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St. Laurence's Prayer for Rome

The Vatican

Vatican City / Lateran Treaty



Also See: Rome (Topic Page)

"[F]or not only has this See conferred special benefits on Italians by its presence in the midst of them, but also, by the constant diffusion of the treasures of faith from this center of benediction and salvation, it has made the Italian name great and respected among all nations." (Pope Leo XIII, "Dall'alto Dell'apostolico Seggio", 1890)

"Indeed, fearing nothing and yielding to no one, the Masonic sect proceeds with greater boldness day by day: with its poisonous infection it pervades entire communities and strives to entangle itself in all the institutions of our country in its conspiracy to forcefully deprive the Italian people of their Catholic faith, the origin and source of their greatest blessings." (Pope Leo XIII, "Inimica Vis", 1892)

"By keeping altogether aloof from the sects, by renouncing their spirit and their works, by striving in every way that Italy may not lose the faith, but preserve it in all its vigor - may not fight against the Church, but be its faithful daughter, may not assail the Pontificate, but be reconciled to it - Catholics give proof by all this of their strong and real love for the religion of their ancestors and for their country." (Pope Leo XIII, "Dall'alto Dell'apostolico Seggio", 1890)

"It is likewise necessary to strengthen those who fall because of ignorance. By this we mean those, not few in number, who, deceived by appearances and allured by various enticements, allow themselves without understanding it to be enrolled in the Masonic order. In these cases We hope that with divine inspiration they will be able some day to repudiate their error and perceive the truth, especially if you try to remove the false outward appearance of the sect and reveal its hidden designs. Indeed these can no longer be considered hidden since their very accomplices have themselves disclosed them in many ways. Why, within the last few months, the designs of the Masons have been publicly proclaimed throughout Italy, even to the point of ostentation! They wish to see the religion founded by God repudiated and all affairs, private as well as public, regulated by the principles of naturalism alone; this is what, in their impiety and stupidity, they call the restoration of civil society. And yet the State will plunge headlong into ruin if Christians are not willing to be vigilant and not willing to labor to support its well-being!" (Pope Leo XIII, "Inimica Vis", 1892)

"As to the Catholic people, before everything else it is necessary that they should be instructed as to the true state of things in Italy with regard to religion, the essentially religious character of the conflict in Italy against the Pontiff, and the real object constantly aimed at, so that they may see by the evidence of facts the many ways in which their religion is conspired against, and may be convinced of the risk they run of being robbed and spoiled of the inestimable treasure of the faith. With this conviction in their minds, and having at the same time a certainty that without faith it is impossible to please God and to be saved, they will understand that what is now at stake is the greatest, not to say the only interest, which every one on earth is bound before all things, at the cost of any sacrifice, to put out of danger, under penalty of everlasting misery. They will, moreover, easily understand that, in this time of open and raging conflict, it would be disgraceful for them to desert the field and hide themselves. Their duty is to remain at their post, and openly to show themselves to be true Catholics by their belief and by actions in conformity with their faith. This they must do for the honor of their faith, and the glory of the Sovereign Leader whose banner they follow; and that they may escape that great misfortune of being disowned at the last day, and of not being recognized as His by the Supreme Judge who has declared that whosoever is not with Him is against Him." (Pope Leo XIII, "Dall'alto Dell'apostolico Seggio", 1890)

"In fact, every wise man knows that Catholicism not only rescued Italy from the darkness of the many errors which were overwhelming it, but that amid the ruins of the ancient empire and the invasion of the barbarians, it raised Italy nonetheless to a glory and a greatness beyond all the other nations of the world. Thus, because Christ placed the holy See of Peter there, Italy exercises a more widespread and more real leadership by its divine religion than it once exercised by its earthly empire. From this exceptional privilege of possessing the Apostolic See and the consequent deep roots which the Catholic religion has put down among the people of Italy, very many other remarkable benefits have accrued. Christianity is the teacher of true wisdom, the defender of mankind, and the fertile mother of all virtues. Thus, it rejects the splendor of the unhappy glory of the Italian people. Their ancestors established that unhappy glory by an unending tumult of wars, by conquering foreigners, and by very harshly imprisoning a great number of men; they could do this since their empire flourished by the law of war. But the religion of Christ enlightened the Italians in truth, justice, and mercy; and consequently they became zealous in outstanding works of piety towards God and in beneficent works towards men. So, in the chief Italian cities, many holy temples and other reminders of Christian times have been erected not by the bloody toil of men groaning in captivity, but sincere and life-giving charity. Pious institutions exist for religious exercises and for the education of the young and the proper study of literature, arts and disciplines. They also exist for relieving the illness and want of the wretched. This then is the divine religion on which, quite simply, the safety, prosperity and glory of Italy depends." (Pope Pius IX, "Nostis et Nobiscum ", 1849)

