Sunday, August 2, 2009

San Gregorio al Celio

It's not what you know, it's who you know...

Herr Schütz having tipped me off about a decent spot to stay at while in Rome, I've made contact, and arranged to stay at the monastery of St Gregory the Great on the Cælian Hill: about 500 m south of the Colosseum. But wait, there's more: to my amazement, it turns out that this monastery (in the care of the Camaldolese monks since the sixteenth century) was the family villa of Pope Gregory the Great, the very one that he turned into a monastery dedicated to St Andrew in the late sixth century, even before he ascended the Chair of St Peter.

The church (repaired and redecorated in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries - before Australia was colonized!) contains both an episcopal throne he used, and a chapel into which is incorporated the cell once dwelt in by Gregory while he was a monk, while his mother, St Silvia, is buried nearby. (St Silvia had her own house chapel, which later became the monastery of St Sabas - on whose feast this blog was begun, and under whose patronage it is placed: what a coincidence!)

What an astonishing prospect that I'll be staying in so historic a place, less than 5 km from the Vatican.

(The Triumph of St Gregory, on the vault of the nave)

I leave for Rome just over a month from now, and will be there - but for an overnight trip to Florence and back - from the 8th to the 18th of September.

SS Peter and Paul, Apostles of Rome, pray for us.
All ye Holy Martyrs of the Roman Church, pray for us.
St Gregory the Great, Apostle of the English, pray for us.
All Holy Popes, pray for us.
St Philip Neri, pray for us.
St Silvia, pray for us.
All Saints of the Holy Roman Church, pray for us.

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