves an evening torch-lit procession that follows the Pope as he traces the Stations of the Cross from the Colosseum to Palatine Hill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2qwjLTFcwQ. The church in Rome adopted the practice of “Adoration of the Cross” from the Church in Jerusalem where a fragment of wood believed to be the Lord’s cross has been venerated every year on Good Friday since the fouth century http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8eDPyXYv50.

St. Helen, the mother of emperor Constantine, discovered this fragment of wood on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 326. Pope Alexander VII had the top of the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square adorned with his insignia. There is a relic of Christ’s “True Cross” encased in this emblem of Pope Alexander that crowns the Obelisk.

Jesus had 12 disciples. They were pupils or followers of Christ. The Passion of Christ was initiated when the Temple Guards, guided by Judas Iscario, captured Jesus. Judas was a Disciple of Jesus who betrayed him by telling the guards that whomever he kisses, they should arrest. Judas was paid in silver for his betrayal which is portrayed  in “The Kiss of Judas.” The trial and painful crucifixion of Jesus ensued. Judas ended up returning the silver and committing suicide.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Semana Santa in Seductive Segovia Spain: Holy Week and Easter Traditions

Segovia Cathedral • Catedral de Segovia

Segovia Cathedral • Catedral de Segovia (Photo credit: jesuscm)

The present-day Alcázar of Segovia, significan...

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Segovia

Segovia (Photo credit: ferlomu)

Segovia -Ayllón_2 casa del Cordón

Segovia -Ayllón_2 casa del Cordón (Photo credit: ferlomu)

The Ancient Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain, ...

The Ancient Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain, by Nicolás Pérez. September 2004. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Segovia is a seductive

English: Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain Français :...

English: Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain Français : L’aqueduc de Ségovie, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UNESCO World Heritage Site in Spain that is imbued with the spirit of an old Castillian town. It was declared a UNESCO site in 1985 and it is protected by the Eresma and Clamores Rivers with and impressive collection of historic monuments.

Aqueduct of Segovia

Aqueduct of Segovia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Segovia is less than 50 miles away from Madrid. It is about 3,000 feet above sea level and has an incredibly well-preserved Roman aqueduct that is over 2000 years old. The mortarless Roman Aqueduct is made from granite blocks and was used to carry water from the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains to the city. It is considered to be one of the best civil engineering works in Spain with 166 arches and 120 columns that transported water fro the La Acebeda to the Alcazar, defying the laws of gravity. In 1072, 36 arches were damaged during the attack of Al-Mamun from Toledo. The town also has a fabulous cathedral and historic castle named Alcazar. UNESCO site in Spain

English: Aqueduct in Segovia, Spain Español: A...

Image via Wikipedia

Segovia is a Castilian town in Spain

During Holy Week (Semana Santa), at the base of the Aquaduct, faithful Christians don tunics, capes and pointed hoods for the annual ceremonies. The procession of religious brotherhoods are accompanied by their treasured sacred sculptures of Jesus and Mary.

Semana Santa reaches a climax on Good Friday when faithful adherents of the city’s brotherhoods work their way through the medieval streets to the Cathedral http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scyPexq0DNk&feature=related.

Segovia  houses an impressive Alcazar fortress/castle with a moat and draw-bridge loaded with plenty of art, stained glass windows and military memorabilia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN-YEQX4Ka8.  It was built over the remains of a Roman fortress and became a Royal residence in the 13th century. Climb to the top of the tower to enjoy the magnificent Vino con Vista views of the historic city. The throne room has a beautiful mudejar ceiling www.alcazardesegovia.com.

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Segovia SpainSegovia Spain

Segovia Spain's Alcazar

Segovia Spain

The 16th century Renaissance-Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria frames Plaza Mayor and marks the border of th Old Jewish Quarter. It was consecrated in 1768. There are 18 chapels with noteworthy art by Spanish artists like Pedro Berruguete and Sanchez Coello. It has a beautiful altarpiece designed by Sabatini.  Segovia is located in the Castilla and Leon region, a short drive from Madrid.

Segovia SpainSegovia Spain

In Segovia, enjoy some suckling or roasted pig with some of the local white wines from Nieva or the red wines from Valtiendas. The town is also famous for marzipan made by cloister nuns and bakeries.

Happy Easter from your Travel Buddies  @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites.
 

