A few meters from Rome’s Colosseum is the Franciscan convent of St. Boniface. Back in1696 Leonardo da Porto Maurizio, discovered his calling at the age of 20. He was a friar who in a way prevented the demolition of the Coliseum by giving it a religious sense.
He was appointed superior of the convent, but he actually decided to directly ask Pope Benedict XIV, if he could leave that position. His heart he said, was in preaching. He traveled Italy explaining the Gospel out in the streets with examples from everyday life. His preaching also made the Way of the Cross tradition more popular.
“At the time it was more of a prayer exercise, but he asked for the Pope‘s permission to recite it in the vernacular. He did not invent the Way of the Cross, but he was the first to give a name to each station, as we know them today. Not in Latin but in the vernacular.”
This room, which was actually an infirmary, was built piece by piece, since the old convent was destroyed. It now includes key items like a habit, shoes and a very special crucifix.
“This room has the crucifix that he wore during some of his popular missions, some of them in Italian Churches or just out . . .