Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cardinal Sarto's Office in Venice

Greetings from the Cardinal's Palace in Venice.

This is the desk of Cardinal Sarto, left untouched.

He left for the conclave in the Vatican in 1903 and never expected to never again return to his beloved home.  It is said he often wept he so missed the Veneto. 

Prayers of joy and thanksgiving were offered here today.

Captured Weapons of the Turk Jihadists

Kept at the Palace of the Doge in Venice. 

From the Battle of Lepanto.

Tomb of St. Mark in Venice

It was an honor to kneel here at the foot of the altar and to pray.

In this church one really feels the presence of God.  It is like traveling back in time to a IV century church.

Mark is said to have been martyred in Alexandria, Egypt.  Two Venetian sailors brought his remains to Venice.  He is entombed inside the main altar of the Basilica of San Marco. 

Street in Venice Named After Pius X

A prominent street, leading to a main attraction of the city, the Ponte Realto Bridge. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

FSSP in Venice: Parish of Sts. Simon and Jude

Sunday Mass was so beautiful today!

This parish is a must visit.

It is located on the Grand Canal of Venice, just across the water from the city's main train station, St. Lucy.  

The music was absolutely exquisite.  There was even a Renaissance lute! 

It was a true blessing to see old friends (ciao, Alessandro!) and to meet the new chaplain, Fr. Sow.  And to bring old friends here!

There is a lot of restoration work to be done on this church.  For donations, please be generous!

IBAN: IT52 A033 5901 6001 0000 0009 124


Chiesa dei Santi Simeone e Giuda, F.S.S.P.
Fondam. S. Simeon Piccolo
30135 Venezia (VE)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Childhood Home of Dietrich von Hildebrand in Florence

Was splendid to be a guest at the villa today and to enjoy some Tuscan red under the pergola with his kind nephew.

Dietrich grew up here with his parents and five sisters.  The kids were home schooled.  In later years Dietrich would visit during the summer months, or spend a summer here.

The father, Adolph, was a famous sculptor.  You can still see his works on the property.  It was a most beautiful place to grow up.  A heavenly paradise, just on the edge of Florence.  Next to a church.

The von Hildebrand children all converted to Catholicism.  Dietrich's son later moved to Columbia to help with a new Catholic college.  The son had twelve children.

After the war, to supplement his teaching income in NY, Dietrich began to sometimes lead tours to Italy - pilgrimages to visit the art and history, architecture and learning.  The itineraries he designed still exist, kept in his old NY flat.  Hopefully, I can get my hands on these and start to offer the same tours!  Pray for this intention.   

Monday, May 11, 2015

Swimming in Rome This Afternoon

Everybody has their favorite month of the year.  May has always been mine.  Lilacs, First Communions, the month of Our Lady.

Today it was nice to swim in the new pool of the Gran MeliĆ” Rome.  From the gardens the top of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica can be seen. 

This 5 star hotel was formerly a convent, converted a few years ago into a luxury hotel.  This is happening more and more in Italy with the decline in vocations.  The Church is in need of religious vocations in Italy!

Daughters of Charity in Rome

Today yours truly made my way to the Provincial House of the Daughters of Charity in Rome.

This sweet sister met me at the door.  One year ago she retired and moved to Rome.  Originally from Florence, she is now 90 and is still going strong.

70 years ago she entered the convent.  She said she cried the day the old cornetta habit was done away with.  Twice she told me that.   

She lamented her order has welcomed no new vocations.

She explained how her Roman Provincial House has been turned into a retirement home for elderly sisters, which has been the case with so many other provincial houses in Italy and elsewhere. 

Pray for vocations.  Christ instructs us to do so in the Bible.  Laborers are needed for the harvest.   

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What a Cardinal's Stamp Looks Like

Pontifical Mass "Facing the People" in 1953

National Liturgical Week in Grand Rapids, Michigan in August, 1953.

