Remembering St. Bibiana, Virgin and Martyr

If there’s one thing you see a lot of in Rome, it’s churches.  Turn the corner on any street, and within a block you’re likely to see the façade of an ancient Catholic church.  You hear a lot about the more famous ones (the major basilicas, the Gesu, the Santa Maria sopra Minerva)—but there are over 900 churches in the city, most of them Catholic.December 2 is the feast of St. Bibiana, virgin and martyr—I thought I’d share a picture of St. Bibiana’s, a small church located near the Termini tr … [Read more...]

Swords and Saxophones: The Music of the Pontifical Swiss Guard

Swiss Guard - Advent concert

Since the 14th century, the Pontifical Swiss Guards have protected the Pope and have stood guard at the boundaries of the Vatican City State.  In their boldly striped uniforms (reportedly designed by Michelangelo), their ceremonial halberds at their sides, they are a colorful symbol of the Vatican.I’ve seen the Swiss Guards standing at attention beside the Vatican’s Petriano entrance and at the great bronze doors of the Apostolic Palace.  I know of their respect and deep affection for the Pop … [Read more...]