Rome Day 4: Of crashing ceilings, weeping parents, and the dust and hearts of saints

Lots of walking today.  I purposely guiding my path past Er Belli’s house.   You remember him from yesterday’s post.

I went to Gammarelli and picked the lace for Fr. Johnson’s new alb which my Society, through the donations some of you sent, will have made along with the new travel vestments.  Remember that he lost pretty much everything useful for travel and Mass in the hold of that airplane that went into the drink at NAS JAX.

Getting a lesson about how to measure for the arm length.

The fabric for the vestments is ready to go to the sewing crew.

I spotted the French edition of Card. Sarah’s new book.   It was larger than I thought it would be.  It seemed best to buy it later, since I was doing a lot of walking.

On the way toward one of my goals, I went by the Ara Pacis Augusti, now sadly housed in something that looks like a collision of Frank Lloyd Wright and the local convenience store and gas station.

Looking to the right… ah ha!  What’s this I see?

A fountain built by Clement XIV, Ganganelli.  And you know what he did!

The side of the gas station has the text in inset bronze letters of the Accomplishments or Res Gestae of Augustus Caesar.

At the top of the third panel is the account of how Augustus closed the doors of the Temple of Janus, because the whole world was at peace.  You can see it…. IANUM QUIRINUM… in the third line.

The doors of the Temple, later lost to build the Basilica Aemelia, were not closed very often in Rome’s history.   Janus Geminus, with two faces, was the god of passages and transits, openings and beginnings, boundaries.

Ianum Quirinum, quem claussum esse maiores nostri voluerunt, cum per totum imperium populi Romani terra marique esset parta victoriis pax, cum prius, quam náscerer, a condita urbe bis omnino clausum fuisse prodátur memoriae, ter me principe senatus claudendum esse censuit.

Janus Quirinus, which our ancestors ordered to be closed whenever there was peace, secured by victory, throughout the whole domain of the Roman people on land and sea, and which, before my birth is recorded to have been closed but twice in all since the foundation of the city, the senate ordered to be closed thrice while I was princeps.

Do you recall what happened when, in Augustus reign, “the whole world was at peace”?

From the Martyrology:

“…in the forty-second year of the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus, the whole world being at peace,… JESUS CHRIST, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to consecrate the world by his most loving presence, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and when nine months had passed since his conception, was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah, and was made man: The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.”

Some days ago I posted about my QSL card, which ham radio operators send to each other when they make long distance contacts.  It’s the old fashioned way to confirm contact.  One of you sent a note asking me about the image on the card.

Clerics are in a library, gathered about books and a globe, clearly trying to find the location of something.   It seemed a good image.   This is from a painting by José Gallegos y Arnosa, a Spanish painter who worked for long years in Rome and finally died at Anzio in 1917.    He did lots of churchy genre work.  Anyway, some of my walking today took me past things associated with his life.   First, I walked up the Via di Ripetta where he lived near del Popolo.  In my reading about him, I found a hilarious anecdote that involves… Jesuits.

José had an apartment in the Via Ripetta, pictured above, which happened to be directly over the residence of the Superior General of the Jesuits.   It was an old building and not terribly sturdy.    José’s cook, a woman who was quite large, went through the kitchen floor and, consequently, through the ceiling of the Jesuit’s apartment.   As you know, women aren’t supposed to be in there, right?   The account I read goes, “The priests … took this as a miracle, and news of the ‘event was published the next day in the official Vatican newspaper, the Osservatore Romano, ‘ … and the priests cried falling to their knees, an angel from heaven.'”

It would be fun to find an archived copy of that original story.

Anyway,  José also had a studio in the Via Margutta, known for artists.   Here is his place, #54, which now is also graced with one of the fountains that were put up in the different “rioni” of Rome at the time of Il Duce.   They are all recognizably by the same hand, but they all have symbols of the area they are in.

Walking the Roman streets sometimes brings waves of fresh jasmine and you can see why.

