The Portal July 2018 - Page 6

THE P RTAL July 2018 Page 6 San Giorgio in Velabro, Rome      Donato Tallo visits John Henry Newman’s Titular Church D espite not being one of the seven pilgrim churches of Rome or one of the Papal Basilicas, the Church of San Giorgio in Velabro is a very beautiful and interesting church that no visitor to the eternal city of Rome should omit to visit. Dedicated to St George, the church is located  very venerated in the East and is also patron saint of England. close to the river Tiber and is only a short distance away from both the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. The church of San Giorgio is believed to date back Unlike many other churches in Rome, San Giorgio in to the seventh century and is located in a very ancient Velabro is not overly furnished with statues, artwork and historically important part of the city of Rome. and mosaics. However, its beauty in its simplicity is what gives this church its distinct and unique charm. The church is well known for being slightly wonky, but in many respects this adds to the charm of the There is a very peaceful and calm feeling inside the building. The apse dates back to the ninth century and church and it is certainly a place where a visitor to Rome it is quite clear to see that the church narrows going can pray and meditate in both peace and stillness. The towards the altar. The external portico is crooked and Church of San Giorgio will be of particular interest to again this adds a distinctive and unique charm to the members and those associated with the Ordinariate church, and while the front of the church building is of Our Lady of Walsingham, because San Giorgio in very plain and simple, it is pleasing to the eyes. Velabro was the church that was given to John Henry Newman as his titular church in Rome when he Upon entering the church, one’s eyes are immediately became a Cardinal. drawn towards the baldacchino and apse and one cannot fail to notice the  Blessed Sacrament, which From 1879-1890 Cardinal John Henry Newman is reserved in a simple yet worthy tabernacle that is (who is the patron of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of elevated on a platform accessible by a staircase. Walsingham and who of course is now Blessed) had the full title of Cardinal Deacon of San Giorgio in Velabro. Old stonework and fragments from parts of the church in A titular church in Rome is a church that is assigned to past years can be found in the side aisles of the church and a Cardinal and it was clearly quite fitting that the church a Latin inscription to Cardinal John Henry Newman can assigned to Cardinal Newman was one dedicated to be found on the right hand wall of the church shortly after St George who is a martyr who was and still is heavily entering through the main doors. Auntie Joanna writes ... continued from page 4 And then it has a consoling word: “Yet ere thy craven spirit faints Hear thine own King, the King of Saints Though thou were toiling in the grave ‘Tis He can cheer thee. He can save” Well, I did warn you that the rhymes are fairly awful. But to hear a voice from the early 19 th century, sternly rebuking fellow-clergy for feelings of hopelessness or discouragement, is somehow to lift the thick blanket that hangs between that era and our own, and to find a sense of solidarity.  The 19 th century revi val was messy – Keble had no time for Rome, and John Henry Newman, who had so loved The Christian Year, took the Romeward path that leads to true unity. John Wesley, essentially a High Churchman in so many respects, left a clutter of differing forms of Methodism few of which linger in Britain today. But in a sense all of us – yes, cradle Catholics too – owe much to their work and their prayers.  And Keble knew that nothing in the task of Christian evangelisation is easy. And we must keep going: “Thou Framer of the light and dark Steer through the Tempest Thine own ark Amid the howling wintry sea We are in port if we have Thee.”