Wednesday, July 8, 2015

ROME TO GENEVA: 30 minutes of rain in 11 days

On our opening moments of the ROME TO GENEVA CHURCH HISTORY TOUR we met by the attentive folks at the Convent Giusti, where we were treated with such kindness and hospitality, and then we stepped out the door to this--a Noah-like deluge, no joke!
The opening 30 minutes of the ROME TO GENEVA CHURCH HISTORY TOUR it poured down rain in defiance of the rainbow, with thunder and lightning cracking and roaring off the coliseum and other ancient monuments on all sides. Then 11 days of blue skies and sunshine--no joke. It was spectacular and amazing! Thank you, Heavenly Father!
After singing Te Deum and reading from II Timothy where Paul it is believed to have written the epistle, when we came up out of the Mamertine Prison where history tells us both Peter and Paul were held before their executions for loyalty to King Jesus, the rain and thunder and lightning had ended, and blue skies and sunshine persisted for the next 11 days.
The still more ancient Portico d'Ottavia, prototype of the AD 80 Coliseum, built with Jewish slave labor taken at the fall of Jerusalem, near the Jewish Ghetto where Paul may have lived in house arrest for two years before being accused of sedition against the Roman government and thrown in the hole of a prison Mamertine.
Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
Scala Santa, said to have been brought to Rome by Empress Helen, from Pilate's palace in Jerusalem. Here tens of thousands have prayed on their knees, and do to this day, including Martin Luther in his vain pilgrimage in 1510, which we followed throughout this vast and fascinating city
We behaved ourselves in Rome...
Santa Giovanni Laterna, founded by Constantine in 4th century, papal church until 1309 and the Avignon Papacy (we'll be there soon enough)
Santa Maria de Poppilo, site where Nero was buried, Augustinian Priory where Luther stayed for a month in 1510
St Peter's Basilica, Michelangelo and Brunelleschi teaming up to create the most amazing free-standing stone dome in the world--built on the backs of German peasants paying for indulgences hawked by Johann Tetzel in Wittenberg. Really got Luther fired up, 95 Theses in 1517 (Luther 500 Tour coming up in 2017)
Pantheon in Rome, the most complete ancient building in the world--absolutely splendid pagan temple
Whatever the official tour guides (not me) tell you, the Flavian Amphitheater, AD 80, the epicenter of blood sports in Rome, was used for the martyrdom of some of our forebears in the faith, 13-year-old Blandina, for example.


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