Two Saints’ Rooms

In Rome there are a few places where saints lived or died, which are preserved for visitors and can still be seen today. Here are two.

In a room off the back corner of an “event space”, inside a palazzo that is across from the French seminary in the center of Rome, you can find the room in which St. Catherine of Siena died. The Dominicans dismantled the original room and re-assembled it in the sacristy of the nearby Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva; but at some point a chapel was built in this original place where she actually died. I haven’t said Mass there, though it does look like it is possible to arrange to do so:

There are the relics of a martyr under the altar, if memory serves.

Under the altar are the bones of a martyr.

And here is one of the rooms of St. Philip Neri, this one so small that it was hard to get a much wider shot. This is, in fact, where he used to celebrate Mass towards the end of his life, when the Pope asked him to do so privately because of the fact that he frequently levitated; because of his ecstasies, his Masses went for more than one and a half hours and drew a lot of curious onlookers. Inside the tabernacle-like structure just above the altar is the chalice that St. Philip used:

His eyeglasses are also behind a piece of glass on the side of the tabernacle-like structure. A piece of his heart is on the top part!

His eyeglasses are also behind a piece of glass on the side of the tabernacle-like structure. A piece of his heart is on the top part!

Both saints were great Church reformers. But it was only because they first reformed themselves: they became holy, and the Lord was thus able to work through them in a marvelous way.

Many people today like to justify disagreement with the Pope or other legitimate Church authority by appealing to the fact that St. Catherine, in her time, challenged the Pope to return to Rome from the decades-old “exile” in Avignon, France; but they (conveniently?) forget that St. Catherine was much holier than they, that she was entirely motivated by charity, and that she also spoke of the Pope as the “Sweet Christ on Earth”.

St. Catherine of Siena and St. Philip Neri, pray for us!

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2 Responses to Two Saints’ Rooms

  1. Maria Sackmann says:

    Amen !!

  2. jzpd says:

    Thank you for all these posts – places we will never visit and so appreciate seeing through your eyes. Your descriptions are very helpful. What beautiful places.

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