Turn Me Over, I’m Done On This Side!

"St. Lawrence Giving the Wealth to the Poor", an oil on canvas painted in the 1580s by Palma Giavane

Those of you who, like me, spent your aimless youth slathered in Coppertone and languishing on a hot beach in a vain attempt to get a suntan will appreciate this story.  *     *     *     *     * St. Lawrence, one of seven deacons who served under Pope Sixtus II, died on August 10, in 258 A.D.  According to legend, he was “roasted” alive on a grill—but maintaining his good humor to the end, he is reputed to have said during his ordeal, “Turn me over.  I’m done on this side.”  *     *     *     … [Read more...]

Pull My Finger: American Tourist Damages Priceless Statue

Statue with broken finger

It’s an old bar-room joke:  Someone says “Pull my finger” and when you do as he asks, he uses the opportunity to fart loudly.  Funny, funny.A tourist from Missouri who was traveling in Italy might have tried the same stunt this week, when he unintentionally broke the finger off a 600-year-old statue in Florence's Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.  Called the “Annunciazione,” the statue of the Virgin Mary is actually a copy of an original by 15th century Florentine sculptor Giovanni d’Ambrogio … [Read more...]

Last Meal, Last Chance: Convicted Killer Chooses Christ

Lethal Injection Room - San Quentin

On September 21, 2011, Troy Davis died in Georgia.Davis, you may know, was convicted of murdering a police officer.  But in the twenty years since the crime, seven of the nine key witnesses have recanted their testimony. The lack of clarity regarding the case sparked anti-death penalty backlash.  Groups including Amnesty International and the NAACP petitioned the courts to grant Davis a new trial or evidentiary hearing.  World leaders including Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ren … [Read more...]