The Ancient Roman Pons Aemilius (today called Ponte Rotto). Initially constructed in 179 BC, it is the oldest Roman stone bridge in Rome, Italy. In 12 BC, Augustus completely restored the bridge with a tuff and concrete core.
On this day in 64 AD, a fire began in the merchant area of Rome and soon went out of control. The fire burned for six days, and destroyed much of Rome in the process. Some claimed, untruthfully, that Emperor Nero failed to do anything to control the fire. It is unclear whether the fire was caused by accident or arson. Nero has been accused of starting the fire, and then blaming it on Christians to increase persecution, however modern scholars have rejected this idea.
Located in the back of the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio on the banks of the Tiber, the tiny century-old Piccolo Museo Del Purgatorio, or “Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory,” holds a collection of bibles, prayer books, tabletops, and articles of clothing said to have been singed by the hands of souls in purgatory.
According to Catholic belief, the soul is stranded in purgatory until it atones for its sins, but can hasten its ascent to heaven through the prayers of loved ones still on earth. The scorched handprints and other burn-marks collected in this museum are believed to be the product of souls begging their earth-bound loved ones to pray harder. MORE.
Image 1: No description.
Image 2: Fiery finger prints by the deceased Joseph Schitz when he touched with his right hand the (German) prayer book of his brother George on 21 December 1838 at Sarralbe (Lorraine). The deceased man asked for prayer in expiation of his lack of piety during his life on earth.
Image 3: Marks left on a small wooden table and on the sleeve and chemise of the Venerable Mother Isabella Fornari, abbess of the Poor Clares of the Monastery of St. Francis in Todi. The four marks were left by the deceased Fr. Panzini, former Abbot Olivetano of Mantua, on the 1st November 1731.