9 March: S. Francesca Romana

I am reather devoted to St. Frances of Rome for reason of personal history.  Thus, I took a trip to her church today, S. M. Nova on the Roman Forum.  Here are a couple shots.

And some vestments?

The music for the Mass was Gregorian chant.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Tom says:

    Is that a cardinal wearing an episcopal dalmatic beneath that beautful Roman Chasuble?

  2. Tom: I think he is wearing an alb that is too short over a (white) Benedictine habit.

  3. Antonio says:


    Was the liturgy Tridentine or Pauline ad orientem with classic vestments?

    Who is the celebrant?

    Is that a deacon of honour?

    Great pictures illustating a wonderful blog.

  4. John Polhamus says:

    What a charming little church! I love the unusual coffered ceiling, it looks like porceline!

  5. Fabrizio says:

    Unusual? Unusual where? ;-)

  6. Barb says:

    Dear Father,

    Thank you for posting the very beautiful pictures you have on your web site. I love seeing our heritage in the pictures of the churches, and your other shots of the sky, the farm, et. al fill me with awe for the glory of God. If a sky or a snow scene can be this beautiful, imagine how beautiful God must be. In our thoroughly disordered world, these images give me hope and peace.

  7. Jon says:

    A cardinal? Celebrating ad orientem? Today?

    It would make me wonder, but that candle in front of the altar on the Gospel side might make for a firey experience if the celebration were actually ad orientem. Looks like they were merely incensing the altar, and it’s a Pauline.

  8. Londiniensis says:

    If you look at the one visible candle in front of the altar and also at the floor-level flowers, it would appear that the Mass was celebrated versus populum. The perspective indicates quite some space behind the altar (which seems to be a “portable” altar), and a principal, high altar behind and above that (above a confessio?).

  9. Dan Hunter says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,
    Why wouldn’t His Eminence offer an Ad Orientem mass?
    God bless you

  10. PMcGrath says:

    On a related topic: Amy Welborn just ran a link to this AP story about central city Roman churches being totally deserted on the weekends, while in the far suburbs, crowds of poor immigrant parishes have to make do with makeshift churches. Since you’re “on the ground” in Rome, what’s your take on it? Is S. Francesca Romana one of those empty churches (on weekends)? Should the Diocese run bus services for Sunday mornings? Just … thinking out loud.

  11. San Francesca Romana was full when I was there just a couple of years ago on a Saturday night. There was a wedding. This church is one of the ones downtown, near the Forum, where roman couples like to get married. It’s a beautiful old place.

    Not to worry, it’s not a busing destination, ala civil rights forced busing. Let’s not even go there, okay? Those people in the suburbs need to build churches! Nearly every neighborhood has a church in Rome–it’s part of contributing to the faith.

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