Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 06 May |
Saint of the Day: St. François Montmorency de Laval
home iconNews
line break icon

New Film, “Empire of the Cross,” Delivers a Virtual Tour of a Roman Church Through History

Blackfriar-Media

Caitlin Bootsma - published on 04/15/15

The discovery of treasures within treasures

If you’ve ever visited Rome and had a sense of deja vu or that you were somehow “home,” you wouldn’t be the only one. Many Catholics feel this connection to the Eternal City, despite not having a drop of Italian blood in them. This feeling is reinforced by stumbling upon millennia of Church history contained within hundreds of Churches, rich liturgical art, and even roadside shrines or monuments.

Entering one of the Churches that is centuries old is a poignant reminder of how God has worked in salvation history. We believe that God does not live in space and time, but that he is very present in our lives. This reality is highlighted by places that have witnessed the passing of the years and the graces given by God to His people throughout the year.

If you haven’t had a chance to make a pilgrimage to Rome, or even if you have, you can make a virtual journey through time by watching Empire of the Cross, a new film produced by BlackFriars Media. This short documentary explores a Roman Church well-known for the layers of history it contains: The Basilica of St. Clement.

Fr. Allen White, O.P., leads the viewer through a basilica that is more than what it seems at first glance. The current structure is fascinating enough–a medieval Church with beautiful mosaics that was built in the 11th century. Underneath this basilica, however, is another basilica entirely. It was built in the 4th century and home to a host of treasures of the faith that remained unknown for a number of years.

But wait, there is still more to the site of St. Clement. Before the 4th century basilica, there was a structure dating back to the Roman Republic that appears to have been used by the Cult of Mithras.

Fr. White peels back the layers of this incredible building and its many secrets. But, as you delve into the history of St. Clement, you get a window into something much more important. As we celebrate the Easter Season and look forward to Pentecost–the Church’s birthday–it is an apt time to remember that the Church is more than just what we see and experience today, but a living reality that has been existence since the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles two thousand years ago.

You can watch The Empire of the Cross for free at: http://dominicanfriars.org/empire/

Tags:
Vatican
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
3
MOTHER MARY
Cerith Gardiner
7 Ways to strengthen your relationship with the Virgin Mary
4
SAINT JOSEPH
Philip Kosloski
How to pray the Chaplet of St. Joseph
5
THE CHOSEN
Matthew Becklo
Yes, ‘The Chosen’ is that good—and just keeps getting...
6
SAINT Januarius
J-P Mauro
Watch the blood of St. Januarius liquefy in May 2021
7
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.