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

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Filed under Alcazar in Segovia Spain, ebooks, IPad, Roman Emperors, Rome History, Semana Santa in Segovia, Spanish Art and Architecture, St. Teresa of Avila, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, vino con vista, Wine, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage sites in Segovia Spain

Holy Week in Majestic Madrid Spain: Semana Santa

Plaza Mayor (square) of Madrid (Spain). At the...

Image via Wikipedia

Fachada de la basílica del monasterio de El Es...

Fachada de la basílica del monasterio de El Escorial, en Madrid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Courtyard of the Kings and the Basili...

English: Courtyard of the Kings and the Basilica of the Monastery of El Escorial, San Lorenzo of El Escorial, Spain Français : La Cour des Rois et la Basilique du Monastère de l’Escurial, San Lorenzo of El Escorial, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Right side of East facade of the Mona...

English: Right side of East facade of the Monastery of El Escorial, , San Lorenzo of El Escorial, Spain Français : Côté droit de la face Est du Monastère de l’Escurial, San Lorenzo of El Escorial, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Holy Week  is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. It includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Holy Week in Majestic Madrid is a spectacle to behold.In 1561, King Philip II (1556-1598) decided to move his court from Toledo to Madrid. In 1616, King Felipe III ordered the construction of Plaza Mayor to be built upon the former Plaza del Arrabal.

It was designed by Juan Gomez de Mora who used the Madrilenian Baroque Style. The Square contains 136 houses with 437 balconies from which 50,000 people can witness events in the Plaza. In the center, the equestrian statue of Phillip III watches over his masterpiece.

Español: Escultura en El Escorial.

Español: Escultura en El Escorial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain.

Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are interesting UNESCO World Heritage sites near Madrid that you should visit. The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a historical residence of the king of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 28 miles northwest of Madrid. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum and a school. The Escorial has a royal monastery  and La Granjilla de La Fresneda, a royal hunting lodge. Originally it was a property of the Hieronymite monks, it is now a monastery of the Order of Saint Augustine.  It is one of several Spanish royal sites and was the residence of the royal family. The palace was designed by King Philip II and architect Juan Bautista de Toledo to serve as a monument to Spain’s central role in the Christian world.

The Palacio Real de Aranjuez

The Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detail of the interior of the Royal Palace of ...

Detail of the interior of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez (Community of Madrid, Spain). Español: Detalle del interior del Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Comunidad de Madrid, España). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another interesting UNESCO site is the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. The landscape around was developed by the Spanish royal family over a course of three centuries and contains innovative horticultural and design ideas. The area was the exclusive property of the royal family until the 19th century when the modern civilian city developed.

Detail of the interior of the Royal Palace of ...

Detail of the interior of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez (Community of Madrid, Spain). Español: Detalle del interior del Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Comunidad de Madrid, España). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

El Escorial.

El Escorial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a panoramic view of Plaza Mayor http://www.panorammer.com/panoramas/plazamayormadrid_f.php

Madrid has celebrated the events described in the New Testament including the death, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ since the 15th century. During Semana Santa ( Holy Week) there are many candle-lit processions in Madrid.

On Holy Thursday (Jueves Santo) at the Colegiata de San Isidro, the Virgin Maria Sanrisima de la Esperanza and Jesus del Gran Poder are brought out of the church through the main entrance by the costaleros http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWi3WxSAhPY.

On Good Friday (Viernes Santo) the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno leaves the Basilica del Cristo de Medinaceli in Plaza de Jesus and parades down the Puerta del Sol and Plaza Cibeles. The Procesion del Silencio starts at the Church of Santisimo.

On Domingo Santo (Easter Saturday), the Holy Burial takes place in Plaza Mayor. The culminating activity takes place in the afternoon on Easter Sunday in Plaza Mayor. The Tamborada del Domingo de Resureccion assembles drums to replicate the tremors that occurred when Christ died on the Cross http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOpQoD9dp4Q&feature=related.

Monasterio de El Escorial Español: Monasterio ...

Monasterio de El Escorial Español: Monasterio de El Escorial. Fachada sur. Deutsch: Südfassade der Schloss- und Klosteranlage Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy  Easter from your Travel Buddies @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites.
 

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Elaborate Holy Week and Easter Rituals in Toledo Spain: Semana Santa

English: A five-segment panorama of the Tagus ...

