An underground crypt where the Apostle Paul is reported to have lived

by Araceli (Sally) Cardenas

by Araceli (Sally) Cardenas

The Church of Santa Maria in Via Lata—An underground crypt where the Apostle Paul is reported to have lived

Have you ever wondered about encouraging verses like “My God will meet all your needs” (Phil. 4:19 NIV) to “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation … present your requests to God” (Phil. 4:6 NIV). Where they were written? By whom? Under what circumstances?

My thirst to understand God’s word when all seemed hopeless, and I was looking for a lifeline to hold onto sent me looking for those answers—down a path I never expected.

I began visiting a few places in Rome, often standing in the shadows of the Colosseum. Each place was dank, eerily quiet, and looked abandoned. Ancient chains were displayed. But the more I looked, the more I discovered the light of God’s word penetrate the darkness.

Throughout Rome are places that bring Scripture to life including The Church of Santa Maria in Via Lata.

This ancient church was a first-century building, now open to visitors. It is an underground crypt where Paul is reported to have lived. Looking at what remains of the place, it’s difficult to imagine a setting like this as the backdrop of some of the greatest biblical writing. I can’t help but zero in on the chains and wonder if Paul ever second guessed his decision to preach the gospel.

Walking through this place and seeing Bible verses displayed on the walls of the crypt are a testament of this truth: “God’s word is not chained” (2 Timothy 2:9 ISV).

A special thanks to, Sister Margaret, for accompanying us and for sharing her love for the Gospel.

What about you? What are your favorites from Saint Paul?

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