Holy Stairs Believed To Have Been Climbed By Jesus Unveiled In Rome

The stairs believed to have been climbed by Jesus on the day of his crucifixion have been unveiled just in time for the annual pilgrimage where thousands of Christians make their to Rome and the Vatican.

The Scala Santa, also known as the Holy Stairs, are at the Pontifical Sanctuary in Rome. Some Christians believe that Jesus climbed the 28 marble steps, which were originally part of Pontius Pilate’s palace in Jerusalem, several times on the day He was sentenced to death. This is the first time in 300 years that the walnut wood covering over the steps has been removed.

It first was placed on the steps at Pope Innocent XIII’s request in 1723 to preserve the marble. The staircase was uncovered on Thursday, April 11 and will remain that way through Sunday, June 9, allowing visitors to ascend the steps on their knees, as is the tradition.

According to the sanctuary’s website, centuries of noticeable wear and tear on the steps and “thousands of letters, notes, photos and coins were found” underneath the wood covering. There are also places where Jesus’ blood is believed to have stained the steps. A metal grate covers one of those areas after being “worn to a deep hole because the faithful touched that precise point with their fingers.”

After the two-month window, the wood covering will be replaced, meaning this will likely be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Christians to see the steps in their original form.

LifeWay To Close All 170 Christian Stores

LifeWay Christian Resources, the largest Christian retail chain in America, plans to close all 170 stores this year and shift its offerings entirely online.

“The decision to close our local stores is a difficult one,” said the acting president and CEO Brad Waggoner, who is succeeding longtime LifeWay president Thom Rainer.

The Southern Baptist affiliate announced in January initial plans to reduce its locations this year due to declining sales and financial pressures but ended up deciding it wasn’t viable to keep any stores open past 2019. Rainer said they did all they could to save the stores, which span across 30 states. The chain will continue online sales through LifeWay.com.

VeggieTales Founder Launches Book Collection

Featuring VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer’s beloved characters, a new collection of board, picture and coloring books is the very first offering from JellyTelly Press.

“Parents are actively looking for books that reinforce biblical values while keeping children engaged, interested and excited,” said Erick Goss, CEO of JellyTelly.

The collection includes exciting stories with specific ideas at the end of each book to provide a deeper connection between parent and child and to further conversations about the biblical values and concepts detailed in each book.

Beyond the books, parents can find additional entertaining resources on www.JellyTelly.com—designed to offer parents a modern, multiplatform experience to enjoy together with their children.