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Day of the Catacombs focuses this year on prayer

SAINT DOMITILLA CATACOMBS

Antoine Mekary | Aleteia

Daniel Esparza - published on 02/21/24

March 2 marks the commencement of the spring season, signaling a return to travel, pilgrimages, and outdoor activities following the winter hiatus.

The seventh edition of the Catacombs Day (Spring Edition) is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2024, showcasing seven Roman catacombs accessible to the public – namely, San Callisto, San Sebastiano, Domitilla, Priscilla, St. Agnes, Sts. Marcellinus and Peter, and St. Pancras.

Aligned with the theme “From Remembrance to Prayer,” this event is a significant aspect of the Jubilee preparations for 2025.

The Pope has designated this year to be focused on prayer, serving as a fitting prelude to the Jubilee celebration. The exploration of the Christian catacombs provides an opportunity to connect with the testimonies of the early Christian community in Rome. These narratives, events, and stories are still relevant today.

Meditating on the life of the early Church (and its many martyrs) can help the faithful renew their faith, leading them to rediscovering the transformative power of prayer.

Pilgrims are invited to pray with and to the 1st Christians

This prayer is directed, first and foremost, towards the Lord. But it is also directed to the martyrs and those who steadfastly testified to their faith. Their lives and intercession support us on our current journey.

One compelling symbol of prayer is the Orant (that is, “the praying one”), a figure with raised arms praising God, expressing gratitude, seeking help, and invoking deliverance. A notable representation of the Orant is found in the “Cabin of the Veiled” in the catacombs of Priscilla.

CATACOMBS
One compelling symbol of prayer is the Orant (that is, “the praying one”), a figure with raised arms praising God, expressing gratitude, seeking help, and invoking deliverance.

Pilgrims are encouraged to visit the evocative catacomb environment, taking moments of silence for prayer. The event offers reserved free access and guided tours of the underground complexes, fostering a deeper understanding of this historical and spiritual treasure.

March 2 marks the commencement of the spring season, signaling a return to travel, pilgrimages, and outdoor activities following the winter hiatus. Special events within some catacombs on this day include guided tours, and even workshops for children.

As an added incentive, participants in the Sixth Catacombs Day (Spring Edition) will receive a voucher for two discounted tickets to the Catacombs of Rome. This initiative not only enriches the cultural and spiritual experience but also supports the ongoing preservation and accessibility of these significant historical sites.

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