Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Honoring Martyrs, through the streets of Vatican City




July 9, 2013 (Romereports.com) The Vatican held a special celebration for the early martyrs of the Church. The so called 'protomartyrs', were those who died during the first centuries AD, a time when practicing Christianity was forbidden by Roman authorities.

Some of the best known saints in the Catholic tradition, such as Saint Peter, died a martyr's death in Rome, in places that are still famous today.

REGINALDO LUCIOLI
Vatican City State Marching Band
“The Roman Protomartyrs are the very first martyrs of the Catholic Church. Right next to us here there once stood Nero's so-called 'garden', where Saint Peter was crucified upside down at his own request. But also other martyrs are celebrated, such as those who were eaten alive by the lions in the Coliseum and other places.”

The Feast of the Roman Protomartyrs began with a special Mass celebrated by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, at the end of June.  The office was also attended by the Choir of the Diocese of Rome. Also present were representatives of many orders and confraternities. But the peak of the celebrations was a procession that went right through the gardens and alleyways of  Vatican City, accompanied by the traditional Vatican marching band.

REGINALDO LUCIOLI
Vatican City State Marching Band
“One thing that is really moving is that every year the band following the procession passes in front of the Pope's residence. This year that will be at Casa Santa Marta. In front of it, to signal its presence, the band will intone the traditional 'three rings', which the Pontifical band always plays in front of the Pope.”

The procession ran along the perimeter of Saint Peter's Basilica. It then reached the Vatican gardens and stopped at the Teutonic Church just behind the Pope's current residence.

No comments: