reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Pope to celebrate Mass in Roman catacombs on All Souls Day
Pope Francis is set to visit the Catacombs of Priscilla, in Rome, on Saturday, to mark the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed with the celebration of Holy Mass.
By Devin Watkins
Large numbers of early Christian martyrs were buried in the Catacombs of Priscilla, which was known as the regina catacumbarum – the “queen of the catacombs”.
At the Angelus on Friday, Pope Francis announced plans to celebrate Mass in this ancient Roman cemetery on Saturday, the feast of All Souls.
“In these days in which there unfortunately circulate negative cultural messages regarding death and the dead, I invite you not to neglect, if possible, a visit and a prayer in a cemetery.”
He called it “an act of faith.”
Cemetery of the martyrs
The Catacombs of Priscilla were originally a sand quarry located along the Via Salaria belonging to the Acilius Glabrio family. A member of this noble family, Priscilla, allowed the early Church to use the property as a cemetery.
Many Christians were buried there from the 2nd to the 4th centuries, along with at least 7 popes, including Pope Marcellinus (296-304) and Pope Marcellus I (308-309).
The catacombs also contain what some experts consider the oldest known depiction of the Virgin Mary, in a fresco dating from the middle of the 2th century.