Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world and is often regarded as the birthplace of Western Civilization. It has also been the home of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. The pope lives in Rome inside the boundaries of Vatican City - a country within a city.
Rome has for centuries been a beacon for travelers. As the home of the Pope and the Catholic curia, as well as the locus of a many sites and relics of veneration related to apostles, saints and Christian martyrs; Rome had long been a destination for pilgrims. Periodically, some were propelled to travel to Rome from the spiritual benefits, including indulgences accrued through a papally sanctioned Jubilee. These indulgences required a visit to specific churches.
The churches include the four patriarchal basilicas:
- St. Peter's Basilica
- Basilica of St. John Lateran
- Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls
- Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore
They also include two minor basilicas and a shrine:
- Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside-the-Walls
- Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem
- Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love**