Sunday, April 21, 2019

Cristus surrexit vere, sicut dixit! Alleluia!

Mark 16:1-7
At that time, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought sweet spices, that coming they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe, and they were astonished. Who saith to them, Be not affrighted; ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: He is risen, He is not here; behold the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples, and Peter, that He goeth before you into Galilee; there you shall see Him, as He told you.

Cristus surrexit vere, sicut dixit! Alleluia!


Down in Rome for a few days.

Here's some pics of adventures so far.

A feast for Easter morning. Staying with friends who have four little kids and it was a delight to see them searching the house for chocolate eggs and rabbits.

This Roman gentleman was getting the tram toward the centro this morning as I was off to the Mass. He'd just been to Porta Portese market, (every Sunday, Easter or not) and bought this beautiful book and allowed me to take a picture of it.

The Divine Office for Holy Week, published in Venice MDCCXC, which is 1790.
He told me he'd got it for 30 Euros. I said it was a great treasure.

I pulled my missal out of my bag and said I was going to the Old Mass, in Latin. He seemed surprised and said, "But you are so young!"

One of the side chapels at Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini, the FSSP parish in Rome, has one of the very few contemporary paintings of St. Philp Neri as a young man. Here he is shown welcoming sick pilgrims and the poor in the hospital he founded for their care - which is where the church gets its name: "dei Pellegrini" means "for the pilgrims". The chaps in the painting wearing red robes with white collars are members of the confraternity who were entrusted with the care of the convalescent poor. This confraternity has recently been revived at the parish and is now flourishing with new members. They perform many spiritual and practical functions.

St. Philip, the poor sick pilgrims and the confraternity as they are shown in the sacristy.

This little shrine to Our Lady was recently refurbished, and there was a queue of people waiting to pray here this morning, an encouraging sight.

Baroque art and architecture is meant to fool the eye, to make you think it looks smaller than it is. It is difficult to get an idea of the scale of that painting - the great masterwork of Guido Reni - but it might help to know that when new candles are put in the big gold candlesticks above the main altar, the whole thing reaches about 13 feet.

At Easter the parish pulls out all their precious Baroque portrait reliquaries. All those gold busts are gilded wood portraits of the saints whose relics are inside.

What Catholicism looks like.



Anonymous said...


Louise L

John F. Kennedy said...

As you've noted, it's "What Catholicism looks like." Unfortunately, here in the States, few people have seen it.

I mean the Mass and where it takes place. The tragedy is that have no idea what they are missing.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

This is exceedingly rare in Italy. Trinita and places like it are islands, almost fortresses, in a sea of hideous banal apostasy.

There are a great many more traditional Masses, and a much stronger Catholic (which is to say "Traditionalist") movement in the Anglo world. Outside France, the Faith is close to death in Europe.

John F. Kennedy said...

Have you heard whether or not they are still planning to "modernize" the ruined church in Norica?

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

That plan has been overruled by the government and the people have been promised it will be rebuilt exactly as it was.

John F. Kennedy said...

Fantastic. Thanks.

BTW, last week we purchased a used Mantis tiller for our garden for $75 US. It is small and easily transportable. It's also pretty powerful (and loud) for it's size. I'm not sure if this is the sort of find that may come available in your corner of the world but it's something to consider for the serious home gardener, unless you want to continue the tech free way.

Maureen said...

Wonderful Easter celebration. More people would attend these Masses if they knew about them, please post these on Twitter and other Social media! Happy Easter!

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...


I'm pretty happy doing the kitchen garden method of raised beds filled with composted soil. On 200 square meters this gives me more growing space than I know what to do with, and so far I've been producing more food than I can eat in a single season. If you have decent, well balanced soil and a VERy large space a rototiller can be useful. But on a smaller scale and with the very organic-poor clay soil I've got here (and is in all of Italy) raised beds and the methodical building up of organic content in the soil in those sections is doing wonders. Also, the tilling method is more or less what caused the garden to turn into a moonscape in the first place. It was tilled every year in the Italian contadina method, and this so damaged the soil structure that by the time I moved here in 2017 absolutely nothing at all would grow on it. The annual tilling destroys the natural substructure. Then it rains in the spring, causing the soil to settle which then bakes hard as rock in the long dry summer. Chemical fertility - the actual soluble mineral nutrients - of the soil isn't the issue here. With heavy clay (Tiber river silt) the problem is organics - there really isn't any. When I first put a spade into this soil after Annamaria tilled it for me with her machine, I didn't find a single worm anywhere. Since building 16 raised beds with heavily amended soil - basically composting everything I can get my hands on for two years - there has been a transformation that would seem miraculous. Now there are big fat worms everywhere and the place is a riot of green growing things, weeds and all. I came back from a week in Rome and realised the first thing I'm going to have to do is get in there with the trimmer just to get it all under control. This is the same patch that was utterly lifeless two years ago.

Take a look at some of the no-dig websites for inspiration. There are people who are fanatical about not digging or tilling their land. If you know how to develop soil you really don't ever need to dig if you're only doing small scale kitchen or market gardening. Building beds gives you immediate control over the condition of the soil, easy weed-control (black plastic or other opaque mulch) and pest control.