Essay on The Vatican: Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy

The Vatican: Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy”And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18

Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is one of the most exquisite churches in the world. The Basilica’s importance is derived from the Bible, from the book of Matthew. The Apostle Peter is buried under the High Altar of Saint Peter’s Basilica, providing fulfillment to the directive that Jesus gave to Peter. In the paper, the background of Saint Peter’s Basilica is given, tracing its development from a small shrine that was placed over Peter’s grave to its transformation into the largest church in the World. Some of the most significant religious items within the Basilica are described, all of which attract countless pilgrims each year. Lastly, the significant spiritual, cultural, and historical role that the Basilica has played is discussed.

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I.Background

a.Peter, Prince of the Apostles

Shortly after Jesus? death, the Apostle Peter, along with the Apostle Paul, traveled to Rome to proselytize.[i]? Rome was the capital of the Empire, and as one of its? most populous areas, was an ideal location to spread the Word of God.? Peter was crucified on an inverted cross for his beliefs around 67 CE, during the first purge of Christians ordered by the Emperor Nero.[ii]? Peter was laid to rest outside the walls of the city.[iii]? Pope Anacletus (76-88) honored Peter by erecting a modest chapel over his tomb. [iv]?

b.The First Saint Peter?s Basilica

Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor, began construction in 323 CE on an ornate basilica honoring the Peter, Prince of the Apost…

…?Tour of Saint Peter?s Basilica:? The Tomb of Saint Peter.? ?10 Dec. 2003.? .

[lx] Inside the Vatican:? The Holy See.?? National Geographic News.? 10 Dec. 2003.? .?

[lxi] ?Inside the Vatican:? National Geographic Goes Behind the Public Fauze.?? National Geographic News.? 10 Dec. 2003.? .?

[lxii]? ?Tour of Saint Peter?s Basilica.? 10 Dec. 2003.? .?

[lxiii] ?Basilica of Saint Peter:? Description of the Basilica.?? Catholic Encyclopedia.? 14 Dec. 2003.? .?

[lxiv] Morris, Douglas E.? Rome and Southern Italy Guide.? Cold Spring Harbor, New York:? Open Road Publishing, 1999.

[lxv] Fiennes, Peter, ed.?? Time Out:? Rome.? London:? Penguin Books, 1994

[lxvi] Ibid.

[lxvii] Ibid.

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