Also See: Rome | Vatican City / Lateran Treaty | Vatican Facts

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Also See: Rome (Topic Page)

"Ah!, how beautiful must the heavenly Jerusalem be, if earthly Rome be so glorious!" (St. Fulgentius)

"Rome [is] the spiritual sceptre of the world." (Pope Leo XIII, "Custodi Di Quella Fede", 1892)

"The city which had taken the whole world was itself taken." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"Rome [is] preeminently the Catholic city, destined by God to be the center of the religion of Christ and the See of His Vicar" (Pope Leo XIII, "Dall'alto Dell'apostolico Seggio", 1890)

"To write history and hate Rome, both pagan and papal, is practically to hate nearly everything that has happened." (G. K. Chesterton)

"[T]he holy Apostles Peter and Paul...subjected this blessed land to the faith, sanctified it by their labors, and bathed it in their blood." (Pope Leo XIII, "Dall'alto Dell'apostolico Seggio", 1890)

"On seven hills had pagan Rome set up her pageantry and built temples to her false gods; seven churches now appear at the summits on which purified Rome rests her now truly eternal foundations." (Liturgical Year)

"O noble Rome, O lady of the earth, O most excellent of all cities, ruddy with the roseate blood of martyrs, and white with the glistening lilies of virgins: we salute thee throughout the earth: we bless thee; for ever, hail!" (Hymn, circa 7-8th century A.D.)

"You cannot deny that you know that in the city of Rome the Episcopal chair was first conferred on Peter. In this Peter, the head of all the Apostles (hence his name Cephas), has sat; in which chair alone unity was to be preserved for all" (Optatus of Milevis, as quoted by Pope Leo XIII)

"We who are distant from Rome, separated by Alps and Pyrenees, how can we even imagine what treasures she possesses, or how rich is her earth in sacred tombs? We have not her privileges, we cannot trace the martyrs bloody footsteps" (Liturgical Year)

"Rome, O Rome! Surely thy strength is here! Three hundred years the faithful people lived among the tombs; The catacombs were their metropolis. There in darkness thirty pontiffs ruled; And died, save two, by martyrdom" (De Vere)

"Rome, baptized in the blood she had shed, found herself Christian in spite of herself; all her honors were now to be lavished upon the very men whom in the time of her folly she had put to the sword. Such are Thy triumphs, O Wisdom of God!" (Liturgical Year)

"To manifest his power still more effectively, [Christ] ordained that the head of his Church should be in Rome itself, the capital of the world, as a sign of his complete victory and that thence faith should spread to the whole world" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Caesar Augustus has long ruled over Pagan Rome, and she thinks herself the kingdom that is to have no end; but she and her Rulers must yield to the Eternal King and his eternal city: the throne of earthly power must now give place for the Throne of Christian charity, and a new Rome is to spring up, grander than the first." (Gueranger)

"The heaven is not so bright, when the sun sends forth his rays, as is the city of Rome, sending out these two lights into all the world. Thence Paul will be caught up, thence Peter... What two crowns has the city about it, with what golden chains it is girded about, what fountains it has! Therefore I admire the city, not for its much gold, not for its columns, not for any other phantasy, but for these pillars of the Church." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"To create solid and stable convictions in the minds of the uncultured masses, there must be something that appeals to the senses. A popular faith, sustained only by doctrines, will never be anything but feeble and vacillating. But if the authority of the Holy See were visibly displayed in majestic buildings, imperishable memorials and witnesses seemingly planted by the hand of God himself, belief would grow and strengthen...and all the world would accept and revere it." (Pope Nicholas V)

