CATHOLIC FINISH STRONG
Steve Timm's Blog

See Steve's Travel Photos From Blog Entries dated between March and April 2013
The mosaic apse at the Basilica of Saint Pudenziana is a true treasure of the Catholic Church. The mosaics date back to 390 AD, during the pontificate of Pope Innocent. It is the oldest existing example of using the angel, the lion, the ox and the eagle to represent the Four Evangelists.  
 
The mosaic apse is also one of the earliest images of Christ being represented as a human figure, rather than as a symbol, such as a shepherd or a lamb. Also, note that Christ is dressed in a golden toga with royal purple trim, a sign of His authority.
 
The female figures are placing golden crowns on the heads of Saint Paul, at right, and Saint Peter, on the left. The figures are of Saint Pudenziana and Saint Pressede. The roofs in the background are of a heavenly Jerusalem.

This is the entrance of the Basilica of Saint Pudenziana. Bear in mind that the church is fully twenty feet below the surface of the sidewalk and street. The church sits at the original level of Rome fully 2,000 years ago. Today, the rest of Rome is built upon the rubble of previous structures. The marble door sill is worn down by the passage of millions of worshipper's feet.
This is a photo of the sanctuary at the Basilica of Saint Pudenziana showing the marble high altar, the tabernacle and the magnificent paintings. The three paintings date from 1803 and are the work of Bernardino Nocci. From left to right, they represent Saint Timotheus, The Glory of Saint Pudenziana and Saint Novatus.
This is a photo of the Adicule, the marble structure that houses both the Chapel of the Angel and the Tomb of Jesus. Karen and I were extremely blessed to be able to enter the Tomb together. Everyone probably has a different reaction when they kneel in front of the stone upon which Jesus' body was laid. Personally, all I could do was kiss the stone and weep.
The Chapel of the Angel is the first of two rooms in the Aedicle. In the middle of the Chapel of the Angel is a pedestal or altar. Mounted on top of the altar is this small piece of rock is said to be a part of the large stone that the Angel rolled away from Jesus' Tomb. 
This is a photo of Karen and me standing in front of the Aedicule, the Tomb of Jesus, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Old Jerusalem.
The Stone of the Anointing is the first thing one sees when entering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is traditional to kneel before the stone, kiss it and pray.  
Karen and I carried a cross while walking the Stations of the Cross in Old Jerusalem. We started out at dawn, praying the Holy Rosary and praying at every Station. It was an amazing experience.
This is Station Three along the Via Dolorosa in Old Jerusalem. The first nine Stations are along the way and remainder of the Stations are within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
This is a photo of our priests concelebrating the Holy Mass in front of the Aedicule. It was a very, very special Mass…
The Rock of Calvary is said to have split when Our Lord was Crucified. When walking up a flight of stairs at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, there is an place where we can actually see the crack and the nature of the rock itself. 
This lady was kneeling in prayer by the right side of the Aedicule during all the time we were in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. I have often wondered about her. Who is she, what country did she come from and what's her life story?
After the carefully digging the 2,000 year old Jesus Boat out of the mud, the archaeologists were faced with the problem of transporting the fragile craft to the conservation pool. Orna Cohen, from the Hebrew University, came up with the perfect solution; she and her crew simply sprayed the entire craft with construction-grade polyurethane foam. When the foam expanded, the fragile boat hull was not only perfectly protected, but it would also float.  

In the foreground is a piece of the original construction foam that was used to protect the Jesus Boat after it had been freed from the mud. In the background is a photograph of the cofferdam being lowered and the Jesus Boat floating out of the archaeological dig.
This exact-scale wooden model of the Jesus Boat is on display in the Ancient Galilee Boat wing of the Yigal Allon Museum. 
 
The Jesus Boat was approximately twenty-seven feet in length, it had a beam of eight-feet and the maximum gunwale height was slightly over four-feet. The boat had a large stern deck and a smaller foredeck, as well as a mast carrying a square sail. In the absence of wind, the boat could easily be rowed by four common crewmembers.
 
The bottom was flat, giving the craft a very shallow draft. Typically, when Galilean fishermen had a large catch of fish in the net, they would not pull their nets over the gunwale … rather, after the helmsman navigated the boat close to shore, the four oarsmen/fishermen jumped ashore and the crew pulled the net ropes until the catch was on the beach. The boat’s flat bottom and shallow draft facilitated this type of net retrieval.
The Jesus Boat is a 1st century fishing boat that was used on the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) for from 40 years to as much as one-century. It was on the lake during the period of time that Jesus lived and taught in the areas of Capernaum, Tabgha, Tiberias and Magdala. 

The fact that the boat did not totally deteriorate within the first century or two of its being on the bottom of the warm, shallow lake is an absolute contradiction of Natural Law. Indeed, the boat was discovered a 2,000 years after it originally sailed the Sea of Galilee. At that time, the craft was stable enough to be excavated from it's watery grave, moved to a conservation tank and stabilized for display in the museum. 

The nagging questions are ... Did Jesus see the fishing boat? Did He touch it? Did He sail in the boat? 
The Yigal Allon Centre is a museum that is located on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, right on the grounds of the Kibbutz Ginnosar. The Jesus Boat is displayed in a special controlled-atmosphere wing of the museum.
This is an illustrated chart of the different types of woods that were used on the Jesus Boat. The planks are cedar and the hull framing is constructed of oak, but aleppo pine, sidar, willow and rosebud pieces are common in other areas of the craft. In all, twelve different types of wood are represented.
 
Marine archaeologists believe that the wide variety of wood types used on the Jesus Boat indicate that wood was in short supply in the area. This factor forced the Galilean boat builders both use whatever wood was available, both new and salvaged.
 
The Jesus Boat was stripped of both its decks, mast and solid gunwale beams when the craft was no longer fit for service. The waterlogged wood hull was useless for recycling and it would not burn, so it was scuttled in the lake.