Seven Pilgrimage Churches of Rome

Dear Catholic Exchange,

Can you tell me what are the seven pilgrimage churches of Rome? Thank you very much.

Dom Gregory, O.S.B.

Dear Dom Gregory,

Peace in Christ!

Purists like to focus their Rome pilgrimage around stops at the seven Roman churches designated by the Vatican as key pilgrimage sites. St. Philip Neri is credited with popularizing the pilgrimage as a positive activity for young people in 16th Century Rome. A secondary benefit was that after walking for 12 miles and enjoying a picnic, the young people were too tired to get into mischief that night. As St. Philip and his Oratorians were hospitable toward pilgrims in Rome from distant countries, after taking part in tour of seven churches, the pilgrims could have taken the devotion back to their own cities. The seven pilgrimage churches are as follows:

1. St. Peter's Basilica

2. St. John Lateran (including the Scala Santa, the “holy stairs” that came from the house of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem and are said to have been climbed by Christ before his trial)

3. St. Mary Major

4. St. Paul Outside the Walls

5. St. Sebastian

6. The Church of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem

7. St. Lawrence

All are accessible by bus, tram, or subway.

United in the Faith,

Peter Balbirnie

Information Specialist

Catholics United for the Faith

827 North Fourth Street

Steubenville, OH 43952

800-MY-FAITH (800-693-2484)

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