"Christian Rome is protected on the north and south by these two citadels. Let us enter into the sentiments of our fathers, when they said of this privileged city: 'Peter the doorkeeper sets his holy dwelling at the entrance: who can deny that this city is like heaven? At the other extremity, Paul from his temple guards the walls; Rome lies between the two: here then God dwelleth.' (Inscription on the gate of Rome, 'the gate of St. Peter')" (Liturgical Year)

"The future of the human race, now under the guidance of the Church, is, therefore centered in Rome, and the destinies of that City are interwoven with those of her undying Pontiff. We, the Children of the Church, though differing in race and tongue and character, are all Romans by holy religion; as Romans were are united by Peter to Christ; and thus our glorious name is the link of that great Fraternity of Catholics throughout the world." (Gueranger)

"The eternity of Rome, then, if it be not an exact truth, is nevertheless no mere rhetorical exaggeration. It denotes the fact that Rome has been chosen of God as the center of His kingdom, which is eternal, as the depository of His eternal truths, as the foundation of His graces which lead men to a higher life, as the witness and guardian of law and principles of which the sanction and the fruit are eternal." (Cardinal Manning)

"The teacher of the whole earth, as well as the doorkeeper of heaven, both of them fathers of Rome and judges of nations, each a victor of death, the one by the sword, the other by the cross; laurel crowned, both take their seats in the senate of eternal life. O happy Rome, by noble gore of princes twain art thou now consecrated; empurpled by the blood of such as these, thou alone dost surpass in beauty all the rest of the earth." (Age-old Hymn)

"O Peter, we also hail thy glorious tomb!... If all nations are moved at the tidings of thy triumphant death; if all tongues proclaim that from Rome the law of the Lord must come forth unto the whole world; is it not because thy death has turned Babylon into that city of divine oracles hailed by the son of Amos in his prophecy? Is it not because the mountain prepared in distant ages to bear the house of the Lord comes forth from the midst and stands in daylight before all peoples?" (Liturgical Year)

"[W]e know the Church was Roman - that it was born and grew within the confines of the Roman Empire. We also know that Rome was a focal point of early Church authority. By the stated directive of Jesus choosing Peter for a special mission - 'I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven' - and by the martyrdom of the two foremost apostles, Rome, capital of empire and bishopric of Peter, became Rome, capital of the faith, and was recognized as such by the early Church." (Crocker)

"But that the result of this unspeakable grace might be spread abroad through the world, God's providence made ready the Roman Empire, whose growth has reached such limits that the whole multitude of nations are bought into close connexion. For the divinely planted work particularly required that many kingdoms should be leagued together under one empire, so that the preaching of the world might quickly reach to all people, when they were held beneath the rule of one state." (Pope St. Leo I the Great, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"Come now, if you would indulge a better curiosity in the business of your salvation, run through the apostolic Churches in which the very thrones of the Apostles remain still in place; in which their own authentic writings are read, giving sound to the voice and recalling the faces of each. Achaia is near you, so you have Corinth. If you are not far from Macedonia, you have Philippi. If you can cross into Asia, you have Ephesus. But if you are near to Italy, you have Rome, whence also our authority derives. How happy is that Church on which Apostles poured out their whole doctrine along with their blood, where Peter endured a passion like that of the Lord, where Paul was crowned in a death like John's, where the Apostle John, after being immersed in boiling oil suffered no hurt, was exiled to an island." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), 3rd century A.D.]

"At last Rome possesses her two princes conjointly: the one seated on the eternal chair, holding in his hands the keys of the kingdom of heaven; the other surrounded by the sheaves he has garnered from the fields of the Gentile world. They shall now part no more; even in death, as the Church sings, they shall not be separated. The period of their being together was necessarily short, for they must render to their Master the testimony of blood before the Roman world should be freed from the odious tyranny under which it was groaning. Their death was to be Nero's last crime; after that he was to fade from sight, leaving the world horror-stricken at his end, as shameful as it was tragic." (Liturgical Year)

