St Peter’s Basilica Information | Have you been to St. Peters Basilica?
St Peter’s Basilica Information | Have you been to St. Peters Basilica? The place of Peter’s martyrdom and Tomb in the Vatican City Rome.
Have you been to St. Peters Basilica? Have you seen the Pope? These represent the two poles for every pilgrim to Rome, attracted as by a magnet towards the square and St. Peter’s Basilica. Some ask the question: what is more important? What is the essential stage of the pilgrimage? As for me, I refuse to choose and, like Saint Teresa, I answer without hesitation: I select everything! It is neither a joke nor a paradox but the expression of historical reality. If all of Rome seems to proceed towards St. Peter, it is because at the origin there is a tomb, the tomb of the fisherman of Galilee, Simon Peter, the first of the apostles, to whom Christ said one day: “You are Peter and on this stone, I will build my Church.»
St Peter’s Basilica Information | The place of Peter’s martyrdom
EXACTLY BECAUSE PETER came to Rome and was buried there after his martyrdom, the pilgrims irresistibly came to St. Peter, the place of his tomb, and the Pope, his successor, settled nearby. The two facts have the exact origin. The location of St. Peter’s Basilica was not arbitrarily chosen. The building rises above the tomb, and precisely the focal point of the basilica, what is called the “altar of confession”, was built over the tomb. Initially, the Vatican Hill emerges from history as a hill of Vaticini – Vaticinia – which gave it its name. The Etruscan fortune-tellers did not reveal their secrets to us. The bloody rites of the mysteries of Cybele were practiced there. At the time of the Empire, in the Circus of the Vatican, after the chariot races, hunted wild beasts. Started by Caligula, the Circus was finished by Nero, of sad memory. According to what Tacitus specifies (Annals XV, 44), the cruel emperor made human victims immolate there by the glow of the torches.
St Peter’s Basilica Information | The Death of St. Peter
AN IMMEMORABLE TRADITION states that Peter, having come to Rome to found the Church in the heart of the Empire, died in this way. What can we say for sure, in the light of history and archeology? A first observation is essential and is fundamental. No voice has ever been raised in antiquity against this belief in the martyrdom of Peter in Rome. This argument has great strength. As for the texts produced in favor of tradition are the epistle of Saint Clement of Rome to the Corinthians and that of Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the Romans.
St Peter’s Basilica Information | Clement – The bishop of Rome writes to the Corinthians towards the end of the first century to give himself the discords that divided the Christian community of that city. In his letter, he recalls the countless ranks of the faithful killed in Rome during Nero’s persecution and, just before that, he speaks of the apostles Peter and Paul: “Let us fix our gaze on our illustrious apostles: Peter who, the victim of unjust jealousy, he suffered not one or two, but countless trials and that, after bearing his testimony, he went to the place of glory that was his due.
Also as a result of jealousy and discord, Paul showed the price of patience and, having given his testimony before those who govern, he left the world and went to the holy place”. Clement perhaps knew the two apostles personally. From the allusions contained in his letter of him, it can be legitimately deduced that he is speaking of Rome, the city of which he is the bishop and writes.
Ignatius – Bishop of Antioch of Syria, Ignatius wrote his letter to the Romans from Smyrna, under the reign of Trajan, perhaps in 107, when he was sent to Rome to die there torn by the beasts of the Circus: I will not give you orders – he writes – like Peter and Paul; they were apostles, and I am but a condemned man; they were free, and up to this moment I am a slave; but if I suffer, I will become a freedman of Jesus Christ, in which I will rise free ». “One cannot fail to be struck by the joint reference to the two apostles, to whom Ignatius will soon bear witness, precisely in Rome, with his martyrdom”.
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