(Vatican Radio) After Jerusalem, Rome is viewed as the most important place of pilgrimage
to mark the passion death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. During Holy Week
the Pope, who is also the Bishop of Rome, presides over the main liturgical ceremonies
including the celebration of the In Coena Domini and Chrism Masses.
Coliseum takes centre stage on Good Friday for the celebration of the Via Crucis
or Stations of the Cross.
And on Easter Sunday the Holy Father, following the
celebration of Mass in the splendor of St Peter’s Square, gives an address to the
City of Rome and the World, Urbi et Orbi.
But apart from the main events of
this, the most important week in the Churches liturgical calendar, the city also
plays host to pilgrims who want to meditate on this solemn occasion. The faithful
can make a visit to seven churches in what is called the Seven Churches Visitation.
pilgrimage practice began in Rome, where people visited the seven Roman basilicas,
which include St Peter’s and St John Lateran, for prayer and adoration.
on Holy Week and the Easter Triduum in Rome, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the
Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura says “it (Rome) has a certain proper sense
as a place of pilgrimage because it is the Seat of Peter who is the Vicar of Christ…
and so celebrating the Easter mysteries here, we have the profound sense of celebrating
them with Our Lord himself.”
Cardinal Burke also describes the visiting of
churches in the city on Holy Thursday as an effective means of deepening the spiritual
experience of these days. “We leave in a way the ordinary circumstances of our life
to do this extraordinary activity of visiting these seven churches. Listen