Thursday, June 14, 2007

What the Dickens?!?

"I never, in my life, saw anything at once so ridiculous and so unpleasant as this sight"

So spoke Charles Dickens in 1845 when, in Rome, he saw catholic pilgrims climbing "The Holy Stairs" on their knees.
Why do they perform this ritual?
Apparantly the stairs are so holy, that it would be sinful to sully them with shoes, plus. from the kneeling vantage, pilgrims can peer through holes in the wood that covers the original marble stairs to see the spots of Jesus' blood.
Completing this task gets them a "full indulgence of their sins".

What a bargain! 28 wooden steps, on your knees and your sins are wiped clean!
Several popes have undergone the ritual of ascending the 28 marble steps on their knees. What? I'd do the damn thing daily if I believed it wiped out my sins!
These stairs were brought from Jerusalem to Rome in the 326AD by St Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, and placed in the former papal palace opposite the basilica of St John Lateran. They originally led to the praetorium, or judgment hall, of Pontius Pilate's palace in Jerusalem.
The stairs are in the news because the frescoes that surround the stairs have recently been restored. Francesco Buranelli, the director of the Vatican Museum, said: "These are some of the most important, but least well known, frescoes in Rome, and they open a new page for 16th century art". The American Getty foundaton has contributed to most of the restoration. What, the vatican is on the skids? Holy Church is broke and can't clean its own artworks?
Apparantly the restorers found chewing gum stuck to the wood of the stairs. It seems some penitents were'net overawed by the holiness of the steps. Never mind, the sin of gum litter would also have been wiped clean by step 28.

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At 4:49 pm, Blogger Fiery Ewok said...

If the stairs are so "holy" why are the pilgrims still wearing their shoes?

Also- the church has missed another money making opportunity with the whole shoe check-point: check your shoes for $3 as a donation to stair maintenance and we'll bless 'em for you while you climb on your knees (you poor deluded idiots).

At 7:08 pm, Blogger Michelle said...

An oddly coincidental post. You see, I screwed up today. Through my propensity for openness, I placed my wife in a position of difficulty. It was a true error of judgement.

Now, I feel guilty. Guilty as a Catholic to be frank. My first instinct is to punish myself. "You stupid twat."

A climb up those stairs, given the right mindset, could have done me good.

I've opted for the harder path; Head down and a sincere apology. Not only that, I've learned a lesson.

This is my penance - real and a bit painful.

She kissed me incidentally. Which was nice.

Cheers Stew ;)

At 7:11 pm, Blogger jamon said...

And I've bolloxed up again, I posted that comment using my wife's google account.

What a mad day..

At 9:26 pm, Blogger King Aardvark said...

Man, it's not your day, is it Jamon? You need your own set of stairs. Do you have stairs in your house? Maybe those would suffice. Probably not marble and blood-covered, though.

At 8:27 am, Blogger Chris Bradley said...

You have been tagged. Exciting, isn't it? :)


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