ROME – Day 0.5: Et In Arcadia Ego

Once back in the City, a switch is thrown in my head and it is as if I never left.

I made a run to Gammarelli to do some vestment business, but my guy wasn’t there.  I’ll have to go back.  Meanwhile, some stuff in the window.


If I am not mistaken, the buckles were still prescribed in 1962.  I suspect that was honored more in the breach than in the observance.

In addition to making diminutive birettas, now too miters.

I had to go to the Vodafone store for something… that was waste of time… but it is never a waste of time to visit San Lorenzo in Lucina.

The Crucifixion is by Guido Reni.

Here you find also the tomb of the painter Poussin.  Chateaubriand caused his monument to be made and carved with an image of one of Poussin’s better known works.

You can try your hand at the Latin.

On the image are carved the words “Et In Arcadia Ego”.

Some of you might be familiar with this phrase from your readings of Brideshead Revisited.   It is a kind of “memento mori” trope.  The idea is this.  “Arcadia” is an iconic place of beauty and pleasure.  You the reader, standing there reading the inscription, hear the inscription (and the person in the tomb) saying, “I, too, was in Arcadia”.  That is to say, “I, too, was once in the land of the living… but before long you, pal, are going to be here with me.”

Every priest needs a pulpit like this.


A quick stop in Sant’Andrea della Valle to visit Pius II.


And St. Giuseppe Maria Tomassi di Lampedusa.   An interesting guy, ahead of his time.  In a way, I am glad that he failed in his endeavors.

Look at this risible set up.  Good grief.

Stopping for an aperitif before supper.

Which drink is mine?

Rigatoni all Norcina.



On the way to some rack time.

The Roman sojourn has begun.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Have you seen the throne of Pope Pascal in a door of the choir area behind the high altar of San Lorenzo in Lucina? I was there in 2000 with my parents and the parish priest opened the door and sat me in it.

  2. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “Look at this risible set up. Good grief.” A case of, Keep the Aspidistra Flying?

    A complementary use of ‘Et in Arcadia ego’ is achieved by supplying ‘sum’ and allowing it to be spoken by Death personified.

  3. Kent Wendler says:

    Father, would you kindly instruct this ignorant person, however briefly, about how the “set up” is risible? I am truly drawing a blank here. Thanks.

    [Build a platform so that an ironing-board altar can be set up and then use the main altar’s mensa as a flower pot stand… stupid.]

  4. Mario Bird says:

    Orata, fratres.

  5. “Every priest needs a pulpit like this.”

    How sad that so many who do have such a pulpit do not use it at all, even on Sundays. Even sadder is how many who have such a pulpit do not use it effectively to preach the Gospel that Jesus preached and make disciples of all nations.

  6. John Nolan says:

    On my tombstone I would like a skull and bones and the following memento mori:


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