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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Outrageous decoration of the Holy Stairs- Scala Sancta in Rome

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From Wikipedia

The Scala Sancta (English: Holy Stairs, Italian: Scala Santa) are a set of 28 white marble steps that are Roman Catholic relics located in an edifice on extraterritorial property of the Holy See in Rome, Italy proximate to the Archbasilica of St. John in Laterano. Officially, the edifice is titled the Pontifical Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs (Pontificio Santuario della Scala Santa). The Holy Stairs, which long ago were encased in a protective framework of wooden steps, are in an edifice that incorporates part of the old, Papal Lateran Palace. The Holy Stairs lead to the Church of St. Lawrence in Palatio ad Sancta Sanctorum (Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Palatio ad Sancta Sanctorum) or simply the "Sancta Sanctorum" (English: Holy of Holies), which was the personal chapel of the early Popes. According to Roman Catholic tradition, the Holy Stairs are the steps leading up to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem on which Jesus Christ stepped on his way to trial during his Passion. The Stairs reputedly were brought to Rome by St. Helena in the fourth century. For centuries, the Scala Sancta has attracted Christian pilgrims who wish to honor the Passion of Jesus Christ. The Passionists hold the custody.

Outrageously, they allowed Buddhist monks to ritually decorate the stairs.






















And on another occasion, when I was visiting, they use the Sanctuary as a platform for the Italian national gas company.

Oddly, the booklet containing the prayers to say on your knees as you ascend the stairs are available only at the top. 
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