This morning I decided to take a bit of a stroll rather than go out to Castel Gandolfo for the Audience and other events. Instead, I went to look at a few places I hadn’t seen for a while and are of note in my life’s stroll.
Is it possible that I have developed a shred of sentimentality?
Breakfast was in the Borgo Pio, at a very good old fashioned bar. My usual.
My stroll brought me past the shop where I had my chalice made.
The shop happens to share the palazzo where Pius XII was born and grew up.
Around the corner to the Chiesa Nuova.
To consult with Pipo Buono, St. Philip Neri, a patron.
Down the street to Sant’Andrea della Valle
After admiring Pius II, the great humanist, in the church which is the setting for Act I of Tosca…
… into a back chapel to consult with another saint, Giuseppe Maria Tomasi (di Lampedusa).
Around the corner, past where invader soldiers had carved their names into the bricks of the building during the Sack of Rome, to the street where my Roman seminary is and, beyond it, the place where Julius Caesar was killed.
Then I headed over to the Ghetto on my way to another church.
Here I had a great experience. I was walking past the doorway to one of the synagogues (not the big one). The synagogue was very busy today, as you can imagine, since it is Yom Kippur. There was a bench full of old Jews outside. Men were going in and out, with their shawls and tzitzit. One of the old men on the bench hailed me, and we had a long cordial conversation about a variety of things, back and forth. I asked some questions about Yom Kippur and their prayers. I could see directly into the building, could see the ranks on ranks of men praying in their shawls, could hear the chanting of the prayers. I listened for a while. There was huge security in the area. The police and other services were not letting people into the main street of the Ghetto but they had let me pass through. Thus, I had this great experience. I really couldn’t take photos, alas.
And so I continued on to San Nicola in carcere, where I was ordained to the diaconate and where I directed an all-female Gregorian chant schola. They sang chant ethereally.
Off then to the Capitoline Museums. Here is a view from the opening arches of the ancient Tabellarium.
The section of the museums where the paintings are is dreadfully behind the times, primitive compared to great museums of the world. There are some interesting paintings, however.
Among the collected works, here are two by Guido Reni, a Lucretia and a Cleopatra. I think I have mentioned before how during a certain period there Cleo, Lucretia and Mary Magdalene can often receive a similar treatment. This is a good example: knife v asp. You decide.
If memory serves, a nice Annunciation by Dosso Dossi.
By now I am hungry. I went to another favorite old haunt, l’Angoletto.
Spaghetti alle vongole.
At this point a “certain Roman curial prelate” came by and we had a nice long talk about the inner workings of some places. Nice to see him and catch up.
After lunch, I stopped at Sant’Agostino and had a chat with St. Monica, whose bones are interred here. I have no doubt that she was remembered at the altar by her son.
Down the Via dei Coronari, my old neighborhood, I stopped to visit the great guys at the best bonsai shop you will ever see. These men are experts. They still have my bonsai, too! I had a bonsai for years, perched high above the Piazza Navona, and it spent a lot of time in my window. Whenever I left Rome, they would take it and give it TLC in my absence. Very dedicated. Truly nice men. I hope all the seminarians from the NAC and any priests or religious living in Rome would stop by. I used to give bonsai’s as gifts when I was here.
Via dei Coronari 16 – alberoantico.it
At San Salvatore in Lauro there was/is a display of relics of St. Pio. A shot of his stole.
The Blessed Sacrament was exposed, and therefore I stayed to consult and adore for a bit. Some neighborhood women had a litany going, but the point, the constant phrase after each invocation was “Send us more priests, send us holy priests”. Humbling. Inspiring. I don’t doubt but that the Lord will reward them.
This evening I went to have some supper nearby at a favorite place. I settled into a plate of bucatini and read some of a novel on my Kindle. And before someone asks, yes, I have two mobile phones. Actually, I have three. I feel like a drug dealer.
At this point, three priests came in, two of whom I knew. There was a priest from a big city on the East Coast, a fellow who works in Rome in a great role (which I rather envy) and a “certain highly placed Curial official”. We got caught up and/or acquainted. It was pleasant to hear their views and find out what they were up to and exchange some ideas. Along the way I heard some things that actually left me feeling rather uplifted, which I did not expect.
My first full day back here was pretty good, all in all. It was full and it was fruitful.
In my prayers at the tombs of saints I did not forget to keep in mind Your Urgent Prayer Requests. I especially asked the saints to intercede for the special needs of those of you who have been benefactors along the way.
Since I am in Rome for a few more days, and since I will be saying Mass, and since I will be visiting the tombs of many saints, I will start another Urgent Prayer Request thread HERE. I’ll look at it as I am going about my day. I ask a prayer for myself.