Rome: Day 3 – more food, more churches, the usual

We had a late start today, which was welcome. Mass at S Maria della Scala. the sacristy situation was … just as Roman sacristies usually are, especially in the hands of religious. Any one who has lived here knows exactly what I mean.

In no special order…

Something from lunch. Many of you will recognize what this is.


A brief visit to S Maria in Trastevere.



Okay… more food.


A pair of ancient Christian birds from a funerary monument fragment.  There are many of these in the entrance way to S Maria in Trastevere.


We darted up to S Pietro in Vincoli.

You know one.  Moses by Michelangelo.   It is said that, when he finished him, Michelangelo struck him with his hammer and said “Speak!”


Chains of Peter in prison.  They say there are also fragments of chains of St. Paul.


Over at S Prassede… a must see church near S Maria Maggiore, a fragment of the column of the flagellation.


One of the great mosaics in the S Zeno chapel.  Did you listen you my LENTCAzTs?  I spoke about the Roman Stations each day and I described some of these things along the way.


This is the mosaic that the weird sisters freak out about.  The Pope honored his own mother, Theodora, with her image in the mosaic.  She is still alive at the time it is made, thus the square, not round, “halo”.  She is called “episcopa” NOT because she is a bishop – which is laughable – but because she is the mother of the Roman bishop!  It is an honorary title… for the Pope’s Mom!


Less controversial were our antipasti tonight.   A little of everything.

The Great Roman Fabrizio and his wife the Incredible Claudia joined us this evening, which truly made the evening special.


One of my favorite fishes: Orata.


With His Excellency Bp. Paprocki, whom I met by happy chance.  This guy is great.


Back to food.  Baba al Rhum with little strawberries.  Yes.  This one can stay.


Most of the bottles removed, but it is still a worthy field of play.


And thus endeth the day, with Compline, for this Saturday in alibis.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Thank you so much, Fr. Z. for sharing the sights, food, birdz and most especially the beautiful Churches. The pictures of the chains and the column of flagellation strike deep in the heart and soul. Enjoy every moment.

  2. mrshopey says:

    And Moses said, “Horns! That is NOT what St Jerome meant by horned!”

  3. StJude says:


  4. MarthainCanada says:

    Okay, what is the deal with Moses having horns? My husband saw that statue in Rome, too, and we’ve always wondered. Also, is the dessert apple pie?

  5. Supertradmum says:

    Thanks for the photos, Father, and I love S Maria in Trastevere.

    The horns on Moses has to do with a translation of the “glory” which he experienced after being on Mt. Sinai. The Hebrew word for horn also means ray of glory. Ergo, the word horn is used in the Vulgate, but most people knew it meant rays; cornuta esset facies sua ex consortio sermonis Dei. We get the word for an ice cream popular in Europe, a cornetto, which is like a horn.

  6. OrthodoxChick says:


    I’m not seeing a picture of apple pie. I see what looks to me to be veal Saltimbocca in the lunch pic, and Carbonara in the second foodie pic. Between yesterday’s and today’s food photos, me thinks our esteemed Fr. Z. is getting his prosciutto fix while in Rome. And what better place to do so?! I’d do the same thing if given the opportunity!

    The pictures of the chains and the column fragment are something to stare at and dwell upon. I’ll probably never see these in person in my lifetime, so than you so much for sharing them, Fr. Z.

  7. I would like the recipe for the pasta dish between the dome and the bird.

  8. OrthodoxChick says:


    Thanks for sharing that bit about the horns. I never knew that. The Italians also have a horn confection that’s pretty yummy: Cornetti de Crema, which is a flaky, horn-shaped pastry filled with crème. I’m glad Lent is over. All of this food talk and these great-looking foodie photos are giving me cravings.

    Anita Moore, OPL,

    Here’s a Carbonara recipe w/ demo from youtube:

  9. benedetta says:

    Top one.

  10. TopSully says:

    The top plate looks like what my Mother makes and calls Petti do pollo, and is a sautéed chicken breast topped with prosciutto and fontina. Ifs have agreed with the veal saltimbocca if I had seen sage. Unless the sage is an American thing?

