In the footsteps of Blessed Frances Siedliska in Rome (4)

Sr. M. Beata Rudzińska, CSFN

Piazza Venezia – encounter of three histories

Upon arriving in Rome, Frances stayed, most likely, at a hotel at Piazza Venezia or Venice Square. According to S. Augustyna’s notes already quoted, Frances was supposed to move later to a private apartment of a lady who is unknown to us, and then to the convent of the Sisters of Reparation.

We remain at Piazza Venezia in this episode. I like to start a guided tour of the Foundress’ footsteps in Rome here.  With one turn of the head you can embrace, at least symbolically, at least three stories of the Eternal City.

First, the history of ancient Rome. From the Venice Square you can see the Palatine Hill, where traces of the oldest settlement have been found and where Romulus and Remus, the legendary brothers fed by a she-wolf, founded Rome (the official date is April 21, 753 B.C.). Even closer is the Capitoline Hill – the place of worship and power of ancient Rome, and today the Capitoline Museums, rich in exhibits, and the seat of the city’s mayor. Below the Palatine the Colosseum, which needs no introduction. From where we are standing, it is accessed by Via Fori Imperiali, a street laid out only in 1932 between and practically on the remains of the fora of Caesar, Augustus, Nerva and Trajan. Walking down this street, we can admire the great open-air museum that is the Roman Forum and the Forum of Trajan with its places of worship and gatherings, the remains of arches and roads.

Looking from Piazza Venezia at ancient Rome we are a little “disturbed” by the huge, as if imposing, building of the Vittoriano or Altar of the Fatherland. For me, the Vittoriano is a symbol of a second history – the history of Italy united after centuries of non-existence as a single state. This history is intertwined with the history of the Church and the beginnings of the Congregation in Rome. However, this will be discussed in the next episode…


Delineation of Via Fori Imperiali, 1932– www.romaierioggi.it
Other pictures – Sr. Anita Jach CSFN
Via Fori Imperiali nowadays
Capitoline she-wolf – copy (original in the Capitoline Museums)
View of the Roman Forum from the Palatine Hill
The Colosseum inside
The sun rises in the Colosseum….
Trajan’s Markets at night
Trajan’s Forum at night