Day XI. Saturday, Week I.
Threatened with its collapse, Julius II decided to rebuild it (1506). The project involved the greatest of minds at the time including Raphael, Maderno, Michelangelo, and Bernini. 120 years later, it was consecrated on November 18, 1626, 1300 years after its first consecration. There are no stained glass windows in it. Bernini's image of the Holy Spirit, (see photo), is made from alabaster. (This is a sign of hope for those of use who are as dense as rock - the Holy Spirit can still shine through us!) Without a doubt Saint Peter's is one of the most beautiful churches in the world and an incredible testament to the faith of our ancestors. (The photo of the facade was taken during the Consistory of February 21, 2001, when the Holy Father created 44 new Cardinals.)
Today is the traditional day when priests were ordained at the foot of the altar at Saint Peter's. The celebration began with a vigil this evening, which culminated with the ordination Sunday morning.
Day XII. Sunday, Week II.
"This is my chosen Son; listen to him" (Gospel for today Lk 9:35).
It is important because it is the first depiction of the Christ Child on the lap of His Mother. They are surrounded by the angelic host and Pope Paschal kneels at their feet (his is still alive as he has a square nimbus). Also, for the first time in Rome, Christ is pictured above sitting on a rainbow, surrounded by a nimbus of light. He is flanked by the apostles. During a later alterations by Leo X, Raphael was the architect (1483-1520).