In recent decades, Americans in Rome have revived an ancient Christian custom: the daily pilgrimage to dozens of Rome’s most striking churches during Lent and Easter Week. Along this historical and spiritual pathway, pilgrims encounter hidden artistic wonders and treasured Christian commentaries, while also confronting the great mysteries of the Christian faith through a program of biblical and early Christian readings. The itinerary of the Roman station church pilgrimage offers Christians an opportunity to reflect on their religion and ponder the quality of their discipleship. In Roman Pilgrimage, best-selling theologian George Weigel, art historian Elizabeth Lev, and photographer Stephen Weigel guide readers along this religious and aesthetic journey with gorgeous photographs and revealing essays on the pilgrimage’s art, architecture, and liturgies. A reminder of the call for renewal and conversion during each Lenten season, Roman Pilgrimage reflects on the deepest truths of Christianity and the exquisite beauty of the station churches of Rome.
“Gorgeous photographs by Stephen Weigel ? of churches, basilicas, and cathedrals ? accompany in-depth historical accounts and fascinating insights from Lev into the role these edifices play in the life of the larger Catholic Church. Each chapter begins with the day’s Scripture readings and a brief exegesis, along with practical advice on living one’s faith in a more authentic way. These reflections bring the traditional Lenten ascetic practices of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving into a contemporary context. [A] valuable companion for the Lenten journey.”
“This is a unique guide book, referencing not only theology but the history of Western art, modern and post modern literature, urban history, and church history. Valuable to believers, scholars, students, armchair travelers, and those planning pilgrimages following Phil Cousineau’s guides.”
“While no replacement for an actual pilgrimage, Weigel’s reflections allow one to enter into the spirit of the Lenten experience of conversion…. Although heavily Catholic in tone, the book will appeal to any Christian seeking to experience somewhat the pilgrimage that many have followed to prepare themselves to celebrate Easter.”
Fr. Robert Barron, Rector-President, Mundelein Seminary
“An astonishingly good book. George Weigel’s meditations on the liturgical texts of Lent and Easter are intellectually rich, spiritually alert, and rendered in beautifully crafted prose; Elizabeth Lev’s examinations of the station churches themselves are always informative, insightful, and witty. Equally impressive are Stephen Weigel’s artfully composed photographs. Roman Pilgrimage will delight your eye and feed your soul.”
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
“On cold, damp, late-winter early mornings, hundreds of priests, seminarians, sisters, and devoted lay people walk the Roman cobblestones to one of the Eternal City’s forty most venerable sites, the station church of that Lenten day. It’s a microcosm of the pilgrim Church and of life’s journey, and Easter is never brighter than after faithfully completing this sixteen-century-old pilgrimage tradition.”