The Four Jubilee Routes
In the Bull of Indiction Pope Francis reminds the faithful that: “The pilgrimage is a particular sign of the Holy Year because it is an icon of the walk which each person undertakes in their life. Life is a pilgrimage and the human being is the traveller or viator, a pilgrim who follows a road until the longed-for destination".
Also to reach the Holy Door in Rome and every other place, each of us must undertake a pilgrimage in accordance with our own strength. It will also be a sign of the fact that mercy too is a destination to be reached and which requires dedication and sacrifice.” (MV, no. 14).
In order to help whoever wishes to respond to this invitation from the Pope, four walking routes have been prepared which connect the Jubilee Basilicas of St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major with St. Peter’s.
They follow ancient routes which enable pilgrims to relive the spiritual treasure of the Eternal City through so many sacred places which bear witness to the faith of generations of Christians, saints and martyrs.
And these signs of witness can help the faithful prepare for the meeting with God’s Mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and passing through the Holy Door.
The Papal Route
This is the route taken for centuries by the Popes, particularly on the occasion of their election and their taking of possession of Rome as the City’s Bishop. A long procession accompanied the Pope through the streets of Campus Martius and Celio to go from St Peter’s to the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of Rome. The itinerary now ends past ancient monasteries and medieval churches, the most important remains of Imperial Rome and the imposing churches of the 16th and 17th centuries, before reaching the Jubilee church of S. Maria in Vallicella, where San Filippo Neri is buried.
The Route of Mercy
This route connects St. John in Lateran to St. Peter’s through the ancient heart of Rome, but covering in the final part the itinerary of the pilgrims who used to arrive from the North, from Porta del Popolo, passing past the Jubilee church of St. Salvatore at the Laurels in the Ponte district, which is located on the route towards Ponte S. Angelo and St. Peter’s.
The Pilgrim’s Route
This is one of the traditional itineraries for medieval pilgrims who reached Rome from various parts of Italy and Europe. From the Basilica of St. John Lateran, this walk comes out near the banks of the Tiber. On the way it passes by The Most Holy Trinity of the Pilgrims, the historic point of welcome for tens of thousands of pilgrims in the jubilees of the 16th and 17th centuries, linked to the work of San Filippo Neri. It continues along Via Giulia, before reaching the Jubilee church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini. S. Angelo bridge then takes the pilgrim to the other side of the river heading towards St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Marian Route
This is the route which unites the Basilica of St. Mary Major, dedicated to the Holy Mother, to numerous sacred sites dedicated to Mary, for centuries the center of devotion for the people of Rome. such as S. Maria dei Monti and Santa Maria in Campitelli. Near the end it reaches the Jubilee church of Santa Maria in Vallicella, dedicated to the Nativity of Mary and where a miraculous image of the Virgin is worshiped, to then continue to St Peter’s.
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