"Peter's death confirms the queen of the Gentile world in her august prerogatives of sovereign lady, mother and bride; but the starting point of all this greatness was the solemn moment in which the Vicar of the Man-God, shaking the dust from his feet over Jerusalem, turned his face westwards, and transferred to Rome those rights which the Synagogue had repudiated. It was on quitting Herod's prison that all this happened. 'And going out of the city,' says the Acts, 'he went into another place.' (Acts xii. 17) This other place, according to the testimony of history and tradition, is no other than Rome, then about to become the new Sion, where Simon Peter arrived some weeks afterwards." (Liturgical Year)

"The Archangel Gabriel told Mary, in the Annunciation, that the Son who was to be born of her should be a King, and that of his Kingdom there should be no end. Hence, when the Magi were led from the East to the Crib of Jesus, they proclaimed it in Jerusalem that they came to seek a King. But this new Empire needed a capital; and whereas the King, who was to fix his throne in it, was, according to the eternal decrees, to re-ascend into heaven, it was necessary that the visible character of his Royalty should be left here on earth, and this even to the end of the world. He that should be invested with this visible character of Christ our King would be the Vicar of Christ." (Gueranger)

"Although all the Catholic churches diffused throughout the world are but one bridal chamber of Christ, yet the holy Roman Church has been set before the rest by no concilar decrees, but has obtained the primacy by the voice of our Lord and Savior in the gospel: Thou art Peter, etc. (Mt. 16:18) There is added also the society of the most blessed apostle Paul, a chosen vessel, who was crowned on one and the same day, suffering a glorious death, with Peter in the city of Rome, under Caesar Nero; and they alike consecrated the above-named Roman church to Christ the Lord, and set it above all others in the whole world by their presence and venerable triumph." (Council of Rome, 382 A.D.)

"Rome is the city of popes because it was in Rome that St. Peter taught the Gospel and it was in Rome that he was martyred about A.D. 67 during Nero's persecution of the Christians. The oldest surviving document which suggests that the Bishop of Rome exercised authority over the churches is St. Clement I's letter to the Corinthians, written about the year 95. Clement wrote to heal the dissentions that had divided the Christians of Corinth into rancorous camps. If St. John, who is believed to have still been alive at this time, had acted to resolve the conflict, it would come to us as not surprise, because he was one of the Twelve Apostles. The fact that it is the fourth bishop of Rome who steps in suggests that his authority was recognized by Christians outside the city of Rome. Furthermore, we know that the letter was revered by subsequent generations of Christians: seventy years later, St. Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, reports that Clement's letter is still being read in the city's churches." (The Wisdom of the Popes) 

"The holy synod therefore admonishes the cardinals to protect the lands and subjects of the Roman church from harm and oppression and, mindful of their peace, safety and good government, to recommend them, if need be, to the supreme pontiff. While it is true that the supreme pontiff and the cardinals should give careful attention to all the territories of the Roman church, nevertheless the city of Rome should be at the centre of their concern. For there the holy bodies of blessed Peter and Paul and of innumerable martyrs and saints of Christ repose; there is the seat of the Roman pontiff, from which he and the Roman empire take their name; thither all Christians flock for the sake of devotion. They should feel for it a special love and affection, as being peculiarly their daughter and principal parish, so that it should be governed in peace, tranquility and justice and should suffer no damage to its churches, walls and roads and the security of its streets. Hence this holy synod decrees that from the sum total of the income and proceeds of the city, an adequate portion shall be set aside for the preservation of the churches, walls, roads and bridges and the security of the streets in the city itself and the district; this money is to be administered by men of proven reputation who are to be chosen on the advice of the cardinals." (Council of Basel)