English: A five-segment panorama of the Tagus River in Toledo, Spain. Taken with a Canon 5D and 24-105mm f/4L lens. Français : Vue panoramique du Tage à Tolède, en Espagne. Panorama obtenu en assemblant 5 clichés faits avec un appareil Canon 5D et un objectif 24-105mm f/4L. Română: O panoramă alcătuită din cinci fotografii a râului Tagus din Toledo, Spania. Realizată cu un Canon 5D şi obiectiv de 24-105mm f/4L. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bridge of Alcántara.

Image via Wikipedia

English: Toledo, Puerta de Bisagro

English: Toledo, Puerta de Bisagro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: House of El Greco (partial view) : To...

English: House of El Greco (partial view) : Toledo, Spain. Español: Casa de El Greco (vista parcial) : Toledo, España (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Visit the historical city of Toledo Spain during Holy Week or on Easter. The charming UNESCO World Heritage City of Toledo Spain is the Toledo Spainrepository of more than 2000 years of history and architectural styles.  Toletum was the capital of Roman Carpetania.  It is an outstanding Vino con Vista destination, especially during Easter ceremonies. Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986. Corpus Christi Week is the most important holiday in Toledo when the ground is covered with rosemary and thyme.

World Heritage Site Toledo Spain

The Mudejar architectural style of the Middle Ages, arose from the multi-cultural  interplay of forces among the three major religious groups who lived there: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Toledo has a broad spectrum of structures from the medieval period including walls and fortified buildings like San Servando Castle.  The former capital of Spain is about 42 miles southwest of Spain‘s newer capital city of Madrid. Felipe II transferred the Royal Court to Madrid in 1561.

The Assumption of the Virgin

The Assumption of the Virgin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Panorama of the Toledo skyline in Spain, at su...

Panorama of the Toledo skyline in Spain, at sunset. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The River Tagus loops around the historical gems of this fortified city and is crowned with gorgeous historic bridges. The Alcazar fortress occupies the highest point of the city and was used as a military base and fortress by the Romans, Arabs and Christians. Ultimately, it became the residence of King Alfonso VI and then Carlos V converted the building into a Royal Palace. Each facade of the fortress is different and reflects different architectural eras: The east facde is Medieval and the facade on the west is Renaissance. It houses the Army and Military Museum.

Toledo Spain

Coat of Arms

Toledo Spain

Toledo Spain

The Primal See in Toledo was using an old Mosque which was reconsecrated as the main church in 1086 by Alfonso VI. The Primada Cathedral was built between 1226 and 1493 on the site of a VIsigoth church. The Gothic Cathedral‘s first stone was ceremoniously laid in 1221. The Cathedral is brimming with art treasures and has a valuable collection of El Greco and Goya masterpieces.  Visit the beautiful chapels and the Renaissance Choir. The cathedral that was originally started in the sixth century by San Eugenio, the first Bishop of Toledo, was converted into a mosque that became the main church before the Gothic Cathedral was built.

Toledo Spain

Toledo Spain

El Greco is one of Spain’s most revered Renaissance artists. In March of 1586 he obtained the commission for The Burial of the Count of Orgaz. In 2014, the 400th anniversary of his death was celebrated with special exhibitions in Toledo.

Detail of the painting.

Detail of the painting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

El Greco - The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (d...

El Greco – The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (detail) – WGA10487 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

El Greco - The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (d...

El Greco – The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (detail) – WGA10490 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

El Greco self-portrait, 1604

El Greco self-portrait, 1604 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His 1586 masterpiece “El Entierro del Conde de Orgaz” (translates into the Burial of the Count of Orgaz) is located at the foot of the church of Santo Tome. The painting portrays Saint Augustine and Saint Steven in elegant golden vestments. They are preparing to  carry his life-less body to his tomb. The young boy holding the torch on the bottom left of the painting is El Greco’s son. The bearded gentleman directly above Saint Stephen is a self-portrait of El Greco.

The Holy Trinity, 1577–1579, by El Greco

The Holy Trinity, 1577–1579, by El Greco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorite El Greco paintings in Toledo is “The Tears of Saint Peter”  which is displayed in the Studio of his Museum in Toledo. Tour the charming House and Museum of El Greco in Toledo Spain during Semana Santa. El Greco never lived in this place, but the house has a collection of his paintings. Another one of my favorite El Greco paintings is “Jesus Carrying the Cross.”

