The Holy Stairs in Rome

Following the footsteps of Christ in the Eternal City


At Piazza di Porta San Giovanni in Rome, opposite the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, there is the chapel of San Lorenzo, from the sixteenth century. The building was constructed on the remains of the residence of Pope Leo III, who gathered precious relics in his private chapel (dedicated to St. Lawrence).

One of them is the Holy Stairs, which according to the legend, come from the palace of Pontius Pilate, and the Christ stepped them on his way to crucifixion.  They were brought to Rome by St. Helena (formerly a Roman empress), the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, who went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the year 326.

The Holy Stairs are currently protected by the wooden covering, in which there are holes, discovering the places of visible, indelible stains, believed to be traces of Jesus Christ’s blood. One ascends them with the highest respect, and only on the knees.

At the top of the stairs there is another important relic. It is the Mandylion - one of the oldest fabrics depicting the face of Christ, that emerged in a supernatural way (without human participation).

It is certainly a place worth attention while visiting Rome, not only for people of deep faith.

Author: Anna Szłapa
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