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

A London Marathoner’s Stellar Effort

Image

 

Image

 

 Thirty-six thousand runners completed the 26.2 mile marathon course in London in 2012. So did Claire Lomas. 

The paralyzed 32-year-old conquered the course of uneven sidewalks using a bionic suit to control her legs. Her effort took around 40 hours, averaging between a mile and 2.5 miles spread over 17 days. Claire is a former chiropractor and competitive cross-country horse rider.  She broke her spine after being thrown from her horse five years earlier.

Claire’s is an overcomer. From strenuous athleticism to immobility; from a wheelchair to a pioneering bionic suit called ReWalk which gives her mobility through motion sensors, battery operated motors and an onboard computer system. She can stand, walk and climb stairs. When her daughter was learning to walk, Claire joined her – one for the first time, the other for the second time around.

She completed the race with her husband in tow.  Tourists, supporters and family clapped her along to a marathon success.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2141302/Claire-Lomas-Paralysed-woman-completes-London-Marathon-bionic-suit.html

See also: http://www.amazon.ca/Finding-My-Feet-Claire-Lomas/dp/0992799015