During our visit to Rome, we visited the four major Basilicas in the city. Other than Saint Peters, we went to St Paul Outside the Wall, St John Lateran and St Mary Major.
St Paul Outside the Wall is south of the center of Rome. The initial basilica was built soon after Constantine legalized Christianity in 313 (Edict of Milan). The location is considered the place where St Paul was beheaded and buried.
St Paul Outside the Wall
This is also the Church where there is a portrait of every Pope. I have heard "end-of-times" theorist say that the last days will come when the Church runs out of room and many were saying that there were only two places left. Well, I counted and there is room for 13 more portraits. These people not only promote bad theology; they also cannot add. I guess people will say anything to sell a book.
Pope Benedict XVI - St Paul Outside the Wall
There is also a chapel to St Stephen. The chapel has a wonderful statue and portraits of St Stephen on both sides. I took this opportunity the pray for each of my brothers in formation and ask St Stephen to pray for us.
St Stephens Chapel - St Paul Outside the Wall
St John Lateran was the official residence of the Pope for most of the last 1,700 years and was the first property that Constantine gave to the Church. Next door to the Church is where the Holy Stairs are located. The Holy Stairs are, reportedly, the steps up to Pontius Pilate's home in Jerusalem and the stairs that Christ walked up before the crucifixion. Today, pilgrims go up the stairs on their knees.
St John Lateran
St Mary Major was the first church built in honor of Mary, the mother of God. St Jerome, a Doctor of the Church and the first person to translate the Bible into Latin, is buried there.
St Mary Major
I will have more later.