This year the Feast of Pentecost falls on June 9th and the church of Santa Maria Rotanda, better known as the Pantheon, will celebrate in its own inimitable way with a shower of red rose petals, the famous Pioggia delle Rose.
At the end of Mass thousands upon thousands of red rose petals will rain down on the congregation from the oculus in the dome of the Pantheon. It is a spectacular sight.
The Feast of Pentecost, which is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. 'And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.' (Acts: 2, KJV).
In the Pantheon the 'tongues like as of fire' turn into red rose petals.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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