The Bascilica of Santa Maria de Trastevere was only a short tram ride from our Airbnb. It rested up a narrow cobbled street that was one of the spokes of the wheel of which the Bascilica was the anchored hub.
This is one of the oldest churches in a city of very old churches. It began as a 2nd century church/home and was likely the first place mass was held in Rome openly. I has been torn down and rebuilt several times and parts of the church we parts of other temples. The columns were decorated with the face of Isis, the Egyptian goddess and were originally part of Roman baths.
But the most important part of the church to us was not its physical beauty but its atmosphere. Even in the touristy part there was an atmosphere that felt like maternal caring. However when Ariana and I went into a little chapel off to the right of the the apse you see here, we experienced something of great depth.
There were some glass doors to this chapel and a sign that said the room was only for prayer and not for photos or conversation. We went in and were immediately surrounded by the most profound presence. A feeling of being held, suspended in a womb like embrace. It felt dark but not the dark of separation. The darkness was felt as a gently pressing love that allowed complete acceptance.
We are not sure how long we were there but when we came out we agreed we were no longer the same.