Today is the feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Ss. Peter and Paul, two of the four patriarchal basilicas of the Roman Church. The current buildings are fairly recent (St. Peter's is a 16th century replacement of a 4th century basilica and St. Paul's is a 19th century reconstruction of the original, which burned and imploded). The Rad Trad did not get to St. Paul outside the Wall during his visit to Rome, but did manage to spend a full day in St. Peter's Basilica. The current building has very little to do with the one which preceded it, other than that it too houses the relics of the Prince of the Apostles. For more on the previous building have a look here (and watch the video at the bottom, it is quite something).
I have re-posted some older material, a photo tour of the current basilica, for readers' edification. As stated on our previous post for the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran, these photos are perhaps better than what one will find online because they were taken during a progression through the church and hence give a clearer impression of the arrangement, scale, and style of the place. Some photos towards the end show the Rad Trad in personal horror (not a fan of heights).
The second lesson in the second nocturn of Mattins today seems to be based upon the fictitious Donation of Constantine (did Benedict XIV not want to rid us of this sort of thing?), but concludes with the interesting, and more historically feasible, statement that the consecration of a stone altar by St. Sylvester, Pope at the time, marked an official point of transition from wood to purely stone altars.
Approach from the square
Sneak by the Swiss Guards
Our Lord watches this place
Where we hear "Habemus Papam"
Friends of the Rad Trad awaiting entry into the nave
First altar on the right contains the Pieta
Peering through the right-side door
A rather ugly statue of Pope Pius XII, among many statues of saints and popes
Looking back from the first chapel. This place is big!
A shot across to the altar of the Presentation
The baptismal font is enormous. Scale dominates this place
The dome over the baptistery
The coffered ceiling
Tomb of St. Pius X
The domes under the side chapels are quite colorful
The chapel of the choir, south of the high altar, which contains relics of St. John Chrysostom
Tomb of St. Gregory the Great. The Pope once vested for Solemn Mass here
while the schola sang terce
Apse of a transept
The baldacchino over the high altar is over 70 feet in height,
the largest piece of bronze work in the world
St. Andrew. There are many statues in the nave, but none of Apostles or Our Lady.
Those of the Apostles are to be found around the (ill-defined) sanctuary.
The entrance to the tomb of St. Peter and the Clementine chapel
St. Peter presiding at the basilica. A line of people wait to kiss his foot.
Confession in 22 languages from 7AM to 7PM
Looking from the altar to the nave
A friend of mine, who is over six feet tall, for size comparison
St. Gregory the Illuminator, disciple to Armenia
"I saw water flowing from the right side of the temple...."
The altar at the Petrine Throne with the Holy Ghost descending upon it.
It makes much more sense to see this during a Mass, which we did!
Saints watch and keep vigil
As we depart....
Later that day the Rad Trad visited the dome
The Rad Trad does not like heights
The Rad Trad really does not like heights.
Grabbing the cornice for dear life!
The Four Evangelists at the corners of the sanctuary
The inside of the dome
That ant below is a person! We were well over 200 feet above the floor
Friends delighting in the Rad Trad's fears
One last shot of the altar