Scala Santa

Scala SanctaThe Scala Santa was a very consoling moment for me. Underneath these wooden steps are the marble steps of the Praetorium where Jesus was condemned by Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem. The tradition is to walk up the stairs on your knees and pray an Our Father on each step. I did this and I offered my prayers for my entire extended family. Along the way up the stairs, there are holes in the wood cut out so that pilgrims may touch and venerate the stairs our Lord once walked upon. That has been a consoling theme throughout many of the churches here in Rome: the relics of the Passion of Christ. I have venerated the True Cross upon which Jesus died; a nail that pierced his hand; a thorn from his crownof thorns; the pillar upon which he was scourged; and the headboard that says Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews). These are amazing artifacts, all from the Holy Land, that make the Faith come to life right in front of you.

-Ryan O’Neill

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