Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Giovanni Palestrina - Tu es Petrus (Thou Art Peter)

Battenburg Lace

Developed in the late 1800s and named after the son-in-law of Queen Victoria, this lace gets its distinctive look by combining both machine-woven tapes with hand stitching.  This lace immediately became popular and helped to revive the English lace-making industry and remains a popular embellishment for the linen rochet or cotta. 

1950s Hand Missal

The rapid growth of the modern liturgical movement led to a whole plethora of small daily missals being published in the U.S.A. around the time of the 1950s.  Such a fine job was done.  I always prefer these older editions - they feel like a missal and even smell like a missal. 

Sunday Night Prime - 2014-11-23- DIETRICH VON HILDEBRAND

Monday, November 24, 2014

Feast of San Clemente in Rome (Solennita' di San Clemente Processione co...

Rome Quotes

"While the separate nationalities all inherit parts of the European tradition, we as Catholics inherit the whole.  It was our predecessors who founded and built up the European unity.  We are the heirs of Constantine and St. Leo, of St. Benedict and St. Gregory, of Boniface and Charlemagne, of Alfred and St. Stephen of Hungary and St. Louis of France.  There is nothing in the European past that has not been formed or modified by Catholic influences, and even the heresiarchs and revolutionaries have come from us and been inspired by an exaggerated or partial devotion to some element in the common tradition.  Thus Catholics have an historical mission to maintain and strengthen the unity of Western civilization against the destructive forces that are attempting its total subversion." 

-Christopher Dawson

Requiem Mass for U.S. President Kennedy

At the request of the family, it was a Low Mass.

Cathedral of St. Matthew, just a short walk from the White House.  

Cardinal Cushing of Boston in his red buckled shoes.

The U.S. bishops were in Rome for the Vatican Council and they held their own Solemn Requiem Mass for the President at the Lateran Archbasilica with Cardinal Spellman.  

Thanks for the pic, Summer!

Rome Tomb of Servant of God François-Xavier Cardinal Nguyễn Văn Thuận

Santa Maria della Scala in Trastevere. 

When the Servant of God passed away in 2002, his mortal remains were laid to rest in the Vatican vault at Rome's main cemetery, the Campo Verano.

Ten years later, his remains were removed to this altar, inside this favorite Rome church, his former titular church as Cardinal Deacon.

13 years in solitary confinement, his story is a precious witness.

The Cardinal once came to my university for a visit to deliver a lecture.  He came at the invitation of the distinguished Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas.  We were all deeply moved by both his lecture as well a small meeting held in a student commons. 

During his lecture, the Cardinal explained that his jailers had asked him to teach them Latin and so he did.  Looking up at the audience, he said with a broad smile: "You think communists don't speak Latin?!" 

On this day, November 24, we remember as a memorial one hundred seventeen martyrs of Vietnam who lost their lives in various persecutions from 1740-1883.  This group of ninety-six native Vietnamese and twenty-one Spanish and French missionaries suffered brutal tortures for the Faith.   

Dominicans of the Minerva

Sadly, there are just a handful left.  A fine bunch, but there are so very few Italian vocations.

I even heard the Dominicans recently had to close their fabled convent in Naples, where Thomas Aquinas had lived.  There are just no Italian Dominicans left and they have next to no ordinations in the Italian provinces.  A titanic loss to witness the death of something so praiseworthy and so needed - more today than ever.       

Rome Sign: In Latin

Where to Buy Catholic Christmas Cards

For 41 years this publishing house has been doing a fine job.

Over 40 designs to choose from...


Vatican Radio Interview with Cardinal Burke

Many thanks to the great Mr. Chris Wells, Canadian-American journalist and Vaticanista on the ground in Rome and the Vatican....


Sunday, November 23, 2014

St. Cecilia Mass, Part I: Kyrie by Charles Gounod

Bombing of Rome at San Lorenzo

The Pius XII statue at San Lorenzo to commemorate his going to the people amid the destruction of war.  The Pope of Peace.  May he pray for us from above.  Peace to the world!

Tomb of St. Cecilia in Rome

Holy Mass in the crypt at her tomb.  

Introit: "I will speak of Your decrees before kings without being ashamed.  And I will delight in Your commands, which I love exceedingly." 

Thank you, Patrick, for the snapshot!

What is Europe?

"What then is Europe?  It is a community of people who share a common spiritual tradition - a tradition which had its origins in the eastern Mediterranean and has been transmitted from age to age, and from people to people till it has overshadowed the world."

-Christopher Dawson

The Bombing of the Roman Basilica of San Lorenzo: July 19, 1943

In the final image you get the picture of how bad the damage was.  A wartime travesty. 

Read the story here:  http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/cardinal-remembers-pope-pius-xii-as-wartime-hero-saint/.

Fr. Angelini at the Bombing of Rome with Pope Pacelli and Msgr Montini

Three years a priest, Providence had him on the spot in the San Lorenzo district the day fire rained from the sky at the Roma Termini rail lines.  He was a first responder, seen here, in front of the Basilica of San Lorenzo.  A prince among men, he was my favorite Italian prelate in Rome.   

