"Learning Rome" through the early Christians.

A video production of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome retraces, with the help of its students, key episodes in the history of the eternal city.

Giovanni Tridente-October 17, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes

Photo: View of the Roman Forum @unsplash

While preparing to travel to Rome to complete his doctoral studies, the young priest Karol Wojtyła received advice from one of his superiors in Krakow: "learn Rome itself." As the future Pope and saint John Paul II himself would later recount in one of his memoirs, this attitude meant taking advantage of the great heritage of faith and culture with which the Eternal City is steeped, while benefiting from the proximity to the Roman Pontiff.

Learning Rome

Learning Rome (Imparare Roma) is also the title of the film series that the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross is producing in collaboration with the audiovisual company Digito Identidad and that will be officially presented on October 26 at the Aula Magna of the same University.

It is an audiovisual production, unique in its kind, starring the University's own students, who will accompany viewers on a journey of discovery of the most significant moments in the Christian history of Rome.

Divided into three seasons of nine episodes each, the series Learning Rome aims to showcase the artistic, cultural and religious riches preserved in the Eternal City.

The episodes, with an average duration of five minutes, will be published periodically on the YouTube channel and on the University of the Holy Cross social networks, once a month for the next three years.

The films will therefore focus on the narration of those stories that have left an indelible mark on the works of art that can be admired today or on those simple and often little-known places in the city.

Antiquity, Middle Ages, Modern and Contemporary Ages

Following a narrative thread in chronological order, the three series that make up the project cover Antiquity (first series), the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Modern Age (second series) and the rest of the Modern and Contemporary Ages (third series).

Through the lives of the saints who have profoundly marked the history of the Church and historical events that can still be remembered today in numerous monuments, it will be possible to embark on a virtual journey through time to discover the richness that the center of Christianity continues to offer to the faithful around the world.

So far, 15 episodes have been carried out with the participation of 17 students from the various faculties of Holy Cross, both lay and religious, from different countries: Sri Lanka, Brazil, India, Mexico, Italy, Kenya, Argentina, Nicaragua and Spain.

Filming of the remaining episodes will be completed throughout 2024, and they will be presented by new students. This will give them the opportunity to learn about the history of the city in which they live and study for a few years, before returning to their own dioceses.

The initiative is offered to students, professors, employees, friends, benefactors and people connected to Holy Cross as an opportunity to explore the richness of Rome in the context of the development of Christianity up to the present day. In this way it is intended to create an environment that, through the study and exploration of the cultural and spiritual richness of the Eternal City, can contribute to a greater and positive development not only academically, but also personally and humanly.

The project is financed through a fundraising campaign initiated by the Office of Promotion and Development. The contents are edited by the professors of the Department of Church History of the University of the Holy Cross, Luis Cano and Javier Domingo.

The titles of the first series present the places of St. Paul's passage to Rome and his martyrdom and burial, as well as that of St. Peter, the life of the first Christians, the testimony of the martyrs and the history of Emperor Constantine with the construction of the basilicas of St. John Lateran and Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

The preview of the first episode of the first series will be screened on Thursday, October 26th at the Aula Magna of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

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