05 February 2008

The joys of wandering

Any visitor to Rome can attest that the Eternal City is far from clean. Being people who generally do not like to work and prefer to relax, the cleaning of sidewalks is not something high on their list of priorties.
Even so, I love Rome. Part of the charm and beauty of the city is, at least for me, the wonderful surprises that one encounters walking the streets of Rome. Peppered throughout the city are roadside shrines, usually to the Virgin Mary. We could use a few of these in the U.S.A., I think.

Roadside shrines help to refocus one's attention throughout the day on what really is important and necessary. Of course, their mere presence does not do this. One has to be aware enough to notice them.

Here are a few pictures of some of these shrines:

What better way to use a doorway no longer needed
than to make a small shrine?

Pope John Paul II had this mosaic installed above St. Peter's Square.

I cannot remember where this one is.

This shrine is just to the left of the entrance to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I especially like the angels guarding the Virgin and Child.

This one isn't really a shrine. It is above the entrance to the Church of the Holy Rosary.

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