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Very Last of the Romans: Fiorenzo Cardinal Angelini (RIP 1916-2014)

Born in Rome.

Died in Rome.

Ordained priest in 1940.

Consecrated bishop in 1956.

Council Father.


The last.

Master of Pontifical Ceremonies from 1947 - 1954.

He knew Padre Pio.

Lived through two world wars.  

In recent years he could often be seen at S. Spirito in Sassia.

He was a first responder during the bombing of Rome in July 1943 and was there at San Lorenzo with two other priests: Pope Pacelli and Mons. Montini.

I remember bumping into him once on the street and it was a true joy to chat with him.  He always said: "Pius XII was my pope."  

Until the end he was well and receiving visitors - always seated in his Roman cassock.  He accepted visits in the morning.

Many thanks to the staff of sisters of the Holy Face who took care of him and managed his household.  Just last month I stopped in to say hello and the porter said His Eminence was still going strong.     

Legends among us.  The last Roman cardinal.    


Roman Basilica of St. Cecilia: Buona Festa!

Today is the feast of St. Cecilia, November 22. 

St. Cecelia, a Roman by birth, was forced to marry Valerian, a pagan.  She converted him and Tiburtius, his brother, to the Faith.  She died in A.D. 230.

Auguri to every girl named Cecilia!

"O God, You gladden us with the annual feast of Blessed Cecilia, Your virgin martyr; grand that as we honor her in this service, so we may follow the example of her holy life."  

Ferraiolo/Ferraiuolo in Rome

Friday, November 21, 2014

Beautiful Gift Idea for a Priest


 May St. John Francis Regis, SJ, patron saint of lacemakers, bless this initiative.  He helped many country girls stay away from the cities by establishing them in the lace making and embroidery trade, which is why he became the patron saint of those involved in this work.

combining machine-woven tapes with hand stitching.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5121681_battenburg-lace.html

Thursday, November 20, 2014

María del Rosario Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva: 18th Duchess of Alba de Tormes/Grandee of Spain (RIP 1926 – 2014)


Thanks, Summer and Francisco!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Join Us for an Unforgettable Trip of a Lifetime!

To see the face of Christ.

When the Shroud of Turin goes on display in Turin's cathedral next spring – only the sixth time in nearly a century – it will have an illustrious visitor: you.

I encourage all people to consider joining me on this trip of a lifetime.  All are welcome.

Contact me for details: www.oc-travel.com.

The Shroud, believed to be the burial cloth of Christ, is ordinarily kept in a protective case safe inside Turin’s cathedral. But in 2015, the Shroud will be displayed in the cathedral in a very rare public exhibition known as the “Ostentation.” The viewing starts April 19 and ends June 24.

We will be seeing and doing a lot in Turin, Milan, Genoa, Rome and the Vatican.

Do not miss out. 

Papal Desk

The papal apartment is a place of spectres.

Before the renovations of 50 years ago it was a place rich in baroque splendor.   

The walls were covered to the ceiling with elegant crimson damask.

Antique Flemish tapestries hung on the walls.

The mahogany desk top inlay covered in calf or pigskin.

Parchments were signed made of vellum.

Lovely oriental vases and gold-mounted candelabra, all gifts to the popes.  

None of this was because the pope was not humble, but because of the exalted dignity of the office.  


From classical architectural design, the rosette is a round, stylized flower design - the natural design of a botanical rosette.  It was seen in antiquity (as seen here, photographed at the Roman Basilica of St. Paul) as well as in Romanesque and Renaissance art.  The rosette is even sometimes used to decorate formal military awards and even some Swiss Guard uniforms.  

Vintage Nativity Set for Your Home

Goebel.  Since 1871.  Crèche figurines cannot be missing from your Christmas home.  I wish Goebel would re-create some of these treasures and re-introduce them to the modern world.  


75th Anniversary of the Election of Pius XII Celebration in Italy


Roman Cassock with Fascia

And Whom Did it Bother?

Arch of Constanine

One of the most delightful Rome experiences is to have a knowledgeable art historian explain to you the meanings entombed in the Constantine Archway.

The link with the Via Sacra that led up to the Capitol along the route followed by the triumphal processions, is the huge Constantine Arch, without doubt the finest example of its kind, built in 313 AD to commemorate the triumph of the first Christian Emperor, who vanquished Maxentius. 

Catholic Culture: Mourning Stationary

If you ask at a cartoleria in Italy they can show you what they have. 

In the image you see one version of condolence stationary. 

More common, you see a letter page that has a black border completely around the outer page, creating the effect of a black frame.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Did You Know?

The priest makes the sign of the cross fifty-two times during the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.  Fifteen times upon himself.  Twice on the Gospel.  Fourteen times either with or on the oblations.  Twenty times on the sacred species or with them.  And once upon the faithful at the end. 