El Greco, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz

El Greco, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Toledo Spain

Toledo Spain

Toledo, the  former capital of Spain, sits majestically on a hilltop in the Castilla- La Mancha region immortalized by Miguel de Cervante’s famous “Don Quixote.”

Toledo Spain

Puerta del Sol Toledo Spain Toledo is 70 km so...

Puerta del Sol Toledo Spain Toledo is 70 km south of Madrid. It is the capital of the province of Toledo and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage as one of the former capitals of the Spanish , España Empire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Toledo was the temporary seat of Emperor Charles V. He endowed the city with the status of an imperial, crowned city. The fervor and devotion of Holy Week traditions of Semana Santa de Toledo are reminicient of 16th century Spanish traditions. Processions with residents dressed in hooded costumes signify the death and mourning of Jesus Christ. These solemn processions throughout the town during Holy Week, tell the story of the Passion and resurrection of Christ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4FCEnOPlng.

Detalle de Gonzalo Ruiz de Toledo en la pintur...

Detalle de Gonzalo Ruiz de Toledo en la pintura El entierro del conde de Orgaz de El Greco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cambrón Gate, Toledo, Spain Français : Porte d...

Cambrón Gate, Toledo, Spain Français : Porte de Cambrón, Tolède, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Semana Santa is a very special time in Spain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yOHWjOBYJY&feature=related.

Happy Easter from your Travel Buddies @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

Toledo -Guadamur -castillo_3

Toledo -Guadamur -castillo_3 (Photo credit: ferlomu)

 

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Buon Natale and Christmas: The Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception in Rome

Colonna dell'Immacolata
Image by asw909 via Flickr

December 8th is the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception. In Rome, there is an annual papal procession near the Spanish Steps. The Pope pays hommage to the Virgin Mary with a procession led by the Order of the Knights of Malta to Piazza Mignanelli at the Colonna dell’Immacolata in the southeastern section of the square. The 40 foot ancient column was found in 1777 under a monestery and was erected in this location in 1856 and a statue of Mary was placed at the summit of the column.

Marian Column in front of Santa Maria Maggiori in Rome

Listen to Luciano Pavarotti singing  “Ave Maria” by Schubert  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPvAQxZsgpQ.

At the annual ceremony, the reigning Pope honors Mary at this location. Listen to what Pope Benedict XVI said: http://bit.ly/fdDphS.  After the prayers, the choir sings and one lucky Roman fireman gets to place a wreath of  flowers at the top of the column on the Statue of Mary usually on her extended arm. This is a great opportunity to see the Pope in Rome.  The Holy Father blesses a basket of roses that are placed at the base of the column. The Mayor of Romeand other civic department heads follow suit.

The Immaculate Conception

Image via Wikipedia

There is an evening concert at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli on Capitoline Hill. December 8th is a Holy Day of Obligation and a national holiday in Italy. There are celebrations throughout Italy and churches hold special masses to honor Mary. Look for bagpipes throughout Italy today as the Zampognari play “Quando Nascette Ninno” (When the Child was Born).

Visit the renovated frescoes at the “Immaculate Conception Room” at the Vatican Museums painted by Francesco Podesti. The frescoes are an artistic representation of the Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception declared by Pope Pius IX.

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St. Matthias “Friends of the Grape” and “Friends of Craft Beer” Festival 2014 in Chicago

Fruits and vegetables, rich in vitamins, potas...

Image via Wikipedia

This is harvest season for grapes in many parts of the country. The harvesting of wine grapes is one of the most crucial steps in the process of winemaking. The time of harvest is determined primarily by the ripeness of the grape as measured by sugar, acid and tannin levels.

A green wine grape.

A green wine grape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. Matthias parish in Chicago celebrates every year on the first Sunday in October.

One Big Weekend—Two Loved Events!

Friends of the Grape & Friends of Craft Beer

Save the Date October 3rd & 5th, 2014

This October Friends of the Grape will celebrate its 15th year!

Last year they added a new tradition called the Friends of Craft beer tasting on Friday evening.  Stay tuned for updates on participating restaurants and breweries, information on our Live and Silent auction items, and how you can get involved!

Tickets are now available shortly in the rectory and on the website.

For more information, visit friendsofthegrape.org

 

 

WHERE: Saint Matthias in Lincoln Square in Chicago

Here’s a Friend of the Grape Video http://youtu.be/kmkLpj7eJCk

Friends of the Grape 2011

Friends of the Grape 2011

The students at St. Matthias School were busy stomping grapes this week in preparation for the 13th annual Friends of the Grape Wine Festival and Auction.

