The annual Lenten pilgrimage to dozens of Rome's most striking churches is a sacred tradition dating back almost two millennia, to the earliest days of Christianity. Along this historic spiritual pathway, today's pilgrims confront the mysteries of the Christian faith through a program of biblical and early Christian readings amplified by some of the greatest art and architecture of western civilization.
In Roman Pilgrimage, bestselling theologian and papal biographer George Weigel, art historian Elizabeth Lev, and photographer Stephen Weigel lead readers through this unique religious and aesthetic journey with magnificent photographs and revealing commentaries on the pilgrimage's liturgies, art, and architecture. Through reflections on each day's readings about faith and doubt, heroism and weakness, self-examination and conversion, sin and grace, Rome's familiar sites take on a new resonance. And along that same historical path, typically unexplored treasures - artifacts of ancient history and hidden artistic wonders - appear in their original luster, revealing new dimensions of one of the world's most intriguing and multi-layered cities.
A compelling guide to the Eternal City, the Lenten Season, and the itinerary of conversion that is Christian life throughout the year, Roman Pilgrimage reminds readers that the imitation of Christ through faith, hope, and love is the template of all true discipleship, as the exquisite beauty of the Roman station churches invites reflection on the deepest truths of Christianity.
George Weigel, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is the author of numerous books on Catholicism and faith.
Elizabeth Lev, an American-born art historian living in Rome, teaches art history at Duquesne University's Italian campus and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Stephen Weigel is a professional photographer.
Praise for Roman Pilgrimage:
"Gorgeous photographs by Stephen Weigel of churches, basilicas, and cathedrals accompany in-depth historical accounts and fascinating insights from Lev into the role these edifices play in the life of the larger Catholic Church. Each chapter begins with the day's Scripture readings and a brief exegesis, along with practical advice on living one's faith in a more authentic way. These reflections bring the traditional Lenten ascetic practices of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving into a contemporary context. [A] valuable companion for the Lenten journey."
- Publishers Weekly
"An astonishingly good book. George Weigel's meditations on the liturgical texts of Lent and Easter are intellectually rich, spiritually alert, and rendered in beautifully crafted prose; Elizabeth Lev's examinations of the station churches themselves are always informative, insightful, and witty. Equally impressive are Stephen Weigel's artfully composed photographs. Roman Pilgrimage will delight your eye and feed your soul."
- Fr. Robert Barron, Rector-President, Mundelein Seminary
"Roman Pilgrimage is as beautiful as it is profound. Part travelogue, part meditation on Lent and Easter, part art-historical feast, this sumptuously produced book, full of striking photographs and theological wisdom, provides readers with a personal spiritual itinerary through the Eternal City during the holiest time of the year."
- Roger Kimball, Editor, The New Criterion
"More than a historical and cultural narrative and a striking guide book, Roman Pilgrimage is also an inspiring reflection on the spiritual life, well-suited to an enriching retreat."
- Most Rev. Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services
"Theologically rich, spiritually inspiring, historically informative, and beautifully illustrated, Roman Pilgrimage takes the reader on a spiritual journey into the incarnate depths of the Christian faith. Whether we are in Rome or elsewhere, we are invited to walk with the saints and martyrs along the path of paschal renewal in Christ."
- Rev. Joseph Carola, S.J., Pontifical Gregorian University