A Visit to St. Peter’s Basilica

My visit to the Mediterranean began in Rome with a visit to Vatican City.  I could only spend a brief time in Rome at the beginning of my trip, but I was able to walk through
St. Peter’s and marvel at the enormity of this basilica.

Exterior of St. Peter's Basilica

Exterior of St. Peter’s Basilica

SOURCE:  Exterior of St. Peter’s Basilica (Vatican City); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 01 August 2011.

The Swiss Guard is responsible for the safety of the Pope and forms the Vatican City military unit.  Members of the Swiss Guards must be unmarried male citizens of Switzerland between the ages of 19 and 30.  The current uniform of the Swiss Guard was designed by Commandant Jules Repond in 1914.

The Swiss Guard

The Swiss Guard

SOURCE:  The Swiss Guard (Vatican City); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 01 August 2011.

The Altar of the Chair is the main altar in the basilica, with the chair of St. Peter suspended above the altar itself.  Four figures surround the chair.  Two Doctors of the Latin Church, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, are on the outside, wearing miters.  Two Doctors of the Greek Church, St. Athanasius and St. John Chrysostom, are on the inside, with bare heads.  An alabaster window with an image of the Holy Spirit appearing as a dove, casts a golden light on the altar.

The Altar of the Chair

The Altar of the Chair

SOURCE:  The Altar of the Chair (Vatican City); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 01 August 2011.

The Altar of the Lie is below a mosaic depicting the events of Acts 5:1-11 where Ananias and his wife Sapphira lied to Peter:

{5:1} But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a field,
{5:2} and he was deceitful about the price of the field, with his wife’s consent. And bringing only part of it, he placed it at the feet of the Apostles.
{5:3} But Peter said: “Ananias, why has Satan tempted your heart, so that you would lie to the Holy Spirit and be deceitful about the price of the land?
{5:4} Did it not belong to you while you retained it? And having sold it, was it not in your power? Why have you set this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God!”
{5:5} Then Ananias, upon hearing these words, fell down and expired. And a great fear overwhelmed all who heard of it.
{5:6} And the young men rose up and removed him; and carrying him out, they buried him.
{5:7} Then about the space of three hours passed, and his wife entered, not knowing what had happened.
{5:8} And Peter said to her, “Tell me, woman, if you sold the field for this amount?” And she said, “Yes, for that amount.”
{5:9} And Peter said to her: “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out!”
{5:10} Immediately, she fell down before his feet and expired. Then the young men entered and found her dead. And they carried her out and buried her next to her husband.
{5:11} And a great fear came over the entire Church and over all who heard these things.

SOURCE: Conte, Ronald L. Jr., translator and editor.  The Sacred Bible. Catholic
Public Domain Version. Acts of the Apostles 5:1-11. Online <http://www.sacredbible.org/catholic/NT-01_Matthew.htm>.
Accessed 06 August 2011.

The Altar of the Lie

The Altar of the Lie

SOURCE:  The Altar of the Lie (Vatican City); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 01 August 2011.

Copyright © 2011 by Stephen J. Danko

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2 Responses to A Visit to St. Peter’s Basilica

  1. You always have the most wonderful photos, really! I look forward to hearing if this was a Mediterranean cruise or land trip and what inspired your trip!

  2. Dahlia says:

    What a wonderful Blog you have! A real inspiration to improve ours. Your photos in Rome are terrific.

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