Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Monday, 4 March 2013

The Seven Pilgrim Churches Of Rome.

Italic Text, Illustrations and Captions, are taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

Map of Giacomo Lauro and Antonio Tempesta showing the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome, which was used for the first time during the Jubilee in the year 1600. The plate was afterwards reissued as a guide for the pilgrims in 1609, 1621, 1630 and 1636.
Image: April 2011.
Source: [1]
Author: Giacomo Lauro (1561-1645/50).
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome are seven ancient and major Churches in Rome, central to a religious pilgrimage to the City. They are listed in the following order in the guide by Franzini (1595):

San Giovanni Laterano;
St Peter's;
San Paolo fuori le mura;
Santa Maria Maggiore;
San Lorenzo fuori le mura;
Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

File:SantaMariaMaggiore front.jpg

Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. 
One of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome.
Photo: 7 January 2006 (original upload date).
Source: Transferred from en.wikipedia
Author: Original uploader was JACurran at en.wikipedia
Permission: Released into the public domain (by the author).
(Wikimedia Commons)

Rome has, for centuries, been a beacon for travellers. As the home of the Pope and the Catholic Curia, as well as the locus of many sites and relics of worship related to Apostles, Saints, and Christian Martyrs, Rome had long been a destination for pilgrims. 

Periodically, some were propelled to travel to Rome for the spiritual benefits, including indulgences accrued through a Papally-sanctioned Jubilee. These indulgences required a visit to specific Churches..

The Churches include the four Patriarchal Basilicas:
Saint Peter's Basilica;
Basilica of Saint John Lateran;
Basilica of Saint Paul-outside-the-Walls;
Santa Maria Maggiore.

They also include three Minor Basilicas:
San Lorenzo fuori-le-mura;
Santa Croce in Gerusalemme;
Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore.

The last of these was added by Pope John Paul II for the Great Jubilee of 2000, replacing San Sebastiano-fuori-le-mura. However, many pilgrims still prefer the pre-2000 Seven Basilicas and, so, also attend Saint Sebastian's, in addition to the ones required for the indulgence.

During Holy Years, indulgences are granted to those who visit certain Churches. In Rome, there are seven such Churches. This tradition is related to the work of Saint Philip Neri, who devoted much of his time to helping pilgrims and introduced a list of Seven Basilicas.

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