Stomping grapes to crush them as part of the w...

Stomping grapes to crush them as part of the winemaking process. Photo taken at Airfield Estates in Prosser, Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The winner of the Stomp was crowned the “Juice King (or Queen)”’ and received a week of grape juice.

This is one of my favorite events in the Lincoln Square area. Here’s a Lincoln Square Foodie video http://youtu.be/E4h6X-BHrLM showing all the interesting sights.

Friends of the Grape Stomp

Friends of the Grape Stomp

Grape Stomp at St. Matthias

Saint Matthias became the 13th apostle. Judas had been one of the original Twelve apostles. When he betrayed Jesus and committed suicide he was replaced with Matthias. He proudly welcomes visitors to his is a beautiful church at Claremont and Ainslie in Chicago.

Saint Matthias

Saint Matthias

The volunteers offer plenty of  food and wine at “Friends of the Grape”.

Bring your checkbook and credit card because there will be over 150 items available at the silent auction. There will be plenty of gift baskets for you to purchase.

Friends of the Grape Silent Auction

Friends of the Grape Silent Auction

The live auction will start at 3pm. Last year, you could bid on a culinary experience for 2 at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris or a six-course dinner for 12 prepared by Chef Marin Wallner.

Live Auction at Saint Matthias Friends of the Grape 2011

Live Auction

The sponsors will be pouring over 40 different wines. There’s plenty of wine for you to purchase.

The vast array of Lincoln Square restaurants will be offering tasty appetizers and wine pairings in the beer garden with live entertainment on Sunday, October 6th between 12:30 and 6:30 at 4910 N Claremont.

This will be the best $40 that you have spent all year. Proceeds benefit the School. Father John is always ready to welcome new parishoners to St. Matthias.

For more information go to www.stmatthiaschicago.org/…

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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The “New” Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in Chicago’s Loop

Facade of St. Peter‘s in Chicago

When you travel to Chicago, take time to tour the beautiful churches and Cathedral. I recently visited the “New” St. Peter’s Catholic Church located at 110 W. Madison.

Saint Peter‘s Church Chicago

Doors of St. Peter’s in Chicago

Old Saint Peter‘s was originally on the west side of Chicago at Clark and Polk Streets.

Cornerstone from Old Saint Peter’s Church

This beautiful church is located in Chicago’s Loop Neighborhood. The Chicago loop area includes many early classic skyscrapers of the Chicago School of Architecture including Burnham and Root‘s Monadnock and the Reliance Buildings.

The facade of the church is dominated by a large crucifix. The crucifix was designed by Latvian sculptor Arvid Strauss and executed by Chicago artist J. Watts. It is  called “Christ of the Loop.”

St. Peter’s in Chicago

A vintage photo of Old St. Peter’s in Chicago

The Crucifix highlights the Gothic arch in the center of the main marble facade. The 18-foot, 26-ton Georgia pink marble sculpture was commissioned in 1950 by the Franciscan Fathers, Brothers and Benefactors of the religious order of the church.The current building was erected in 1953.  The building is situated amongst the city’s landmark skyscrapers. St. Peter’s is staffed by Franciscan Friars of the Province of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who live above the church.

The cross is positioned in front of a stained glass window dedicated to Mary, Queen of Peace.  The window in front of the crucifix is the only window in the church. The walls inside the church are covered with 10 recessed marble panels depicting the life of St. Francis. There is a beautiful statue of St. Francis of Assisi with his beloved animals in the church.

Saint Francis

 

Michelangelo’s signature on Mary

There is also a replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta in the church. Buonarroti’s original sculpture is  housed in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City.

Replica of the Pieta in St. Peter’s in Chicago

There is an interesting display case in the basement of the church. I was captivated by the intricate hand-carved mother-of-pearl (also known as nacre) rendering of the Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper“. This icon is from the Holy Land.

The “Last Supper” resides on the lower right side of the display case. It is so delicate and beautiful.

A vintage photo of Old St. Peter’s in Chicago

Nacre (mother of pearl) is a composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer; it is also what makes up pearls. It is very strong, resilient, and iridescent.

This material is used extensively for this type of creative art in the Holy Land. The beautiful “Last Supper” icon was displayed at the World’s Fair in 1933.

