Catacombs entrance.

Catacombs: Secret Sanctuary of Holy Land USA

Waterbury, Connecticut

The most forbidding spot in Holy Land USA is the entrance to the "Catacombs -- a History of the Church."

A murky ramp descends down into the earth, to depths unknown. In our first visits, we'd forget to bring flashlights. Any foray into these ancient burial chambers would likely end with a slip down a hidden staircase with your forehead impaled on a plank of rusty nails.

Life sign.More level-headed study of the Catacombs has revealed some of its mysteries. It runs about 200 feet, snaking along the old parking lot in a series of corridors connected below the lip of the hill. It appears to be underground from the parking lot vantage point, but is actually all above the surface. Parts of the structure are collapsing. On the far end, a small entrance contains a sign: " The Pictorial Life of Christ -- From the Cradle to the Cross." Another crudely hand-lettered sign lists every Pope, up to 1978.

Entrance to the Life of Christ.
The "back" entrance to the Catacombs reveals former site of "The Pictorial Life of Christ."
The Bloody Masses.
Red paint, or splashes of blood? Some fun facts about Masses.
Big List of Popes.
Every Pope. Memorize these. There will be a quiz in Pius III's tomb.

A few intrepid Smilers have traversed the lower sections of the Catacombs, pushing our knowledge further still.

Return to the Holyland USA Home Page

October 22, 2014

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