Tre Fontane (Dies Non III)
The Three Fountains
Thursday off and I headed out on my own today, everyone else seemed to be busy so I decided to go my own way. I have been keen to go this site since I found out I would be going to Rome. It has a story that tails into where I am staying across from. Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls is where the tomb and remains of St Paul are said to be placed, but tradition has it that he was executed by beheading at Tre Fontane which is situated about four kilometers further south of where the Basilica is situated. Tre Fontane is called so as it is due to tradition that when St Paul was beheaded it is said that his head bounced three times and where it bounced a spring of water sprung up in that spot. Subsequently a shrine was built over the springs and this is what we have today. The area around is occupied by and taken care of by Trappist monks who also have a large church and monastery and another small chapel built close by the Tre Fontane Shrine.
Tre Fontane. The springs are situated at the bottom of each the arched monuments. This current chapel dates to around the early 1600's, it replace the original fifth century chapel.
The entrance to the monastery of Tre Fontaine.
Walking down the road I leave the hustle and bustle of the street traffic behind and entering into a world of silence, broken only by the chirping of the birds.
Monastery entrance with Tre Fontane dome in the background.
Path toward Tre Fontane chapel.
Una Fontane, with a pillar in the corner said to be the spot of St Paul's beheading.
A peak behind Duo Fontane, reveled a lovely fresco, although very graphic in detail.
Tre Fontane. Each fountain is lower down than the successive fountain, so it is plausible that Paul's head could have bounced down the hill? ( a bit morbid I know) I have recently found out that the area was very marshy too plenty of water around for the springs. Unfortunately the springs do not flow any more as the water table has fallen significantly over the years.
Altar in the Tre Fontane chapel.
Mosaics on the floor of the Chapel actually represent the four seasons.
The small church called St Maria Scala Coeli, just before the Tre Fontane Chapel. This church was assigned to the Cistercian order, led by St Bernard ca. 1138 AD who reportedly had a vision of souls in Purgatory being led to Heaven by Angels along a ladder. Hence the name of the church Scala Coeli (Ladder to Heaven).
The main alter in the Marian Church.
Altar in Marian Chapel.
Altar in Marian chapel.
The Main Church in Monastery, Saints Vincent and Anastasius.
A common theme in the churches in Rome is to paint or place statues down each side of the nave of the apostles.
The real beauty about this location is that there is another amazing site to see just across the road a short walk up from the monastery.
Am I starting to feel a bit homesick? Maybe but this site has a lot of eucalyptus trees planted around the hill which is very comforting. The eucalyptus was actually planted around the area by the Trappist monks in the 1860's, and 70's to drain the area of water as it was swamp land and so badly infested by mosquitos.
Up the driveway and I have arrived at the site. This place is the site of a Marian apparition that took place in 1947, to man and his three children. In keeping with the theme of the area, relating to St. Paul, it was a conversion experience to a man called Bruno who was persecuting the church especially the teachings of Our Lady. After this apparition experience and a few subsequent apparitions, Bruno changed his ways and became a great defender of the faith. The lady that Bruno saw and heard reviled Herself to him as the Lady of Revelation, in reference to the book of Revelation of whom she said was about Her. Many miracles have been attributed to this site and the apparition and Our Lady of Revelation said that She would make this site Holy as she did in Lourdes, except this time not with water but with the dirt.
The church or chapel that has been built out the front of the cave is open air and extends out to a pavement where more seats are set up. The chapel has a very organic feel to it.
Altar in front of cave.
The cave where Our Lady of Revelation appeared to Bruno and his children. The statue is a hand carved from wood. Our Lady is holding the book of revelation.
Behind the main cave and alter is a pathway adorned with plaques and shines in dedication o Our Lady of Revelation in thanks for miracles worked on he behalf.
Shrines in thanks giving.
Passage way behind the main cave is just plastered with plaques and names giving thanks to Our Lady of Revelation.
You may not be able to see but in behind this gate is a collection of walking aides of various types, that I presume are no longer needed due the intersession of Our Lady of Revelation.
That's all for today, time to get back to study double theology Friday mornings!