Tuesday in Italy was All Saints feast day and a public day off work, so we were given a day off of studies. One of the other seminarians and I decided to go for a walk into Rome along the Tiber river as it has a walking trail all the way from just near Beda college into the city and beyond.The walk took about an hour, we had a bite to eat and went our seperate ways. I decided to keep heading North along the river to a church I had heard about that has a small museum that is dedicated to the Holy Souls in purgatory. It is said that there was a chapel on the site of the church dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary, it was destroyed by fire in 1897. There was a painting on the altar that was spared by the fire, and in the fire the priest and other witnesses saw a suffering face in the flames. After the fire was extinguished they found a face image that was left on the wall behind the altar. Inspired by this discovery, the priest set out on a mission of inquiry to look for any other signs of souls leaving traces behind. This mission took him all over Italy and Europe and he amassed quite a collection of artefacts that could not be explained by common reasoning and which he believed to be from the Holy Souls in purgatory asking for prayers to release them into Heaven. In the month of November the church asks us to pray and have masses offered up to the deceased, our loved ones, family and friends, and maybe that person you know that might not have any one pray for them. As our rector said in his homily for the Holy Souls, ”one day we are all going to pass away and who will be praying for us!”
A story on ETWN that I saw the day before I visited.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus in Prati, is unusual in Rome as is of gothic style ’neo gothic’ rebuilt in 1921. Most of the church’s in Rome are of the Baroque style popularised around the late 1500 to 1600’s, typified by buildings like St Peter’ Basilica.
The museum is on the side of the church and is only a small room. Most of the artefacts were books, Bible or pieces of clothing that had a burnt imprint on them usually in the shape of a hand or finger prints.
All of the items on display had stories to go along with them unfortunately I was unable to get a sheet in the English with them on. Yes I should have taken a picture of the one hanging on the wall.
A picture of the face on the wall, a bit obscured, but I didn’t get a picture of it on the wall!