  11. Ahh!! I’ve been to St Peter in Chains and St Prassede! The staircase leading up to St Peter in Chains is pretty spooky, especially at night. Lovely pictures! Keep them coming.

  12. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    Orthodox Chick and Supertradmum beat me to it. Saltimbocca and Spaghetti Carbonara

    And the “horns” are rays of light. Alas, water, clouds, fog, wind and light CANNOT be sculpted –though it’s not for want of trying. It cannot even be done by a master such as Michelangelo. The Statue of Liberty is the classic example. People think that the rays of light emanating from her head are part of her diadem. And so people think the rays of light from Moses’ head are horns. Even at the high altar of my favorite church in Rome, Santa Maria in Campitelli, perhaps the best effort to show steaming light, it can’t be done.

    Exodus 34:29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of the testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone by reason of his speaking with him.

    2 Corinthians 3:7, But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, 8how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?

  13. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    There is a gap of ignorance, what Germans call a Bildungslücke, in eschatology. We are given vivid, concrete images of Hell. But what is Heaven like? To enter San Marco, Venice, and Santa Prassede, Rome, is to fill that gap. The theology of the four points of The Glorious Body also helps fill the gap. So does the Easter Vigil.

    Alas, at Santa Prassede, at Santa Maria in Trastevere, and at Santa Maria Maggiore, the baldachino gets in the way.

  14. frjim4321 says:

    Carbonara is one of the proofs for the existence of God.

    I sure hope there was a hint of marjoram in there.

    Hope you have a safe trip and get back in time to work off some of those calories and get back down to your fighting weight.

  15. mrshopey says:

    @ Charles. Thanks for the link to Dr. Marshall’s. I do believe, or want to believe, that Michelangelo wanted to convey ray of lights that looked like horns.
    I don’t think there is any mistranslation on the part of St. Jerome’s Vulgate as others did and still do hold it as rays of light. No error on the part of St. Jerome iow.
    BUT, given the fact that Michelangelo included a critic of the nudes, a Cardinal!, in the nether world (hell – Baigio da Cesena as Minos). I can’t see the horned like statue as being innocently done either. Michelangelo didn’t appear to be innocent and had the temper to fit an artist who was not bashful to alter his work to express his anger. I also don’t look at all the nudes in the Chapel as ONLY works of art but a way of thumbing his nose at some – thus all the nudes and the fig campaign.
    The fact that they kept the horns on Moses is amazing.

  16. Charles E Flynn says:

    Thank you.

    I knew there was a book I forgot to read years ago:

    The Horned Moses in Medieval Art and Thought, by Ruth Mellinkoff.

  17. Stephen McMullen says:

    Oh YUM. Father, I don’t know how it is that you don’t get fat! I drooled over all the pictures but the baba au rhum really “takes the cake.” Excuse the play on words. It’s bad, I know.

  18. Elizabeth D says:

    Bishop Paprocki!!! I love him!!! Do I get to vote for next Archbishop of Chicago??? Wait, I am not a Call to Action member, forget I said that. Did you grill him about the reevangelization of the LCWR and whether that is still actually ongoing??? He is one of the three appointed for that task.

  19. kimberley jean says:

    When did it become acceptable to chide adults on what they are eating or to bring up the fear of fat? My boss, a normally kind woman compulsively shames us all at staff lunches if she disapproves of our meals.

  20. The Masked Chicken says:

    “When did it become acceptable to chide adults on what they are eating or to bring up the fear of fat? ”

    In the 1980’s. At that point, nutritional biochemistry really started to take off. Would you not chide someone who sat all day and weighed 350 lbs? It is an act of charity, not nosiness, usually. It can be nosiness, in some cases, however, but not always. One must, also, take into account personal circumstances, however. If I can prevent my brother’s premature death by talking about fats and triglycerides, do I not have an obligation to do so?

    The Chicken (the lean meat)

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