Exploring in Rome

by Alexandra Martinez

North Texas Catholic contributor

A view shows the catacomb of Priscilla in Rome. The catacomb was used for Christian burials from the late 2nd century through the 4th century. (CNS photo/Max Rossi)

We've been in Rome for the past few days now and it's been amazing! The first day we got here everyone just hung out with each other since we got to Rome at different times. 

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to visit a few different churches in Rome. We started out with Bishop Olson celebrating Mass for us at the Basilica of St. Mary Major.  It was a very nice way to start off our day. Then we toured the other churches: the Basilica of St. John Lateran, St. Paul Outside the Walls, and St. Peter in Chains.

Alexandra Martinez

St. John Lateran and St. Paul Outside the Walls were my favorite churches that we got to visit. St. John Lateran had huge sculptures of all of the disciples. Since most of the disciples were martyred, each disciple's statue had something that represented the way in which he was martyred. For example, St. Bartholomew was skinned alive, so his statue was sculpted so that he was holding the skin of his face. It was a little strange, but still very beautiful at the same time.  

Later we had some time to see the Colosseum and explore the Catacombs. There was a fresco of Sts. Peter and Paul praying in the Catacombs, and it is the oldest Christian art in Rome. In Rome the early Christians were persecuted because Christianity was illegal. Because of this they were not allowed to bury each other in the city limits of Rome or gather to worship. The Catacombs were a place where Christians could be buried and gather. It was amazing to get to see the sites where early Christians felt safe to get together!

I had an amazing day visiting Rome and an equally fun night. One of the priests on the trip, Father Joseph Keating, took me and some other youth and young adults from St. Patrick Cathedral to get gelato from one of the best places in Rome. We went after dinner, and although it was a long walk we had a fun time! The gelato was good and it was fun to explore Rome at night.

I've had an amazing time in Rome already, and I'm very excited to go to our next stop: Assisi!

Alexandra is a parishioner at St. Patrick Cathedral in Fort Worth. She is a member of St. Patrick's youth group and enjoys participating in youth events happening in or around the diocese, such as Steubenville Lone Star, Young Disciples, and the Lock-in for Life. 

We've been in Rome for the past few days now and it's been amazing! The first day we got here everyone just hung out with each other since we got to Rome at different times. 

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