This Tour of the Christian Relics in Rome provides an amazing experience to all those who wish to experience Rome in a unique way. You will discover the city, along with its Christian history, by exploring the relics related to the life and death of Jesus.
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For many centuries saints and martyrs brought to Rome relics from the Holy Land. Marvelous churches were built to honor the relics of the saints or those related to Jesus Christ, though he never came to Rome. In our itinerary we suggest a three-hour tour with a private guide visiting these holy sites.
You will start your Tour of the Christian Relics in Rome entering the beautiful St Prassede Basilica. The basilica is renowned for its mosaics dating to the 9th century AD. However, in Chapel of San Zeno, included in St Prassede Basilica, there is a part of the Pillar, where Jesus was tortured and flogged before the crucifixion in Jerusalem. After the visit of the Basilica of Saint Prassede you will continue with the Basilica of St Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore in Italian.) The basilica is part of the Vatican State, thus enjoying the privilege of extra-territoriality. St Mary Major was the first one dedicated to the Mother of Jesus in the 5th century AD.
St Mary Major hosts beautiful mosaics representing the New and Old Testament and, under the high altar, the relics of the wooden crypt of Bethlehem from the Nativity of Jesus Christ. Here you will also find the burial place of Saint Jerome, the 4th-century Doctor of the Church who translated the Bible into Latin.
A taxi will then take you from the Esquiline hill to the Holy Steps. The so-called “Scala Santa” was the actual staircase in Pilate’s house, which Jesus descended after being sentenced to death. Today pilgrims, as a form of devotion, climb the 28 steps on their knees until they reach the top where they gain access to the so called “Sancta Sanctorum”, the Holy of the Holiest, which was the chapel of the earliest Popes.
The last part of this Rome Tour of the Christian Relics will include a visit to the Basilica of Holy Cross in Jerusalem. Built in the 4th century by commission of St. Helen, its purpose was to house the relics of the Passion of Jesus. St. Helen brought to the the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem not only the relics but also part of the soil of Jerusalem. In the Chapel of the Relics you will admire two thorns from the Crown of Thorns, part of a nail and three small wooden pieces of the Cross of Jesus.
St. Prassede Basilica, Rome
Not included: taxi when required and entrance fees for Sancta Sanctorum to be paid on site.
DRESS CODE: in order to enter religious sites, such as Churches, every participant must make sure they cover their shoulders and knees.
We also suggest you wear comfortable shoes, as a moderate amount of walking is involved in this tour.