Italy. Bologna. Basilica Of Santo Stefano. The Tomb Of San Petronio
Italy. Bologna. Basilica of Santo Stefano. The tomb of San Petronio
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the oldest building in the entire Basilica of Santo Stefano. 12 columns surround the shrine which held relics of San Petronio that had been recovered here in 1141. The little door of the tomb used to be opened for one week year during which time it was possible to crawl inside and pay one’s respects to the saint’s remains.
According to a curious custom, pregnant women in Bologna would circle the sepulchre thirty-three times, one for each year of Christ’s life. After each turn, they would crawl into the small sepulchre to pray. At the end of the ritual, they would go to the nearby church of Martyrium to pray in front of a fresco of the pregnant Madonna. In 2000 the body of San Petronio was moved to the basilica that bears his name, reunited with his head which was already there. From that point on, the sepulchre was never opened again.
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The name "Italy" is shrouded in mystery; some etymologists trace it to a Greek word meaning "the land of young cattle."
Italy was fond of Jupiter and Mars from the very start, Jupiter for fatherly good luck and Mars for war!
But it all began with Rome. Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus who were sons of Rhea and Mars.
The twins were abandoned at birth out of a fear that they would grow up and later overthrow Amelius, usurper of their grandfather's rightful throne.
Wrongful mis-doings most foul! Treachery and sabotage!! HOW would these two blessed infants make their way in such a world?
As it turns out, the twins didn't have to make their way very far, because one of them killed the other one and then they weren't twins anymore. But that happens later.
First they got rescued by a she-wolf who suckled them with her milk and raised them as her own until they were discovered by the shepherd Faustulus.
Faustulus fed them meat and bread and also raised them as his own until they were old enough to return to Amelius and hack him up as planned. They reinstated the grandfather Numitor to his rightful throne and went off to celebrate by starting a town of their own.
They chose a hilly area where the mama wolf had saved them from certain death in the barren wilderness and began scouting locations.
Romulus liked one hill. Remus liked another. The circle of crows like Romulus' hill, so Romulus killed Remus and named the town after himself. Thus Rome was born and Italy with it.
Text by Steve Smith.