Closing Pontifical Mass in Grand Rapids Civic Auditorium on August 20, 1953.

Theme: "St. Pius X and Social Worship" 1903-1953.

The Problem with the "Sign of Peace" in Today's Latin Church

Actually, the traditional liturgical pax in the Latin rite was/is much more hygienic than shaking hands with every person within reach.  The wisdom of the ages seen in liturgical directives of the past.   The hands never touched in the old exchange of peace. 

A bit like the no meat on Fridays, which forced Catholic homes to have the habit of eating fish at least once a week.  Kids grew up this way.  Today nobody eats fish and kids don't like the taste of it.  Eating fish is a hugely important source of omega-3 fatty acids - essential nutrients to keep our heart and brain healthy. 

Indulgence for Visit to the Patriarchal Basilicas in Rome: Basilicarum Patriarchalium in Urbe Visitatio

"A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit one of the four Patriarchal Basilicas in Rome, and there recite one Our Father and the Creed.  1) on the titular feast; 2) on any holyday of obligation; 3) once a year, on any other day of one's choice."

-Enchiridion of Indulgences, 11. 


Indulgence for Papal Blessing Urbi et Orbi: Benedictio Papalis

"A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, who piously and devoutly receive, even by radio transmission, the Blessing of the Sovereign Pontiff, when imparted to Rome and the World."

-Enchiridion of Indulgences, 12.

Assisting at the First Solemn Mass of a Newly Ordained Priest

Prima Missa Neosacerdotum

"A plenary indulgence is granted to a priest on the occasion of the first Mass he celebrates with some solemnity and to the faithful who devoutly assist at the same Mass."

-Enchiridion of Indulgences, 43. 

Rome Quotes

"One of the great needs of the present day world is to restore to the home the sacred and Christian character that it had among peoples in other times."

-Pius XII

Shroud of Turin Exhibit to Visit Your Parish: Illumina Domine Vultum Tuum Super Nos

Recently yours truly had the privilege to visit an exceptional Shroud of Turin exhibit.

I wish this could be seen in parishes across North America.  Pastors, know of this great exhibit!  

It is a traveling exhibit known as, "The Man of the Shroud," owned and operated by the Vancouver Shroud Association.

This Shroud of Turin exhibit is the best I have ever seen.  Better even than the two I once saw in Rome.  It has real-life artifacts of inestimable value.  The whole story of the Shroud is told on picture boards and there is a table with books and other items for sale.  That is where I purchased this unique key chain, Made in Canada. 

See their site here: http://www.manoftheshroud.org/

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Holy Family of Nazareth, Pray for Us!

Rome Quotes

"Truly, every family which is founded on industry, on mutual respect, and on the fear of God, is the strength and sturdiness of villages, cities, and nations: it is the nucleus and foundation of every virtue, a defense against all danger of corruption, and a wellspring of wholesome and ever fresh energies for the well-being of individuals and of civil society."

-Pope John XXIII

What is Wrong With This Picture?

Art is anything you can get away with, Andy Warhol once said.

Here we see a heartless, neutered Christ.  Castrated.  Asexual.  Empty.  Limbless.

The main front doors of the Roman Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri.   

I just wish Italians would stop messing with church doors.  This is frequently the case in Italy (especially since the Holy Year 2000).  Nice, historical, antique church doors are being replaced with modern bronze "bank vault" doors with artistic representations that are off the wall.   

Monday, May 4, 2015

Indulgences for First Holy Communion

It's that time of the year...

"First Communion (Prima Communio).  A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, when they receive Communion for the first time, or when they assist at the sacred ceremonies of a First Communion."

-Enchiridion of Indulgences, 42.

Rome Quotes

"What was wonderful about childhood is that anything in it was a wonder. It was not merely a world full of miracles; it was a miraculous world."

-G.K. Chesterton, Autobiography

Ubi Caritas et Amor - Durufle

Precious Mitre

St. Mary Major.