Monday, March 08, 2010

Some good ones for a change

Long long looong time readers of this blogger will remember that there was once a time when I was somewhat more "Devout". The previous incarnation here was The Devout Life, and was taken from my dedication to St. Francis de Sales' book and its spiritual counsels. I was told once by an Oratorian (a member of a community that has an almost entirely "oral" spiritual tradition, one that is not easily passed on to outsiders) that St. Francis d. S., and by extension is Order of the Visitation and St. Jane Frances de Chantal, were the spiritual inheritors of St. Philip Neri's way. The founder and superior of the Toronto Oratory said to me once, "St. Francis de Sales is the public Oratorian."

For that reason, I felt an affinity for the Visitation order, and even went to visit the Ottawa Visitation convent (it was disappointing for various reasons, and by the end of it, I was grateful that I understood very little French). I bought and read a copy of St. Francis's rule for the Visitation and read a book (that has since been left behind) of his Letters to Persons in Religion, full of his spiritual wisdom.

I'm not sure what has happened since (...actually, I lie, I'm exactly sure about every single detail of what has happened since... but never mind all that for the moment...) but there are those who have wondered what has happened to my devotion to St. Philip and to his thought, and to that of his inheritor.


me too, to be honest.

But yesterday, I had occasion to visit a very lovely church in Rome. One of the very few that is not in the Baroque style. In fact, it is very new for a Roman church, and is in the comfortingly familiar style of Victorian neo-Gothic, the kind of church I grew up attending. And in it, there seems to be a preponderance of Visitation/St. Francis related stuff, (as well as a little museum of very spooky Purgatory related things) and it got me thinking about all that stuff again. It all kind of came rushing back.

I remember writing to the Tyringham Visitation once, and it's a funny thing but here is an article about those very nuns.

(And no, just to stave off the tiresome nudgenudgewinkwinks that invariably come with these kinds of posts, I don't think it was a sign of anything.)



Anonymous said...

Oooh, ooh, tell us about the purgatory museum ! Pictures !

Fr. Paul of Niagara

HJW said...

I thought you'd like that.

But there really wasn't much to see, I'm afraid. Just a few (very nice) old prayerbooks (16th and 17th century), some bits of clothing and a few photocopies of papers, that had been, it is said, touched by apparitions of people coming to visit from Purgatory. All in a glass case on the wall and no more than about a dozen all together. I'm afraid it's not much to see.

There are little single-sheet information things there, in English, French and Italian, that give the stories. Some of these are quite interesting.

I might go back and get a copy and a few pics of the cooler looking ones.