Monday, October 4, 2005 9:05 AM
Santa Paulo is not located in the same area of Rome as the Vatican and so it is not as crowded and therefore easier to see and spend time in. The outside of the building, while still not that impressive is better than Santa Pietro. There is a wonderful mosaic over the front entrance that is exquisite. Saint Paul himself stands guard at the entrance. The inside of the cathedral is massive with mosaics on all the walls and ceilings. It is a virtual museum of art. The main doors are made of massive bronze that shows the crucifixion and other sacred scenes. Both Santa Paulo and Santa Pietro are living cathedrals. You can see priests moving about on their various duties. There are confessional booths on all side of the cathedral with seemingly every language of the world covered. If you want to meet a priest and speak in Chinese there is a booth and time scheduled.
When I walk through a massive building like this and I compare it to our own tiny temple that we have helped to build I know what is involved in creating a sacred structure such as this and I wonder, “Who built this place? How did they pay for it? Where did the artisans come from?” I am humbled.