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EASTER CELEBRATIONS Rome - church in Italy

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Pilgrims turn to Rome...
Even though Rome is one of Europe's most populous and busiest urban centers, its spiritual attractions, the churches that tower majestically on nearly every block, easy access to the Vatican, the heavy concentration of monasteries make it a natural destination for Catholics, or anyone else in search of a spiritual retreat. Inspired by the array of religious enclaves scattered across the city, including the spectacular Vatican museums and St. Peter's Basilica, pilgrimages to holy sites in Rome are a particularly poignant option.
Purists like to focus their Rome pilgrimage around stops at the seven Roman churches designated by the Vatican as key pilgrimage sites: St. Peter's Basilica, St. John Lateran (including the Scala Santa, stairs that came from the house of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem and are said to have been climbed by Christ before his trial), St. Mary Major, St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. Philip Neri, the Church of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, and St. Lawrence. All are accessible by bus, tra m or subway.

Rome and St. Peter's
While Easter mass will be held in every church in Italy, the biggest and most popular mass is held by the Pope at St. Peter's Basilica. On Good Friday, the Pope celebrates the Via Crucis in Rome near the Colosseum. A huge cross with burning torches lights the sky as the stations of the cross are described in several languages. At the end, the Pope gives a blessing.


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