The Church is run by the dedicated Franciscan Friars.  Observe the church panels on the walls, they tell the story of St. Francis.

The Story of Saint Francis

 Here are some of the stories associated with the panels:

The tiny chapel of St. Mary of the Angels below Assisi was a gift from the Benedictines to Francis. He rebuilt the chapel in 1210, claimed it as the womb of the Order, received Clare there and chose to die on the floor in 1226.”

English: St. Francis and the Leper. A stained ...

Image via Wikipedia

Saint Francis of Assisi and scenes of his life...

Image via Wikipedia

 “It was from this holy place that Francis, as did Jesus, sent the friars out by two on mission to announce to all peace and repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

Greyfriars Tower is the last significant remai...

Image via Wikipedia

St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1182-1220)

Image via Wikipedia

 In 1223, Francis gathered the people who lived in the village of Greccio Italy into a mountain cave at midnight on Christmas Eve. They acted out the story of the birth of Christ, with Francis singing from the Gospel of Luke. On this day, Francis of Assisi  began the tradition of the Christmas creche.

 

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com


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Ascend La Scala Sancta in Rome: The Holy Stairs that Jesus Climbed

Scala Sancta e Sancta Sanctorum

Image by Stephen and Therese Jennings via Flickr

Italiano: Immagine detta acheropita (non dipin...

Italiano: Immagine detta acheropita (non dipinta da mano d’uomo) del Sancta Sanctorum della Scala Santa. Roma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italiano: Affreschi del Sancta Sanctorum della...

In close proximity to the archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, visit the Holy Stairs or “La Scala Sancta.” For centuries, the Scala Sancta has attracted Christian pilgrims. These pilgrims come to honor the Passion of Jesus.

Antonio Ciseri's depiction of Pontius Pilate p...

Antonio Ciseri’s depiction of Pontius Pilate presenting a scourged Christ to the people Ecce homo! (Behold the man!). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The building was designed by Domenico Fontana in 1589.  It houses two surviving parts of the old Lateran Palace.  One is the pope’s private chapel (Sancta Sanctorum) and the other is the Holy Staircase (Scala Santa).  The 28 steps, said to be those that Christ ascended in Pontius Pilate‘s house during his trial, were brought from Jerusalem by St. Helena in approximately 325 A.D.

English: Basilica and Palace of St John Latera...

English: Basilica and Palace of St John Lateran, Rome, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christ before Pontius Pilate, Mihály Munkácsy,...

Christ before Pontius Pilate, Mihály Munkácsy, 1881 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fresco at the Scala Sancta in Rome.

Fresco at the Scala Sancta in Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the Lateran Palace was destroyed in the late 16th century, Pope Sixtus V had the steps moved to their present site.  No foot may touch the holy steps, so they are covered by wooden boards.  They may be climbed but only on your knees, a penance that is performed especially on Good Friday.

Scala Sancta: the sacred stairs, exterior

Scala Sancta: the sacred stairs, exterior (Photo credit: SpirosK)

In Jerusalem, you can visit the Chapel of the Ascension near the top of the Mount of Olives. It is a Christian and Muslim holy site that is believed to depict the place where Jesus ascended into heaven 40 days after his resurrection. There is a small church/mosque with a stone imprinted with his footprint. Prior to the time of Emperor Constantine, Christians honored his Ascension by meeting in a cave out of concern for their safety. Constantine’s mother Helena was instrumental in marking this spot with a memorial chapel at the end of the 4th century.

Other highlights of this building include the sculpture, Ecce Homo, by Giosue Meli in 1874.  The Scala Santa lead to the Chapel of St. Lawrence, or Sancta Sanctorum, built by Pope Nicholas III in 1278.  This chapel contains many important relics, the most precious being an image of Jesus, the Acheiropoeton, or “picture painted without hands.” It is believed to be the work of St. Luke, assisted by an angel.  The image was taken on procession in medieval times to ward off plagues.

English: Lateran obelisk. Base of obelisk with...

English: Lateran obelisk. Base of obelisk with citatation of Emperor Constantine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are three surviving monuments from the original Lateran Palace. Two of these monuments are located in one building built by Domenico Fontana in 1589. These monuments are the Scala Santa and the Chapel of the Sancta Sanctorum. The third monument is the Triclinium of Leo III, which can be seen on the structure at the top of the stairs facing the archbasillica of St. John Lateran. Under the roofline, there is an incredible mosaic in the apse. In the center mosaic, Christ is surrounded by his Apostles.

