Just a nice photo…

… of S. Maria Maggiore.

You can click for a larger version… if you want.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Wow. That’s a screen saver. Wow again.

  2. Brian Day says:

    Why can’t American Bishops build churches like that anymore?

  3. Just a gesture of gratitude to all of you who were patient and helpful.

  4. P.Bunyan says:

    Brings back memories. On our first trip to Rome, my wife
    and I attended a concert in S. Maria Maggiore by the Tallis
    Scholars, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of
    Palestrina — one of the best musical experiences of our
    lives. On a subsequent trip, we stayed on the Aventine,
    and went to Sant’Anselmo almost every night for Vespers.
    Beautiful Solesmes-style chant. We were disappointed to
    learn later that they had “deposed” their abbot because he
    was too conservative, liturgically. Which brings up a
    question for Fr. Z (if he’s reading this) — do you
    happen to know who the abbot is that’s mentioned in Tosatti’s
    news story, the one having dinner with a member of the Papal
    entourage and presumably strategizing against the MP?

  5. P.Bunyan: I was at that incredible concert. I will never forget the Allegri Miserere and the treble voice floating out of the Sistine Chapel.

    The “Sistine” Chapel of S. M. Major is so-called because it was built by Pope Sixtus V.   The Sistina in the Vatican was built by Sixtus IV.  In the background is the tomb of St. Pope Pius V, who promulgated the Missale Romanum after the Council of Trent.
    There will probably never be another Pope Sixtus.  Think about it.

  6. P.Bunyan says:

    Fr. Z, Yes, it was incredible — the Tallis Scholars at
    their peak. In case you’re not aware, a very beautiful video
    was made of the concert, with gorgeous images of the church
    and its mosaics. It is (or was) available on DVD.

  7. Joe says:

    Sancta Maria Maggiore is our favourite Church in Rome. Thanks you so much, Father, for this picture and welcome back.

    The mosaic of the Dormition of Our Blessed Lady, which can be seen just beneath the underside of the baldachino, is both a beautiful work of art in itself, but also a wonderful reminder about the doctrines of the Assumption and the Resurrection of the Body.

  8. Joe says:

    Perhaps there will be if he has a sense of humour! Sixtus Sextus (have I got the latin right?) has a ring to it!

  9. Kenjiro Shoda says:

    These mosaics from Santa Maria Maggiore remind me of the recent installation of mosaics in what is now known as the “Redemptoris Mater” chapel in the Vatican. It’s the same style. I love very early Roman (Catholic) mosiacs in early Churches in Rome and elsewhere in Italy, so I picked up the style and similarity immediatly.

    I was wondering about Rome, after reading an article of the 50 new Churches the Diocese of Rome attempted to build after the Jubilee. Why would they waste the money building such hideous new Church that everyone apparently hates, (modern design, no ornamentation in the inside, very Protestant looking interiors), when they could instead maybe build fewer that 50 (say 20), better looking Churches with interious like Santa Maria Maggiore, or copies of other great Churches.

    Having seen the horribly ugly new Churches in Roman suburbs, I can understand why young people shop around to find “pretty Churches” in which to get married, or to attend. Having seen these buildings, it’s no surprise so few go to Mass.

  10. John Polhamus says:

    Well, Kenjiro, as Martin Mosebach says in his admirable and recent book “The Heresy of Formlessness” “…after more than a century of the destruction of forms in art, literature, architecture, politics, and religion, too, people are generally beginning to realize that loss of form – almost always – implies loss of content.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

  11. Thomas says:

    Thank you for this picture – I am happy I clicked for the larger version – excellent, beautiful. Makes the best desktop yet.

  12. mcs says:

    The mosaics in Santa Maria Maggiore are not only beautiful, but instructive! The Old Testament scenes in the nave retell the story of the Covenant between God and the Jewish People. The scenes from the Infancy Cycle on the arch show Christ as Lord of all and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. The apse mosaic underlines the importance of the Virgin in all this. There is much to ‘read’ in all those images!
    Makes one wonder why today, in an age that is so depend on images for conveying information, so many of our churches are bare.

  13. Iconoclasm, mcs. But we’ll get over it; iconoclastic periods pass and this one will too.

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