Of all the roads that led to Rome, the Appian Way was the most famous. The road’s initial stretch in Rome is lined with ancient tombs—burials were forbidden within the city walls —and, below ground, miles of tunnels hewn out of the soft stone.
We walked the Appian Way to the top of the hill. The guide brought us through a short, narrow entrance. At times the walls of the passage touched our front and back at the same time, and the ceiling brushed our hair. The tomb-lined tunnels of the catacombs stretched for miles and are many layers deep. Fish carvings depicted graves of early Christians who gave their lives in defense of their faith.
As we walked, the light from the entrance gave way to the light of the hand held torch ahead of us. Bending and stooping, we journeyed deeper into the mountain. The cool temperature inside was the only thing that drove away our claustrophobia. The narrow path emptied into a vast room. Our guide said it was the meeting place of the underground church. Passages in different directions caused Romans soldiers lose their way in search of early Christians.
While standing in the darkness of the cave, I wondered if I could stay true to The Way. Could I be as faithful under such persecution? This close to the Coliseum, could I have faced a lion in the arena?
This snapshot of their life with God still tells the real story.
"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:14 NASB