Just in time for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Italy family vacations, the Vatican has unveiled newly restored frescoes in the Catacombs of Priscilla. These catacombs are of significant historical significance because they depict the earliest known image of the Virgin Mary with Jesus, dating from 230-240 AD. There are also frescoes said by some people, such as proponents of the Women’s priesthood movement, to show women priests in the early church.
On Tuesday, November 19, 2014 Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican’s culture minister, presided over the opening of the “Cubicle of Lazzaro.”
The Roman catacombs are important to Christian history because they provide a historical record of how the early Christians lived 1700 years ago.
In keeping with the spirit of the modern Internet age, the Roman catacombs are now available on Google Maps. You may spend hours online on Google hanging out underground exploring the catacombs. The catacombs are so big, built out to miles and miles of underground labyrinthine cemetery complex, I am guessing many will be getting virtually lost traveling back in time via Google. See the video below for more information about the virtual Rome catacombs tour.
For more information about visiting Rome’s catacombs on your Italy vacation click guided tours of Rome’s catacombs.