Lateran Triclinium of Leo III, near the Scala Sancta; Jesus is surrounded by his Apostles under the roofline in the aspe.

The Scala Sancta are marble stairs that were brought  from Jerusalem to Rome in 326 AD by Saint Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine.  According to legend, these are the stairs that Jesus climbed on his way to his trial with Pontius Pilate after he was betrayed by Judas.

Lateran Scala Sancta Ecce Homo statue

This was the staircase that lead  to the praetorium of  the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem. Jesus was crucified in Calvary during the prefecture of Pontius Pilate, who governed Judaea from 26 to 36 AD.  In the Middle Ages these stairs were known as Scala Pilati, the Stairs of Pilate.

Lateran Scala Sancta Judas statue

Lateran Scala Sancta Jesus Statue

The Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs) consists of twenty-eight wooden steps that encase white marble steps. They are sanctified by the footsteps of Jesus Christ during his Passion. The marble stairs are visible through openings in the wooden risers. The Sanctury can be visited during these hours:

Scala Sancta sign

The stairs are located  in a building which incorporates part of the old Lateran Palace, located opposite the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. They are located next to a church which was built on ground brought from Mount Calvary. When Sixtus V in 1589 destroyed the old papal palace and built the new one, he ordered the Holy Stairs be transferred to their present site, before the Sancta Sanctorum (Holy of Holies).

The stairs lead to the Sancta Sanctorum  which is the personal chapel of the early Popes in the Lateran palace, the chapel deicated to St. Lawrence. This is the only remaining part of the former Lateran Palace. The name is derived from the many precious relics preserved there. The Sancta Sanctorum also contains the celebrated image of Christ which on certain special occasions was carried through Rome in procession. These holy treasures have not been seen by anyone since Leo X (1513-21).

Lateran Oratorium near Scala Sancta

Lateran Scala Sancta altar

The Scala Sancta are covered with a layer of protective walnut wood boards. These Holy Stairs are flanked by additional sets of stairs for common use on both sides  because the Holy Stairs may only be ascended on one’s knees in devout prayer. This devotion is favored by religious pilgrims and faithful Christians who are seeking an indulgence, especially on Fridays and during in Lent. In 1908, Pius X granted a plenary indulgence to be gained as often as the stairs are devoutly ascended after confession and communion. Imitations of the Scala Sancta have been erected in various places, such as in Lourdes and in some convents of nuns. Some indulgences are also associated with these stairs.

Lateran Scala Sancta stairs praying

In 1589, Pope Sixtus V relocated the steps to their present location in front of the ancient Palatine Chapel (Il Sancta Sanctorum).

Italiano: Interno del Sancta Sanctorum della S...

Italiano: Interno del Sancta Sanctorum della Scala Santa. Roma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lateran Il Sancta Sacntorum

The decoration of the Scala Sancta was one of the major refurbishment exercises of the papacy of Sixtus V, led by Cesare Nebbia and Giovanni Guerra. Many artists were enlisted to decorate the premises with statues and  frescoes including:  Giovanni Baglione, Giacomo Stella, Giovanni Battista Pozzo, Paris Nogari, Prospero Orsi, Ferraù Fenzoni, Paul Bril, Paulo Guidotti, Giovanni Battista Ricci, Cesaro Torelli, Antonio Vivarini, Andrea Lilio, Vicenzo Conti Baldassare Croce, Ventura Salimbeni and Antonio Scalvati.

Lateran Scala Sancta ceiling

Pray these prayers as you ascend the steps:

At the foot of the Holy Staircase, before beginning your ascent
on your knees, recite:

“My Jesus, by the merits of your passion, I pray that you inspire
in me feelings of faith, of hope, and of charity, and that you grant
me pardon for my sins, while I, having decided to change my
life, proceed to climb the Staircase, which I venerate as a memento
of your sacrifice and as a spur to trusting in your mercy in this
life and to getting myself ready for eternal salvation in the next.
Amen.”

1st Step:
My Jesus, by the anxiety that oppressed you in taking leave of
Holy Mary and of your beloved disciples, have pity upon me!
Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be
impressed in my heart!

2nd Step:
My Jesus, by the mortal anguish that made you sweat living
blood in the olive garden, have pity upon me! Holy Mother!
Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be
impressed in my heart!

