Sacred Stairs – Pilgrims Climb on Their Knees

Image

Christians believe that Jesus climbed steps on his way to the judgement hall in Pontius Pilate’s palace. These same steps were preserved and later restored.  As a gift to the Holy See in 326 A.D. from Constantine the Great (orchestrated by his mother, St. Helena), the steps were relocated from Jerusalem to their current site at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. This artifact is among the holiest relics of the Roman Catholic Church.

The set of 28 white marble steps is encased in a protective wood covering. Worshippers believe the stairway is holy because of Jesus’ footsteps on it.  Indeed, pilgrims are only allowed to ascend on their knees. This kneeling position allows them to gaze through holes in the wood which allegedly reveal spots of Christ’s blood on the marble beneath.

Several popes have undergone the ritual of ascending these sacred steps on their knees.

 

Adapted from Malcolm Moore’s article.  For article and photo:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1554541/Steps-Jesus-walked-to-trial-restored-to-glory.html

See also:  http://www.medjugorjeusa.org/holystairs.htm

The First Reconciliation Walk in Canada

Image

Reconciliation isn’t a physical, visible thing. It happens in our hearts. But an intentional walk by ten thousand people to demonstrate the reality of reconciliation – that’s an example of ‘feet delivering a message’.

The four-kilometre walk through downtown Vancouver in September 2013, followed hearings by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a fact-finding commission set up between the Canadian government, victims of residential school abuse and various churches.

 Bernice King, daughter of the civil rights hero Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was the chosen orator at the beginning of the march.  She outlined her vision that Canada would “be the great nation that it’s called to be.This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action,” She reminded them of her father’s words that human progress was neither automatic nor inevitable. “Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle.”  As she spoke about Canada’s destiny she emphasized leadership, action, community and mutuality.

There were further demonstrations: a lighting of a fire of reconciliation before the hearings began and a canoe gathering of all nations.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/09/22/bernice-king-reconciliation-walk_n_3972656.html