Majesty from Ruins: We Are the Basilica Santa Maria Degli Angeli–Rome

Rome–no place on earth exists with the glory of Rome. Ruins rise from ruins and bloom into glorious works of art. No other place exhibits this more than the Basilica Santa Maria Degli Angeli.

And no place on earth exhibits this more than your own life.

Neil, my husband, and I scoured the Termini section of Rome looking for a church that housed Bernini’s great sculpture “The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa,” an exquisite Baroque sculpture surrounded by gold beams, I had to see it. We wandered past the Diocletian Baths–fallen bricks and red stone walled off from the busy terminal. Unimpressive.
We found the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, sat on the steps and waited for it to awaken from its afternoon Roman siesta only to discover “The Ecstasy” was being restored and completely hidden from view.
Everything we wanted to see was closed that day. So we trudged back toward the Termini. We approached the Baths and knew we neared our destination when I noticed the facade of the Baths cloaked the entrance of a church.
You need to take note when traveling in Italy that houses of worship contain outstanding history in places like the Parthenon, and extraordinary works of art, such as Bernini’s “Ecstasy.” Most churches are free–so nothing is ever lost by exploring them.

However, nothing will prepare you for what this basilica holds.

English: Interier of Basilica Santa Maria degl...
 Interior of Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli
e dei Martiri, Rome, Italy  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We pushed through drab metal door in the the plain brick exterior of what had once been a cove to the thermae. We entered a world that is guaranteed to drop you to your knees.

The basilica is essentially a Greek cross (arms of equal length). The end of each arm encloses an altar. The walls are adorned in gold and art, the vaulted ceilings force your eyes upward. Light streams through windows recreating a piece of heaven.

Sadly, my camera wouldn’t capture the interior. It’s a site you must see should you be fortunate enoughtto get to Rome.

Each step made me tremble in awe.

At last I arrived at the main altar. Only those who wished to pray could enter. I had to go. This place commands one think of God.
Plenty of places online can give you detailed descriptions of the basilica. They offer extraordinary images of the interior and  can tell you in greater detail all the points of art and architecture, about Michelangelo, and about Rome.
What I can say is this: we are like the basilica. God raises us from ruins. He doesn’t take away our past. Yet, as we are transformed by His gifts, by His love, by His salvation, we shine with a glory that defies our lives.

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