Sunday, May 15, 2011

This internet sucks.

I've been fighting with the internet for 29 minutes now,  just so I can tell you about yesterday & today! But I've got to be short, my 5 euros won't last much longer :)

Yesterday morning on our way out of Rome, we took a tour of the Catacombs about 20 minutes outside of the city. We learned all sorts of things about it, like how long it was abandoned before it was rediscovered, how many Christians were buried there, how many of them were martyrs, etc. (our tour guide was an Indian man with an accent speaking English in Italy... cause that makes sense) I was calm, I was collected, I was excited but I didn't really know what was coming.

We walked down into the deep hallway & a deep sense of reverence came over all of us. It was cold and damp and silent and I felt full, but not overwhelmed? But then our guide took us into the room where St. Cecilia was buried.

And I fell apart, on all levels.

I knew nothing about this woman, I didn't know she existed. There is a statue above her grave, and it really may be the most beautiful and striking thing I've ever seen. It spoke to me so loudly that I was overwhelmed and teary and speechless, but I didn't know why? I've never heard of this woman who died only 230 years after Christ, but I felt such a sense of understanding and connection with her. I couldn't explain it. I kept wondering why no one else seemed as shaken as I was.

We kept wandering, learned more, we sang in one of the small chapels,(which was beautiful and everyone felt just as overwhelmed as I did in that moment) and after only an hour or so, our tour was over.

But I kept crying? And I kept thinking I wanted to go look at the statue of St. Cecilia again? And my tour guide kept asking if I was okay because I was still crying long after the tour was over? I couldn't explain it.

On the bus, I learned from Timbre, St. Cecilia was the patron saint of Music. She was a rich woman in Rome, who became a Christian, and secretly began helping the early church escape persecution by hiding them in her home. She was caught, tried, and sentenced to death in the city square. She was cut deeply on the back of the neck, and was left to bleed to death - it took 3 entire days. All throughout her last moments, she was still singing songs. When they finally collected her body, her hands were folded in the symbol of the holy trinity.

No wonder I felt so strongly towards her. I will never forget it.
The patron saint of music, and I felt it in my bones before I even knew :)
It was definitely a moment.

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