Sometimes when you travel, you’re just tumbling from one place to another, from one experience to another. When we hopped off a Hop On/Hop Off tour bus in Philadelphia, we entered the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in a hurry, trying as usual to finish seeing the church and be out in the time for the next bus. But this church slows your steps as you enter.
The work on the church started in 1846, but this was just shortly after the curiously named ‘Know Nothing’ riots between Native Americans and Irish immigrants, in which another church in Philadelphia was looted and burned to the ground. So while commissioning this Basilica, the bishop asked his architects to build the windows higher than usual so that potential rioters couldn’t stone the windows. They say that the architect LeBrun asked his workers to go outside and throw stones at the building as high as they could, and then planned the windows even higher that the highest stone, but this story couldn’t be confirmed!
So after that little factoid, here’s why I like going into churches.
Take a minute to look around you through your OWN eyes, and you’ll be surprised at what you see. Take a minute to be still.