"[Rome is the] city which was witness of [Saint Peter and Saint Paul's] final combat. She is guardian of their tombs, and continues to be the See of Peter's successors; by this double title she is the vestibule of heaven, the capital of the spiritual empire. The very thought of the august trophies that adorn both banks of her noble river, and of all those other glorious memories that linger around her made the heart of St. John Chrysostom exult with enthusiasm beneath the Eastern sky. We give his words as addressed to the people in one of his homilies: 'In very deed, the heavens illuminated by the fiery rays of the meridian sun have naught comparable to Rome's resplendent rays shed over the whole earth by these two luminaries. Thence will Paul arise, thence Peter likewise. Reflect, yea, tremble, at the thought of what a spectacle Rome is to witness, when Peter and Paul, rising up from their graves, shall be borne aloft to meet the Lord. How brilliant in her roseate hue is Rome before the eyes of Christ! What garlands encircle this city! With what golden chains is she girded! What foundations are hers! Oh! This city of stupendous fame! I admire her, not because of the gold wherewith she abounds, nor because of her proud porticoes, but because she holds within her these two Pillars of the Church.' Then the illustrious orator goes on to remark how he burned with longing desire to visit these sacred tombs, treasure of the world, the secure rampart of the queen city." (Liturgical Year)

Also See: The Martyrdom of St. Peter | St. Laurence's Prayer for Rome | The Vatican | Vatican City / Lateran Treaty | Italy | History | The Roman Curia | The Roman Rota | Vatican Facts

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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St. Laurence's Prayer for Rome

Also See: Rome (Topic Page)

St. Laurence's prayer for (still pagan) Rome at the point of death: "O Christ, only God, O Splendor, O Power of the Father, O Maker of heaven and earth and builder of this city's walls! Thou hast placed Rome's sceptre high over all; Thou hast willed to subject the world to it, in order to unite under one law the nations which differ in manners, customs, language, genius, and sacrifice. Behold the whole human race has submitted to its empire, and all discord and dissensions disappear in its unity. Remember thy purpose: Thou didst will to bind the immense universe together into one Christian Kingdom. O Christ, for the sake of Thy Romans, make this city Christian; for to it Thou gavest the charge of leading all the rest to sacred unity. All its members in every place are united - a very type of Thy Kingdom; the conquered universe has bowed before it. Oh! May its royal head be bowed in turn! Send Thy Gabriel and bid him heal the blindness of the sons of Iulus that they may know the true God. I see a prince who is to come - an Emperor who is a servant of God. He will not suffer Rome to remain a slave; he will close the temples and fasten them with bolts for ever." (St. Laurence)

Also See: Rome | Saints | Prayers & Devotions

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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The Vatican

"Writing from this Apostolic Palace, which is a mine of masterpieces perhaps unique in the world, I would rather give voice to the supreme artists who in this place lavished the wealth of their genius, often charged with great spiritual depth. From here can be heard the voice of Michelangelo who in the Sistine Chapel has presented the drama and mystery of the world from the Creation to the Last Judgement, giving a face to God the Father, to Christ the Judge, and to man on his arduous journey from the dawn to the consummation of history. Here speaks the delicate and profound genius of Raphael, highlighting in the array of his paintings, and especially in the 'Dispute' in the Room of the Signatura, the mystery of the revelation of the Triune God, who in the Eucharist befriends man and sheds light on the questions and expectations of human intelligence. From this place, from the majestic Basilica dedicated to the Prince of the Apostles, from the Colonnade which spreads out from it like two arms open to welcome the whole human family, we still hear Bramante, Bernini, Borromini, Maderno, to name only the more important artists, all rendering visible the perception of the mystery which makes of the Church a universally hospitable community, mother and traveling companion to all men and women in their search for God. This extraordinary complex is a remarkably powerful expression of sacred art, rising to heights of imperishable aesthetic and religious excellence." (Pope John Paul II)

Also See: Vatican City / Lateran Treaty | Rome | Italy | The Martyrdom of St. Peter | History | The Lateran | Vatican Facts | Church Talk

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Vatican City / Lateran Treaty

"Italy recognizes the sovereignty of the Holy See in the international field, as a right naturally belonging to it, according to its tradition and the requirements of its mission in the world. Italy recognizes as belonging to the Holy See full right of ownership, absolute power, and sovereign jurisdiction over the Vatican, as at present constituted, with all its dependencies and endowments, thus creating Vatican City for the special purposes and with the means provided by the present treaty." [From the Lateran Treaty (2/11/1929)]

Also See: The Vatican | Rome | Italy | The Martyrdom of St. Peter | History | The Lateran | Vatican Facts

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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* Rome (Topic Page)

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* The Pope (Topic Page)

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