SAN LORENZO – ON SCENE WITH BILL WILSON

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BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2009

It is not a huge event by any means but it is an annual event important in the lives of those who believe. August 10 in the feast day of Saint Lorenzo. It is celebrated at the Basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura (St. Lawrence Outside the Wall) with a mass, a procession through the neighborhood, a band concert and is capped with a firework display.

San Lorenzo was martyred in 258 AD by Emperor Valerian. Tied to a gridiron that was gradually heated with burning coals he was burnt to death. The blood stained marble slab upon which is body was laid is on display at the Basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura.

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People walk with the statue of San Lorenzo through parts of Rome near the Basilica
of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura. (St Lawrence Outside the Wall).
Bill Wilson © 2009

We were told that the procession started at 7 pm, however it was the mass that started at 7. The area where the church is located is near the University of Rome “La Sapienza” which is where Fernando went to school. He is familiar with the area and we found that one of his favorite places to eat was open so we had dinner. The pizza was so good we actually missed the procession leaving the church, but we were able to witness its return to the church.

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The statue of San Lorenzo is returned to its place of honor. It backs because there isn’t room to turn it around once it is inside the church. Bill Wilson © 2009

A marching band was part of the procession. After the statue of San Lorenzo was returned to its place of honor, the band remained in the plaza and played a concert. I didn’t recognize many of the Italian songs that must have been popular songs because many people were able to sing along. However even I could join in when the band played “When the Saints Go Marching In”!

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Fireworks complete the Feast Day for San Lorenzo. Bill Wilson © 2009

See Related: ON SCENE WITH BILL WILSON

BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a veteran freelance photographer whose work is published by San Francisco and Bay Area media. Bill embraced photography at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR). Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past five years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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