Into the Church, nay, Basilica of San Carlo al Corso.  I had promised to say a prayer for Fr. Charles Johnson, the chaplain.  I included all Charleses who read and donate.

What wrong with this picture?

The heart of St. Charles Borromeo!

Young Achille Ratti said his First Mass at this altar.  Pius XI of happy memory.  Shall we see his like again?

A touching, touching monument.  Who will give a perfect rendering of the inscription?  Click HERE for large.

Honestly, with a working knowledge of Latin and the patience to stop and read the walls, you have the sense of generations of our forebears living and loving and laughing and losing in these streets and in these churches, which they cultivated for cult like precious gardens that fed them the very finest fruits and foods.   They are alive all around you, still asking for prayers.

Also at San Carlo is a crowned image of St. Joseph!   Love it.  Terror of Demons!   Convert the Fishwrap or destroy it utterly!  Stop the pernicious work of certain homosexualists, or bring them down in ignominy.

Into San Lorenzo in Lucina, where I prayed for all Lawrences who read and contribute.   This church has a beautiful Crucifixion by Guido Reni.

But what’s wrong with this picture?

Make me Pope for a year… just a year….

Heading home.

Later in the afternoon, as per my custom, I went to Ss. Trinità for Mass.  Here is a young priest at the altar where St. John Baptist de Rossi was buried, before they moved him to a church with his name.   Do you know this saint?  HARD CORE, friends.  Amazing.  Today, being his feast, we turned to the back of the Roman Missal for Masses in “certain places”.  On 23 May you find the texts.  On wall of this chapel, there is plaque about how the saint was here.   I like to think that some of his dust is still there, in the niche under the altar.  He would have been that thoughtful, to leave some behind.

Priests. Concelebrating.

And now I am settled in for some supper, opening with little snacks, to be followed by ravioli in fresh pesto, and chicken roasted in rosemary, oregano and lemon, with a nice Grechetto to wash it down.   Amaro “del capo” I think, after.  I thought about a cigar, but this is the turning point in my jet lag.  And a couple tools of the trade.  In the background and big bouquet of yellow roses in a cut off water bottle.  And the drink is Crodino.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Wonderful pictures, Father. My family and I attended mass at Trinitas numerous times last fall, and your pictures bring back memories. I wish we were back there!

  2. Diana says:

    Wonderful!! I love it when you travel and share. :)

  3. acardnal says:

    Concelebration as it should be.

  4. Interesting that the signature “SPQR” still continues in use!

  5. The Egyptian says:

    whats wrong, everything on that wood platform, all of it, would make a good bonfire.
    spirit of v2 my hintern

  6. SanSan says:

    I love walking through Rome with you!

  7. richiedel says:

    Thanks for the photos of the uplifting artwork, Fr. Z!

  8. DebbieInCT says:

    I second what SanSan said! Thank you, Fr., this was a delight … and I especially love the picture of the Crowned St. Joseph… beautiful!

  9. JustaSinner says:

    Pinsere pizza nearby? Cheese with extra garlic and sweet basil, please.
    I mean you’re in Roma, so no good Rueben’s there!

  10. Felipe says:

    Thank you so much for your posts. I’m missing Rome, especially al the small details you forget about due to the grand highlights of our trips there. I would love a reproduction of that painting of St Joseph, it’s beautiful.

    YES… just one year Padre.

    Restore all the high altars (and relics) for regular use PLEASE. And while you’re at it, restore minor orders, the octave of Pentecost, Holy Week liturgy, the papal tiara and the list goes on and on… I’m sure a lot of us know that list well.. ok maybe, just maybe, more Bishops for the personal Ordinariate with hopes that it could replace the Novus Ordo Missae. If you eradicated the Novus Ordo I’m almost certain you wouldn’t make it a year, maybe not even the 33 days John Paul I survived.

    I hope your pilgrimage to Rome is fruitful and our family prays for your spiritual and corporal safety. Please, watch out for those crazy drivers in tiny cars and vespas.

  11. Spinmamma says:

    Thank you for your commentary and photos–greatly enjoyed by this armchair traveler. And very informative.

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