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Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches Audio CD – October 29, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Rome’s station churches date from the early Christian era, with architectural and traditional elaborations added to many in the Renaissance and major repairs made as recently as the past decade. Their visitation by believers during Lent follows a specific order, with aspects of the faith related to each edifice. Weigel, a Vatican analyst for NBC news, presents a readily accessible overview of how these “stational churches” correlate to and support Roman Catholic Lenten practice and affirmations while at the same time providing an attractive meditative tour for any visitor. Art historian Elizabeth Lev uses Weigel’s color photos to discuss architectural details along with the buildings’ history. This is a unique guide book, referencing not only theology but the history of Western art, modern and post modern literature, urban history, and church history. Valuable to believers, scholars, students, armchair travelers, and those planning pilgrimages following Phil Cousineau’s guides. --Francisca Goldsmith --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

''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.'' --New Criterion

''On cold, damp, late-winter early mornings, hundreds of priests, seminarians, sisters, and devoted lay people walk the Roman cobblestones to one of the Eternal City's forty most venerable sites, the station church of that Lenten day. It's a microcosm of the pilgrim Church and of life's journey, and Easter is never brighter than after faithfully completing this sixteen-century-old pilgrimage tradition.'' --Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York

''The Lenten station church pilgrimage is increasingly popular in Rome, especially among English-speaking Catholics . . . Up to now, though, these sunrise pilgrimages have been known to few outside Rome. No more!'' --Edwin Cardinal O'Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem

''Visitors to the Eternal City, either in their armchairs or on foot, will learn much about the spiritual journey of Lent and Easter through Rome's station churches, many of them little-known artistic treasures.'' --Bruce Cole, chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2001-2009
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio; Unabridged edition (October 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1482930277
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482930276
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.5 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,073,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Edward R. Grant on November 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lent will never be the same for those who engage this book's invitation to join in spirit those fortunate enough to make the "Roman Pilgrimage" in person. George Weigel's reflections on the liturgical readings for each day of Lent (and the Octave of Easter) draw from deep wells of theology, history, and literature, while Eiizabeth Lev's lucid essays on the Station Churches provide their own invitation to consider how zeal for "theHouse of the Lord" is a centuries-old constant in the pilgrim life of the Church. I agree that the fine work of photographer Stephen Weigel is a bit short-changed in the bound volume's conversion of many photos to black and white. However, there are also ample color plates beautifully capturing what is inevitably a fraction of the rich detail in these Churches. As elsewhere noted, the Kindle edition displays all photographs in full color; also the MP3 version includes a supplemental PDF of young Mr. Weigel's work. For those in Apple-land, the Ibooks version would, I am sure, look splendid on a 27-inch screen!

Those who quibble here with the aesthetics may be missing the point of the book: to invite all Catholics, indeed, all Christians and men and women of good will, to set aside Lent, in a manner largely lost in recent decades, as a time for profound reflection on the realities of sin, conversion, redemption, and, ultimately, the joy of a life animated by, and lived in, imitation of Christ. While this is always primarily a matter of the "interior life," the book reminds us that the places and things of this Earth are the essential context in which that journey takes place. This manner of "going out," especially when made in communion with fellow pilgrims, is the key to a Lent well-observed.
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66 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Jack on October 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is disappointing.

Although the book is ostensibly about the ancient Lenten station churches of Rome, the bulk of the book is devoted to George Weigel's commentary on the liturgical readings for each day of Lent. He has little to say about the station churches themselves.

Each church receives a brief one-page description from the art historian Elizabeth Lev. I suppose this is better than nothing, but these short descriptions contain some surprising errors and omissions. For example, Ms. Lev claims that Santo Stefano Rotondo was originally built in the early fifth century. In reality, it was built several decades later. The description of San Sisto Vecchio omits the legend that the church was built on the spot where Pope St. Sixtus II, while on his way to be executed, met his deacon, St. Lawrence. This story would be of interest to any pilgrim visiting the church.

The book contains a few color photographs of the churches, some of which you are unlikely to find elsewhere. However, I had expected the book to have far more color photos than it does.

It is also irritating that the churches are identified solely by their English names even though the churches are far better known, even in the English-speaking world, by their Italian names. If you go to Rome and ask a local for directions to "St. Peter in Chains", he or she isn't likely going to have a clue what you're talking about.

I cannot help but feel that this book was put together hurriedly and was carelessly edited. You will like this book if you are interested in Mr. Weigel's commentary on the Lenten liturgical readings. However, for information on the station churches themselves, you would do better to read any number of books on Roman art and architecture, as well as general tourist guidebooks and internet sites.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dionysius on October 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book in every respect, and Weigel's exquisite meditations on each day of Lent are an invitation to an ever deeper conversion to Christ.

The Station Churches of Rome are one of the greatest hidden treasures of the Catholic Church, and this book opens the doors to those churches and to the liturgical riches of Lent. All the photos in the Kindle version are high res and in color, so this is one instance in which the e-book is perhaps of greater value than the paper version.

Any Christian seeking a deeper and more mature spiritual life will find a splendid companion on the way in "Roman Pilgrimage."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James Austin McNamee on February 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I felt that a lot of history was missing about the Major Churches...the author's refections are very good for each day of Lent.. But the histories of the Station Churches was very limited...I guess the title fooled me , since I thought it would be more details about the Churches.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris from Ohio on February 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book's idea of spending each day of Lent relating it to a physical church in Rome was well done and a unique way to experience a Lenten devotion.

Up to this point I, like a typical Catholic, would have focused my Lenten devotion on the daily readings, the Stations of the Cross, the Seven Last Words, and so on. This book reminds us that the 'corporate' Church also includes the dimension of pilgrims and martyrs and their legacy in our Lenten journey.

The book includes numerous threads of discussion from Pope JP2 and Pope Benedict XVI in the daily meditations on each station church, as well as interesting details on the architecture and history of the sites. It provides a beneficial reminder that the Church as Body of Christ has withstood much in the way of trials over the centuries since Calvary, and that salvation history includes a physical dimension that one can visit, in addition to the Word and Tradition that we all know and (hopefully) love.

There are some color pictures of the sites, but the majority of the shots are monochrome. This is my only disappointment with the book. I assume that to publish the work using all color pictures would have driven the cost up too much.

All in all, a very good conservative, orthodox book for those Catholics wanting a structured and unique way to live their Lenten devotion.
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