Presentation of the Livingstone initiative

On a Saturday afternoon, walking through the triangle stone square in front of the church of Santo Stefano in Bologna, you may meet a funny group of young people offering the guided tour in here.

If you win the shyness, the diffidence and the fear you will discover all the stories and the symbols this church includes and the unexpected places where you could find yourself.

The Bologna’s community represent the first Livingstone Gruop. It was born in the autumn of 2008 after the experience in the Church of Il Gesù, in the middle of the Ignatian Rome.

In the 2009 the group firm itself and take shape in the prayer and the study of the art history.

Having to interrupt the service in Santo Stefano during 2011, the gruop decided to continue faitfully its activity in the byzantine Ravenna. With the possibility to recapture the church, the guided tours are established both in Ravenna and Bologna untill 2015. At this point were created two comunities, one for each city.

We are today a small group of young people from twenty to thirty years old. Everyone of us studied different subjects, but we are all brought together in this passion to announce the Gospel using the voice of artworks. Starting this year four people joined the group of other four who where in Pietre Vive in Bologna before. We meet Tuesday evening at 9pm in Centro Poggeschi to study and pray together. Firstly we have a short moment of sharing with other groups of Rete Loyola in the presence of gesuits. Every week our meeting takes aspects from Bible passeges aplied on the places of Santo Stefano or formation concentrated on history and arts of our church.

The Santo Stefano’s Church is also known as Sette Chiese or Gerusalemme Bolognese.  On the rests of a Roman temple of Isis, bishops Ambrogio and Petronio promoted the building of the first Christian complex, according to agiography. Even today the sanctuary keeps on with the medieval liturgies during the Holy Week.

The name of Jerusalem is linked to the Church since the Middle Ages, when Benedictines started to build a reproduction of the Holy Sepulchre.

One of the most important artwork in the church is the Cross by Simone dei Crocifissi, a local artist who depicted Jesus Christ’s suffering humanity in contrast with the golden byzantine background.

Anyway the Church is a faith story, based on different historical symbols: they still talk about Resurrection and the surprise of the empty Sepulchre, which people can experience in the Rotonda.

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