Adoptions in Rome

Notice the old turntable wheel covered by the openwork grille?

People walk by this every day and don't think twice.  

This is a relic from when the old Schola Saxonum of the Anglo-Saxons was turned into a foundling hospital by Pope Innocent III in 1204.

Every big city had a foundling hospital.  These beacons of hope and compassion were invented by the Catholic Church.  Even New York City had its giant foundling hospital, a favorite charity of Cardinal Spellman.   

Today this sort of thing is actually returning.  So many abandoned babies.  St. Paul's Hospital, located in downtown Vancouver, I hear has reinstated something like this.

The present building you see in the photo was erected by Sixtus IV in the fifteenth century, still as a foundling hospital, an it accepted trovatelli foundling babies until the early twentieth century.    

The turntable in the wall held a small crib in which the infants were placed.  A bell was rung and, while the depositor slipped away unseen, someone inside revolved the wheel and removed the baby.  Close to the turntable was a second grille for the use of those who thought of adopting a child, and by looking through this grille, they could see if there was a babe that spoke to their heart.

Today this building is empty.  I have been inside a few times.  Sometimes chairs are set up for lecture events.  It appears to the public from the outside to be an abandoned church.  The building ought to be open for pilgrims and tourists alike to see the frescoes and to marvel at the architectural delights.

What to Eat in Rome: Gnocchi

People frequently ask what to eat in Rome. 

Try Gnocchi.

They are various thick, soft dough dumplings that may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, egg, cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, or similar ingredients.

Motto of Bishop Pacelli: Opus Iustitiae Pax (The Work of Peace is Justice)

Rome lore has it that Mons. Pacelli got his motto from here - walking by Santa Maria dell' Anima for countless years and having read these words as he passed. 

Erit Opus Iustitiae Pax
Et Cultus Iustitiae
Et Securitas Usque
In Sempiternum

(And the work of justice shall be peace, and the service of justice quietness, and security for ever.)

-Isaiah 32:17

Soli Deo

"Only God" inscribed above the windows of the Palazzo della Rovere.

Once I knew a guy who paid a little extra to have these words replace the numbers on his automobile license plate.  

Yours truly has always seen this palace as one of the most interesting, historical and sadly overlooked in Rome.  In fact, it is absolutely fascinating in every detail. 

How to Decorate Your Choir Loft

"Laudate Dominum...In Choro...Et Organo."  -Ps. 150

Seen at the Roman Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusaleme. 

Monday, November 17, 2014


From the Urals in Russia and given by the Czar to the Pope as a gift.

Gorgeous, emerald opaque, green banded mineral.

Seen here at the Roman Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls. 

The Humanum Series - Nov 17-19 in the Vatican

International Conference on Complementarity Opens in the Vatican

The first day of The International Interreligious Colloquium on The Complementarity of Man and Woman in Vatican City was attended by about 350 academic, religious, and civil society leaders from over 14 religions and 23 countries.

See their site in English:  http://humanum.it/en/.

Participants listened to an unprecedented array of prominent speakers, beginning with Pope Francis, speaking about the reality of the complementary relationship between men and women as it is lived in the world, and the role of this union in God’s divine plan.
Two of six films part of The Humanum Series were screened today to attendees. These explored the ancient, organic and timeless design of man and woman in The Destiny of Humanity: On the Meaning of Marriage, and the family’s role in humanity as The Cradle of Life and Love: A Mother and Father for the World's Children. The remaining four short films will be screened over the next two days at the colloquium, and released online.  

The Cradle of Life & Love: A Mother & Father for the World's Children | ...

The Destiny of Humanity: On the Meaning of Marriage | Part 1 of 6 of The...

What to Give Your Priest for Christmas

What to buy a priest?

The perennial question.

Many priests only receive cards with a cheque and maybe a fancy bottle of booze for Christmas.  

For the perfect gift idea, see here and order soon as these treasures are custom made to order.

Do not hesitate.

This he will appreciate and it will be used at the service of the altar.

Buy now:


Cardinal Tisserant's Secretary Defends Venerable Pius XII

"More horrendous aspersions were cast against Pope Pius XII when he was accused of lacking courage in defending the Jews during the war.  In fact, the opposite is true, and the malevolent insinuations of the playwright Rolf Hochhuth in his portrayal of the figure of Pius XII in his play The Deputy were false.

The Pope did not take a stand of violent opposition to Hitler in order to facilitate surreptitiously saving the lives of thousands of Jews; untold harm would have been unleashed had the German leader been aware of this.

Personally, I am obliged to profess my gratitude to Pius XII.  His cause for canonization is under scrutiny, and the investigation will determine if my conviction that he is a saint is correct.  He called me to work in the Vatican, and it is thanks to him that my priesthood got its universal vision.  It is my conviction that the Pope was indeed inspired by the Holy Spirit in his direction of the Church."

-Mons. Pedro Lopez-Gallo

Source: B.C. Catholic (Sept 22, 2014)