I don't know what Blogger has done. I do not like this new setup. I've posted two photos of the Coliseum, planning to post text around it as I usually do and the photos seem to be stuck together.
All right, let's start here. Above is a photo of the cross inside the Coliseum, placed there to honor the thousands of Christians martyred there. Brother Mark told us that the deaths of the Christians were not the primary attraction at the Coliseum. They were more of a sideshow. The gladiator dramas were the big attraction. The Christians were more apt to silently pray or sing hymns before their deaths. Not as exciting to the bloodthirsty spectators, I guess
The Holy Father led the Stations of the Cross at the Coliseum on Good Friday. I don't know if you can see it bet there is a cross made of votive candles to the right of the canopy. It was very moving.
The Coliseum was built in AD 80 and it held 50,000 spectators. There were 8 entrances and tickets were pieces of broken pottery with seats, rows, and sections marked. The entire place could empty in about 15 minutes. There were many shows a day and they were free.
Underground passageways, now exposed because the floor is no longer there, held prisoners, wild animals, and props. The animals were from all over the world and the gladiator would not know what he would face until the animal arrived through trap doors and elevators right onto the floor. I had to wonder how people would enjoy that. I believe it was the Christian Emperor Constantine (son of St. Helen) who put an end to these shows.
From left to right-- Liz, Mike, me, Mary!, Anne, and Zach. Mike Sr. took the picture.
All stadiums today are designed in the same manner as the Coliseum.