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...]

Bartholomew: Any Friend of Jesus Is a Friend of Mine

Any Friend of Jesus’ is a Friend of Mine.  And this week, we remember one of Jesus’ closest friends—one of the Twelve, in fact—St. Bartholomew.This is a guy we really don’t know much about.  In fact, it seems like the more we learn, the more confusing the story becomes! … [Read more...]

Holy Grail, Holy Girls, and Holy Grill

Lawrence before the Roman prefect Valerius

On August 10, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Lawrence of Rome.I remember his story from my childhood:  His name is evocative of romance, of danger, of grit and guts and grace.  Among the hundreds of saints who have been formally canonized by the Church, St. Lawrence stood out in my youthful mind as a sort of Robin Hood figure—loving the poor, jovial in his daring example before the King.In particular, I was entranced by three stories from his life:  the legend of the sacr … [Read more...]