Monday, May 21, 2012

A Pilgrimage to St. Paul

Stone from St. Paul's tomb.
So I read on these here interwebs that the Cathedral of St. Paul was going to have a relic from the tomb of their patron saint on display Sunday. Needless to say I was somewhat intrigued. It's not everyday when you can see a piece of the tomb of the guy who penned nearly half of the New Testament.

I had planned to load Tommy up and take him with me to attend the 10 a.m. Mass and then to have a chance to venerate the relic. My little slugger had a rough night Saturday, though and I didn't want to deal with a crabby kid in a new church plus trying to find my way up there and everything else. So I flew solo.

First the Cathedral, wow, just wow. The most impressive building, not just church, I have ever seen, let alone been inside. Several small chapels off the main body of the building, including one with a massive replica of Michaelangelo's Pieta.

I was glad I got to the church early so I could take a few minutes to look around. Seeing the Pieta really put me in the right frame of mind for Ascension Sunday. Seeing the Pieta at life size really helped to bring home what happened on that hill outside Jerusalem so many years ago.

The Mass was very solemn, almost a High Mass, lots of Latin, incense, sung responses. Very nice. I was able to pay attention and tear myself away from trying to find a new statue or painting to admire so that was good.

I definitely want to go back to the Cathedral when I have some time and take some photos and really look around.

I've never been in any of the great cathedrals in Europe but the one in St. Paul is absolutely amazing. I think it could stand on its own merits against many of those in Europe.

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