Saturday, December 19, 2009

Advent Calendar: Roman Gate 19

Gates, lift high your heads,
raise high the ancient gateways,
and the king of glory shall enter.
Psalm 24: 7 (New Jerusalem Bible)

Gates to Street Shrine on Via die Querceti

This thousand-year-old street shrine was probably originally dedicated to the legendary Popessa Joan. There is mention of a shrine on this site in a guide book from 1518, saying that it commemorated the 8th century stoning death of the English woman who became pope. Today you can peek inside and see a small 14th century fresco. In the upper right corner is an early 19th century plaque that reads:
Mary's smile will gladden this site
if the passer-by addresses Her: Hail Mother.

O Key of David
and Royal Power of Israel,
You open what no man can shut,
and You shut what no man can open.
- Come and deliver Your people
imprisoned by darkness and the shadow of death

O Radiant Dawn
You are the brightness of eternal light
and the Sun of justice.
- Come to enlighten those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

from the Great "O" Antiphons

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