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Gianluca Pica
 


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BLOG OF A TOUR GUIDE IN ROME

10/01/2019, 12:13

#atourguiderome, #unaguidaturisticaroma, #romeisus, #rome, #roma, #basilica, #trastevere, #cecilia #relic, #statue, #marble, #middleages



DEATH-AND-BASILICA-OF-SAINT-CECILIA


 Ceclia is one of the most famous saints of the Christian Church. The basilica dedicated to her, but especially her martyrdom, really impressed still today...



The Basilica of Saint Cecilia is set in the historical neighborhood of #Trastevere, that is full of attractions and nice places. This basilica is very old, but for the first time it was turn to a basilica at the IX century AD following the wills of the Pope Pasquale IX. Many things are remarkables, as the wonderful "ciborio" by Arnolfo di Cambio, one of the main masters of the #MiddleAges in Italy, or the "Last Judgment", painted by Cavallini, a great painter always of the XII hundreds. This painting is not so easy to see, because the basilica was restored several times. Cavallini painted the counter facade of the old holy place, but today it is set in the private rooms of the nuns who are managing the area. You should ask them to see the nice medieval work of art. But now forget all the reasons why you should come here, in order to get in touch with the real masterpiece of the Basilica of Saint Cecilia: tha marble statue, made by Stefano Maderno at the end of the XVI century, that is set next to altar. The sculptor was able to be so sweet, in some degree, that the statue seems almost tender and soft. Maybe you can think that the young girl that is depicted, Saint Cecilia, is sleeping... No, because Maderno decided to display with the white marble the dead body of Cecilia, as it was found some centuries ago. But now let me tell something about her, and why her life, but mainly her martyrdom and death, are so incredible! Cecilia was a young girl who lived at the beginning of the III century AD. She was a member of the Roman elite, and like her husband, Valeriano, she was Christian. Moreover she used to live her faith singing and playing instruments, according to the traditions. It is the reason why she is the patron of the Music. Moreover, due to her faith, she was persecuted by the Government of #Rome and then killed through a public execution. The choosen one was terrible: she was forced to stay inside her private bathroom, a place which was almost a real bath, more than an ordinary toilet. Try to imagine how hot could be the steam... but after three days she didn’t die! So, to be sure, Cecilia was beheaded. It is incredible to understand how the executioner hit the neck of Cecilia three times, but it seems that she was still alive after the third one! So she was abandoned, in order to die completely alone... only her spiritual father, the Pope Urban I, was close to her untile the end, thinking about her burial. But now the real miracle is coming...after some centuries the Pope Pasquale IX, in order to restore several churches and basilicas, was searching for martyrs. In this way he could make holy place more important and famous, in order to catch new pilgrims. Cecilia was buried in the Catacombs of Saint Sebastian, and inside one of the underground chambers her body was found. But imagine the great surprise when Cecilia, or better her dead body, was completely perserved! Several centuries were passed, but it seemed that it was buries just the day before... the same miracle took place again at the end of the XVI century, when the basilica was restored. Again, the tomb was opened and how impressed could be the people who found the body, when they saw that it was completely preserved! Simply amazing, how amazing is this marble statue... #romeisus #Rome #Roma #Cecilia #Trastevere #atourguiderome


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