The Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome

Rome is a city filled with churches and these churches are all worth visiting in their own right. However, there were seven churches in particular which have been traditionally and historically singled out. This tradition is attributed to none other than St. Philip Neri, often referred to as the 'second apostle' of Rome (the first being, of course, St. Peter himself). 

As we set upon preparation for Lent, some of our readers may find it of interest that this practice originated, it is said, out of a desire to provide for a more pious and spiritual alternative to Rome's 'carnival.' The traditional route in question involved a walkabout the city, touching on the basilicas of St. John Lateran, St. Peter's Basilica, St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. Mary Major, St. Lawrence Outside the Walls, St. Sebastian Outside the Walls and Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

It is worth noting that the four major papal basilicas found in this list were already designated as "pilgrim churches" in their own right be various popes in the fourteenth century, but our focus here is on the tradition of a pilgrimage made to these seven basilicas successively. 

The idea behind the pilgrimage was a devotion to the early Roman Christian saints and martyrs, of which these seven basilicas are, of course, closely affiliated. In this regard, the itinerary in question is founded in 'Romanitas.' 

Evidently the four major papal basilicas are well enough known to all, but if you're wondering about the other three are on the pilgrimage itinerary, here they are. 

San Lorenzo:

San Sebastiano:

Santa Croce:

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