Historical Sites of Our Faith

As a cradle Catholic  the age of the Catholic Church is not something I thought about until I began working with people who were joining the Church.  On an intellectual level I know that as a Church we have been around for 2000 years or so.  In my head I know that’s a long time.

Then I went on vacation and saw some very old places where the Church was present.

In Rome, the sense of history I felt when I saw the Coliseum and the Catacombs moved me.  I had studied recently about the early Church Fathers, and standing in the Coliseum reminded me of how Ignatius of Antioch longed to martyred for the faith and was in the very place I now stood with thousands of others.  He said, ” It is better for me to die on behalf of Jesus Christ than to reign over all the ends of the earth…Permit me to be an imitator of the Passion of my God!” The Coliseum was completed in 80 A.D. (approx) and it still stands, though it has been stripped of its original beauty.

Another historic and important site are the Catacombs of St. Callixtus in Rome, formed in the mid-second century and a cemetery for Christians who died. At times Christians gathered there in secret for Mass, because groups were prohibited from gathering publicly.

In some crypts we could see rudimentary drawings of Jesus, the Last Supper, and symbols of the Eucharist and Baptism which were used to help teach the faith.

In teaching about the faith I am often awed by the length of time the Catholic Church has survived and thrived.  In seeing these historic places, my faith and my soul are nourished and strengthened.  It reminded me too of the need to know about who and what has come before us in the faith.

Copyright 2014, Deanna Bartalini

Deanna Bartalini

Deanna Bartalini

Deanna G. Bartalini, is a Catholic writer, speaker, and educator. She serves on the retreat team at Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center. Deanna loves teaching about Catholicism and how it fits into our daily lives. She writes at DeannaBartalini.com, serves as the editor of the NewEvangelizers.com blog, and is a contributor there as well as at AmazingCatechists.com. Deanna contributed to A Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion published by Ave Maris Press. She is the author of “Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life: Growing in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control” published by Our Sunday Visitor. Deanna is available to lead retreats and speak at catechist and ministry events.

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