St. Frances of Rome, A Heavy-Hitter at an Important Time

St. Frances of Rome

O God, who have given to us in Saint Frances of Rome a singular model of both married and monastic life, grant us perseverance in your service, that in every circumstance of life we may see and follow you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. -- Collect from today's MassToday is the feastday of Saint Frances of Rome, particularly beloved by me because she was a wife and mother who lived monasticism … [Read more...]

My lovely cheap wine glasses

That's a picture of our "last supper" in Rome - on the balcony, overlooking the Area Sacra, where Caesar was slain. Cheese, sweet plums, the fluffiest rosemary bread, wine and biscuits:After returning home, my husband and I tried very hard to hang on to as much of Italy as we could.I made ante pasta; we took walks; we ate more fruit! Every supper included a glass of wine and concluded with a cup of espresso...As winter came, the ante pasta and the walks went by-the-by, but we've … [Read more...]

"If you can keep your head…" UPDATED

There is a poem by Rudyard Kipling - I'm sure we all know it:If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:As I wrote below, I don't often come up to smack. But it's important to keep … [Read more...]

Get Your Patron Saint for 2011 – UPDATED

Regular readers know that around this time each year I have been fortunate enough to have someone "pull a patron saint" - someone who will be a specific teacher and friend for the coming twelve months. My patron for 2010--you can see his picture in the sidebar--has been the great St. Philip Neri, of whom I knew nothing beyond the fact that he was famous for his sense of humor.I did some research on him, bought a book and found that there was much more to this "Apostle of Rome" than his … [Read more...]

A Few Hours Off – UPDATE

15th-century Madonna Della Strada at GesuOne of our first stops in Rome was to Gesu, which was around the corner from our lodgings.I fell in love with this Madonna and Child. Amid all of the beauty of that church, and it is very grand and gorgeous, this simple image stood out. Our Lady of the Way, or Our Lady of the Road.With the liturgical year ending, the work (thankfully, blessedly) increasing, I realize I need to take a few hours away from the desk and the computer, so that I can get … [Read more...]

The Heavy Grace of Confession

Confessional, Basilica of Santa Sabina, RomeThe confessional above is, as indicated, from Santa Sabina; for some reason, my husband--who I do believe tried to photograph every inch of Rome--did not manage to get a picture of the confessionals at St. John Lateran, the "Cathedral of Rome."Possibly his own sense of discretion prevented a snapshot, because while we were there the confessionals were constantly in use, just on the other side of the magnificent nave full of huge representations of … [Read more...]

A Creche, B-16 & Your Opinion, Please

I tease you with a splendid picture (they get a little fuzzy with cropping/shrinking) from Rome in order to entice you into answering a question for me.What you see there is perhaps the most exquisite little chapel in Rome, in the great, mostly-5th century Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major). The whole church is breathtaking (I am going to someday pattern my floors on the swirly designs therein), but this particular picture is of the Nativity chapel, designed by Arnolfo di Cambio. The … [Read more...]

Thank you, a little slow at the gate!

Deplorable-looking woman, who has grown her mother's nose and who sweated off her make-up, reviving with Guinness in RomeSorry it's so quiet. I awoke this morning with a really bad cold/sore throat thing going on and after doing the marketing realized I must be a little more jet-lagged than I thought. Who knew jet-lag was day-skipping? I certainly had more pep yesterday.I need to write a gracious "thank you" to my guest-bloggers, and ask you to give them a boorah round of applause. There … [Read more...]

In Madrid, Pre-Roma – UPDATED

Our trip to Rome began with a layover in Madrid (frequent flier miles, remember!) that was so long we extended it to about 23 hours, and saw a little of that beautiful city. We're not sure what this building is, but we liked it:At Plaza Mayor, my husband took his favorite sorts of pictures: doorways, windows, patterns...I admit, I like this stuff, too:Then we walked through the narrow medieval streets until we reached a restaurant called Botin, which is in the record books as the … [Read more...]

Triumph Trending

Raphael Rooms of Vatican Museum, Cross Triumphant over PaganismToday is the feastday of the Triumph of the Cross, (a great day) and my husband shot this in the Raphael Rooms of the Vatican Museum, as our wonderful, brilliant guide, Elizabeth Lev gave us such an informative and fascinating background on various pieces of art, and their creators, that I came to really regret my woeful lack of education as regards the fine arts. My husband and I came away from Lev's tour with an increased … [Read more...]