Mary Harris: Marvelling at St. Peter’s Basilica

ROME — As I walked into St. Peter’s Square, I joined hundreds of others marveling at the architecture around me. I went into a line simply because that is what everyone else was doing. I had little expectations, and it was not until I was several minutes in that I realized the attraction I was about to behold.

After 30 minutes of standing, St. Peter’s Basilica enraptured me. You walk in through a large doorway into a colorful room. Paintings covered the ceiling while statues were scattered across the floor—gold adorning several of these art pieces. The length of the Basilica prevents one from seeing all the artwork from one vantage point. 

I started my tour at the statue of The Pieta. This statue is one of the most famous Michelangelo pieces depicting Mother Mary carrying Jesus after being crucified. I felt a connection with this piece as I searched and studied the role of women in the Bible. Mary offers a unique position, and seeing this statue brought tears to my eyes. 

The other most memorable statue is of St. Peter holding the keys to the priesthood. It is completely bronze, differing from all the primarily stone sculptures and draws attention to the apostle that inspired such a masterpiece. 

To finish off the tour of the Basilica, we exited underneath the main floor where popes lay in tombs. Each of these had art adorning them. Once you exit the facade, stone statutes of apostles adorn the Basilica and is a perfect place for photos. 

This Basilica is remarkable because it shows me the importance of art in history. It also conveys the meaning that religion has on the region. The Basilica is adorned in decor and homage to Christ and Peter (and several other church leaders). The time and money spent and is still spent (to keep up) help convey importance. The physical representation allows the message to be delivered even to those not in the Roman Catholic faith. 

From an aimless stroll in Rome, I found myself staring into a sacred homage showing me the beauty and meaning Catholic people pay to Christ and his apostles. One can never be too bored in Rome—a city with rich culture and history. 

Categories: Opinion, Personal Blogs

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