Saints in St Peter's

Whenever I am in Rome, I spend hours and hours in St Peter's. I never tire of its magnificence, triumphaism and sheer Romanità. It feels as though it is made for the Classical Roman rite, either celebrated privately at the numerous altars, or in full Pontifical splendour. Some of the decoration is modelled consciously on the Basilica of Maxentius as you can easily see if you visit the Forum and compare the mouldings. Truly the Glory of Rome beyond the dreams of the Caesars.

Currently, there is an exhibition in the Braccio Carlo Magno devoted to the Basilica itself. The title was Petros Eni (probably = "Peter is in here") which is the inscription on a small piece of red stone found at the tomb of St Peter during the investigations commissioned by Pope Pius XII. The finale of the exhibition was a display case which contained the actual piece of stone. Along the way, the different rooms told the story of the various architects modifying the plans of their predecessors and some of the practical details involved in creating such a tremendous and exuberant homage to the Glory of God and the Catholic Church.

Wandering round the Basilica, I love the massive statues that are placed in the pilasters. Below is St Ignatius crushing heresy:

Next tier up and a bit further along is St Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, stomping the devil:

Probably my favourite is St Bruno, the founder of the Carthusians, shown recoiling as a cherub offers him a Bishop's mitre and crozier:

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