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What Saint started the 'Stations of the Cross' in the Coliseum?

2012-11-25

ALESSANDRO CIAMEI
Franciscan
"At the time it was more of a prayer exercise,   but he asked for the Pope's permission to recite it in the vernacular. He did not invent the Way of the Cross, but he  was the first to give a name to each station, as we know them today.  Not in Latin but in the vernacular.”

This room, which was actually an infirmary, was built piece by piece, since the old convent was destroyed. It now includes key items like a habit, shoes and a very special crucifix.

ALESSANDRO CIAMEI
Franciscan
"This room has the crucifix that he wore during some of his popular missions, some of them in Italian Churches or just out on the streets. He would always end his mission with a Way of the Cross.”

His efforts led to the construction of 500 Ways of the Cross around Italy, the most famous is in the Coliseum. On November 27th, 1750 it was inaugurated. It was the first time a religious celebration was held there. 

ALESSANDRO CIAMEI
Franciscan
"He wanted to build the Way of the Cross in the Colosseum in honor of the martyrs who lost their lives in Rome and the Colosseum. It was built, but destroyed a century later.”

When he led the Way of the Cross at the Coliseum back in 1750, a new tradition began.  That's actually why every Good Friday, the Pope prays the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum.

A year later, on November 26, 1751 Leonardo da Porto Maurizio died in the infirmary of the convent. Today, the room is used as a small chapel. Just another way to remember this patron saint of missions and his work, which has survived over the centuries. 

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