"This is how grace works; it enters the soul, penetrates the heart, saturates the conscience, abides in the memory, affects the affections, gives understanding to the understanding, and imparts real life to the heart, which is the seat of life." Spurgeon

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Catacombs Adventure- Rome

Today we visited St. Calisto's Catacombs. With 25 Km of tunnels on 4 levels and over 500,000 burials, this site is the largest of the 8 catacombs that exist in Rome. The early persecuted church in the second through the fifth centuries hid, worshipped, mourned, and some were even martyred here. Calisto's Catacombs were named after the early second century "Pope St. Calisto", who was beheaded by Pagan persecutors in the Catacomb's while worshipping. Fifteen other Pope's of the earliest church were buried here, three of which were martyred.

The most notable Saint that was buried here was Cecelia, a 14 year old Christian who escaped twice from the pagans and was finally captured and beheaded in the Catacombs. She would not renounce her faith in Jesus Christ! The most amazing part of this story is (caution to reader) that Cecelia's beheading was not complete and for three days her Christian friends and family listened while she sang praises to God in her suffering in the below catacombs. Cecelia's body was miraculously found preserved in 1865 when the tombs were rediscovered by Johanni Baptiste. Her clothes, hair and skin remained as though she had just died. When they found her on one hand she was holding out three fingers symbolizing her belief in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. On the other hand she held one finger symbolizing her belief in One God, which was very offensive to the pagans at this time.

Originally decorated with beautiful gold, bronze and marble materials, fresco's, lanterns, Sculptures and murals, this was almost completely destroyed by invading barbarians from northern Europe in around 800AD. At this time the church closed the catacombs and with time their very existence was forgotten.

2 Corinthians 1:27-31
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

1 comment:

  1. My goodness, you certainly are learning about things I never even heard about in my 64 years of living. Did the children learn of all these horrible deaths too? One thing I find is that though people don't spend enough time worshiping our Saviour, they are more civilized than these stories. Mom