We Catholics know how to do death and the afterlife, right?
Keep reading for some of Rome's creepiest relics, crypts, incorruptible bodies, messages from the dead, and some bells to look forward to over the next few days.
I’m currently traveling through Rome, Tuscany, and Umbria with an amazing group of people. Today we are visiting a winery and a small family farm in Montefalco. I’m so excited to be sharing the beauties of Italy with people in person again. This is my fourth group since travel resumed and I’ve had no issues or complications.
I have a few spots left on my Christmas Season Pilgrimage. Rome and Assisi in all their Christmas glory. Don’t miss it!
My low season pilgrimage to Tuscany, Rome, and Assisi is almost full. This is one of my most popular pilgrimages each year. Lower costs, no crowds, and usually perfect weather. Details here.
Looking ahead, there’s still space on the Lenten Station Church Pilgrimage to Rome.
Relics and Incorruptibles
I wrote this article years ago and it’s been reprinted and reposted many times. I’ve added some new pictures and stories... levitations, bodies that are still flexible and moist hundreds of years after death, eyes opening, detached heads, etc.
Read Hanging with the Dead.
The once a year crypt visit on Tiber Island
A group of people used to bury the unwanted dead of Rome. Now the bones of those dead are on display in a crypt that is only open a few hours each year. After a Mass and a procession along the Tiber, the faithful visit the crypt to pray for the dead. The crypt is musty, cramped, and filled with hundreds of skeletons.
Check out the eerie Sacconi Rossi Crypt.
The Devil and the Vial of Darkness
One of the most terrifying relics in Rome is the lapis diaboli, or Devil’s Stone, found in the Basilica of Santa Sabina. The tradition is that Satan tried to distract Saint Dominic while he was praying in this church. He produced a solid black stone and threw it at the saint. Of course Dominic didn’t flinch. Today the stone is in the back of the church with Satan’s claw marks still present.
Some people have bucket lists of places they want to visit. I have a bucket list of relics, and this one is at the top… a collection of relics of the seven plagues. These are kept in the church of San Marco Evangelista right in the heart of Rome. Why these exist, I have no idea, but they are rarely on display, possibly only by invitation once a year. The one I am most excited and terrified to see is the vial of darkness. From what I hear, it’s literally just that, a vial of the darkest dark matter that basically sucks all the light and joy from anything around it. I’m uncomfortable just thinking about it and I can't wait to see it!
There’s a little known museum in Rome dedicated to the souls in purgatory. People always get a bit uneasy when visiting.
Read about it here.
I know you love bells. Stay tuned to my socials for the All Saints’ Day Bells at Saint Peter’s Basilica and on November 4th, my favorite, the bells in remembrance of the Cardinals and Bishops who passed away this year.
Instagram / Facebook / YouTube
Thanks for being here!