3rd Step:
My Jesus, by the bitterness that Judas’s betrayal caused you,
have pity upon me!  Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the
wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

4th Step:
My Jesus, by the confusion felt in the ways of Jerusalem, exposed
as you were to the taunts of the vulgar crowd, have pity upon me!
Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be
impressed in my heart!

5th Step:
My Jesus, by the meekness you displayed before the tribunal,
have pity upon me!  Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the
wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

6th Step:
My Jesus, by the patience you exercised during the mocking and
the insults that preceded your sentencing, have pity upon me!  Holy
Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be
impressed in my heart!

7th Step:
My Jesus, by the fatigue you felt on climbing up and descending
this staircase a number of time, have pity on me!  Holy Mother!
Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed
in my heart!

8th Step:
My Jesus, by the silence you met the false witnesses with, when
they accused you before Pilate, have pity upon me!  Holy Mother!
Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in
my heart!

9th Step:
My Jesus, by the humility with which you let yourself be jeered
at and dressed as a madman in Herod’s court, have pity upon me!
Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be
impressed in my heart!

10th Step:
My Jesus, by the shame suffered on seeing yourself stripped of
your clothing and chained to a column, have pity upon me!  Holy
Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be
impressed in my heart!

11th Step:
My Jesus, by the torment of your pitiless flagellation, have pity
upon me!  Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds
of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

12th Step:
My Jesus, by the agony caused by the spines that pierced your
head, have pity upon me!  Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about
that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

13th Step:
My Jesus, by the humiliation suffered when you were dressed
in a mantle of purple, with your eyes blindfolded and saluted in a
parody of how a king is saluted, have pity upon me!  Holy Mother!
Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in
my heart!

14th Step:
My Jesus, by the pain you felt on being presented to the people
that cried out that you were to be sentenced to death, have
pity upon me!  Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds
of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

15th Step:
My Jesus, by the insult undergone in being put Bar Abbas, have
pity upon me!  Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds
of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

16th Step:
My Jesus, by the resignation with which you embraced the cross
and walked up to Calvary, have pity upon me! Holy Mother!  Ah!
Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

17th Step:
My Jesus, by the sadness you felt in meeting your afflicted
mother Mary, have pity upon me!  Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it
about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

18th Step:
My Jesus, by the efforts you tolerated in your trip to Calvary,
burdened by the weight of the cross, have pity upon me!  Holy
Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be
impressed in my heart!

19th Step:
My Jesus, by the disgust that the bitter drink of wine mixed
with gall procured you, have pity upon me!  Holy Mother!
Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be
impressed in my heart!

20th Step:
My Jesus, by your suffering on feeling your clothes torn
from your bleeding and sore-strewn flesh, have pity upon me!
Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be
impressed in my heart!

21st Step:
My Jesus, by the strength with which you lay down upon
the cross and let your hands and feet be pierced with nails,
have pity upon me!  Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that
the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

22nd Step:
My Jesus, by the infinite love that induced you to pardon
those who had crucified you and to pray for them, have
pity upon me!  Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the
wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

23rd Step:
My Jesus, by the generosity with which you promised
paradise to the repentant assassin and, through John, gave
to the faithful Holy Mary as a mother have pity upon me!
Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be
impressed in my heart!

24th Step:
My Jesus, by the cruel thirst that sharpened the torments
of your frightful agony, have pity upon me! Holy Mother!
Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be
impressed in my heart!

25th Step:
My Jesus, by the horror you felt on feeling forsaken by
the Father and cursed by men, have pity upon me!  Holy
Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be
impressed in my heart!

26th Step:
My Jesus, by the love with which you sacrificed your life
to reconcile me with God and make me worthy of eternal
salvation, have pity on me!  Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it
about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

27th Step:
My Jesus, by the wound in your side, from which the
church, mother and teacher of its faithful, was born, have
pity upon me!  Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the
wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

28th Step:
My Jesus, by the tears Holy Mary shed, she having
hugged you in her arms and arranged you in the tomb, have
pity upon me!  Holy Mother!  Ah!  Bring it about that the
wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

You have finally reached the top top of the Holy Staircase.
Let us pray:

“Oh God, in whose passion a sword of grief, according to
Eimon’s prophecy, pierced the sweet soul of the glorious
virgin and mother.  Mary grant that, in celebrating with
veneration your grief, we may earn the fruits of your passion.
You, who live and reign forever and ever.  Amen!”

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides. To learn more about Rome visit www.vino-con-vista.com

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