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Basilica of St Peter

Basilica of St Peter

You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church (Mt 16;18) From the piazza that, with its 140 statues of saints, embrace the Christians who come to centre of Christianity, one enters the Basilica that is the sanctuary and mausoleum of Peter, Vicar of Christ, Prince of Apostles and first pope. It is an immense space crammed with masterpieces of art. There is the Pietà of Michelangelo; the ancient bronze statue of St Peter enthroned and lot of sepulchers of the popes. But the main attraction is the bronze baldachin by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. At the four corner of Altar of Confession, four monumental statues represent the witnesses of the Passion of Our Lord and contain the relics: a fragment of the cloth that the Veronica used to dry Christ’s brow; a fragment of the Holy Cross discovered by St Helena; the lance with which Longinus, the centurion, pierced Christ’s ribs; and the head of St Andrew who was also martyred on the cross. Immediately after the baldachin there is the glorification of the presumed throne used by St Peter to teach as Vicar of Christ.  One, who enters this Basilica, must also enter into the Vatican Grottoes and climb up the Dome, last project by Michelangelo that he never saw to rise over the skyline of Rome.

Where: Rome

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