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ROME, ITALY (APRIL 16, 2019) (REUTERS) WORSHIPPER CLIMBING UP HOLY STAIRS ON KNEES HANDS OF MAN ON MARBLE STEPS MAN TOUCHING CROSS ON STEP / WORSHIPPER CLIMBING UP STAIRS MAN PRAYING WITH EYES CLOSED NUN TOUCHING CROSS ON STEP WITH HER FOREHEAD WITH WOMAN MAKING THE SIGN OF THE CROSS IN BACKGROUND / NUN PRAYING WITH HER EYES CLOSED (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) RECTOR, FATHER FRANCESCO GUERRA, SAYING: "Because of the severe deterioration these marble steps had suffered, three hundred years ago Pope Innocent XIII decided to cover them, so for many years we didn't know exactly what was underneath. Last March, when we started removing these coverings made of walnut, we found so many prayers and requests for help from the Lord, photographs of loved ones, coins and small objects like rosaries. Under the dust that had accumulated over many years, we saw these steps again, indented in a totally unusual way in the places where the feet of the pilgrims, by passing, had literally excavated them. Some steps are totally consumed. " HANDS OF MAN CRAWLING ON MARBLE STEPS MEN STOPPING ON STEP WORSHIPPER CLIMBING UP MARBLE STEP WITH A METAL GRATE AND CROSS MARKING WHERE JESUS BLOOD IS THOUGHT TO HAVE DROPPED MAN STOPPING ON MARBLE STEP WOMAN CLIMBING UP STAIRS MAN KISSING MARBLE STEP WITH CROSS ON IT (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) RESTORATION SPECIALIST FOR VATICAN MUSEUMS, PAOLO VIOLINI, SAYING: "It was an exciting moment because none of us thought of finding and recovering what was found or of imagining a staircase with such special marble. Once we opened the first step and found the first cross, it was quite clear to everyone that what we were finding below could not only be seen by a few insiders and that it needed, in some way, to make it available to the public because such an extraordinary structure could not remain invisible. " FRESCOED WALLS SURROUNDING STAIRCASE/WORSHIPPERS CLIMBING UP HOLY STAIRS WORSHIPPERS CLIMBING UP STAIRS ON KNEES (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) PILGRIM FROM PHILIPPINES, MILA AGROS, SAYING: "For me being able to climb the Holy Stairs again is a wonderful thing because here I come to entrust (to God) my suffering, my requests, my deepest prayers." (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN PILGRIM CARLO FESTA, SAYING: "It is an act of devotion, an act of penance, that you want to make for the sins you have inside because we are all sinners. It is a way of entrusting yourself to the Lord, to God, because, if we look at the general situation, people are always in a hurry, they do not have time to communicate and only through God you can live a happier life." VARIOUS OF PILGRIMS CLIMBING UP STAIRS ON KNEES WOMAN PRAYING ON STAIRS WOMAN TOUCHING AND KISSING CROSS ON STEP WOMAN TOUCHING AND KISSING CROSS ON STEP AND MAKING THE SIGN OF THE CROSS
Dateline: 2019

Rome's &Quot;Holy Stairs&Quot; Bared For First Time In 300 Years

Item ID: 112037314

By: Reuters

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