ROME DAY 12: Chapels Stupid and Stupendous, Important Book and Talks

In Rome today Sunrise was at 7:20 and the Sunset will be at 18:31, with the curial Ave Maria at 18:45.

During the relatively unhurried day, I had to pick up a package that I had sent to myself by Amazon.  I’ve contemplated how to do this, since there’s no way to admit a deliverer where I am.  Ask at a local shop to take it?   That might work.  In any event, in most big cities there’s a locker situation where you can correct your gear.   I opted for post office not far from where I go for Mass.

Of course I must have been having a little stroke when I chose that option.  A post office.  An Italian post office.  What was a I thinking?   NOTHING is easy or fast at an Italian post office.   So, I, seething, waited for a window to open up.   The languid, bureaucratic indifference of the Italian postal clerk may be the ultimate origin of the phenomenon of “going postal”.

I did Sudoku on my phone.

Here’s a brief visit to a lovely little church, where St. Philip Neri originally started his oratory: San Girolamo della Carità on the Piazza Santa Catarina della Rota (therefore Catherine of Alexandria, not Siena) next to the little church I wrote about yesterday.

It is said that this church was built at the place where St. Jerome (+420) lived while in Rome.  Remember that not too far is the complex built by Pope Damasus who had Jerome work on the “Vulgate” Latin translation of the Bible.  A must see here is the chapel of the Spada family (the palazzo Spada is nearby).

At this church St. Philip Neri started his first oratory.  So, this church also has a heritage of music: there is a connection between the oratory (group of men) and oratorio (musical form).  It has a facade, but you can’t really get far enough away to enjoy it.  Instead, you enter by the side.

Did I mention the Spada chapel?  That’s all inlayed stone.

It’s an altar rail and a housling cloth in one.  But it gives you a sense of how Communion was received.

I dunno.  You get the impression that, back then, they thought Communion was something sort of special.   That even though you were fabulously wealthy and powerful, you too should actually kneel.  At last we’ve out grown all that groveling.  Things are so much better now.

Here is a video from the website of the church which shows the rooms of the saint.

Moving on…

One of the big things yesterday was the formal presentation of an important book.   I’ve written before of the book length interview that Bp. Athanasius Schneider did with Vaticanista Diane Montagna.

On my way over to the presentation, close to St. Peter’s, I stuck my head into the Carmelite church, S.M. in Traspontina, to see if they lunacy was still building.  Yes.  It’s still building.  I was started at with malevolence by a couple of dominican nuns on the steps, with their lay clothes and little necklaces.  The feather hat guy was also out on the steps, weaving a basket or something.   An image or two to show what happens when Catholics go insane.  You have seen some of this before.

The facade with its Amazon Synod banners.

Beautiful place.  I once heard the world re-premier of Handel’s Vespers for Our Lady of Mount Carmel in here.  How it has fallen.  And this is Card. Ouellet’s church.

And in the next chapel over.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Really moving on now….

The book presentation!

Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age [US HERE – UK HERE]

While the book was released for sale a few days ago, the formal presentation was last night.  Card. Burke and Roberto de Mattei gave talks, as did Bp. Schneider.  Burke spoke of the teaching role of bishops and de Mattei, in an important speech, both responded to critics of those who have raised questions about what’s going in this pontificate and explored legitimate resistance to unacceptable innovation.  Fr. Gerald Murray, in his role as moderator introduced the book with some prophetic parallels in the works in Dietrich von Hildebrand.

More on that later.  The talks will be divulged eventually at media outlets.  I don’t want to step on their toes.

There were quite a number of people I’ve know for years and many readers who wanted to greet me, which is always a pleasure. By happenstance I wound up in the front role with Robert Royal and my great old friend Card. Arinze. “JOHN!” he exclaimed. Card. Gerhard Müller came to hear the talks as well, but did not himself speak.

Bp. Schneider came straight over when he spotted me.  We were at the Augustinianum together way back in the day.

My vantage point for his talk.

With a friend.

I had a bite to eat with a friend after the event.  It was merely fuel, so I won’t bother with an account.   However, it confirms me in my desire not to return to the cliche and ever nearly mediocre Roberto al Borgo until it is under the management of serious people… or archangels, perhaps.  And Card. O’Malley was there.  It was always a hangout of for curial types, and clerical visitors, etc.  I guess it still is. Still, they have old fashioned gear, which is nice to see.  These are hard to find now.

Thus ended the day.

COLD REPORT: I have, I think, beaten the cold.  There is a lingering cough as I extract from within what the cold has left behind.

Today, errands.  I must check on new cassock and suit.  Pick up a package at a different drop point and meet friends (Swiss Guard) in the evening.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. APX says:

    Electric candles are sooo tacky.

  2. Sue in soCal says:

    Beautiful churches. Sad to see some do not appreciate the beauty of the churches or the beauty of reverent liturgy.
    Beautiful people. What a blessing to be at such a meeting with some of the true shepherds!
    Thank you for sharing this.

  3. Dad of Six says:

    Looking forward to the 2019 Call to Holiness Conference and Pontifical Mass (October 26th and 27th) with Cardinal Burke. Only eleven more days!

  4. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Glad you are feeling better. Being sick while traveling stinks. OTOH, as long as you are not exhausted by it, all that walking and breathing and real incense has to help! The carved houseling cloth was amazing! Thanks for the pictures!

    I have been looking into the lives of Popes Gregory III and IV, in regard to their institution of All Saints on November 1, and hence of Halloween. Not anything Celtic, of course! It’s all about synod of 731, as well as fighting iconoclasm, saint denigration, and cozying up to Islam. Respect the pumpkins!

    Also found a good old book on “The History of the Papal States” by John Miley, that includes a “medieval Rome walkthrough” by way of pilgrim travel accounts. Two volumes, 1850. It is on Google Books and

  5. Spinmamma says:

    Another post filled with beauty (thank you so much for the close up photos of the details) , history, tradition and faithfulness. How jarring to see the juxtaposition of the “offerings” laid before the altar. It brings to mind the story of Cain and Abel. It must give all of you faithful ones great comfort and encouragement to be with one another in person.

  6. Spade says:

    My dad worked with a visiting Italian guy for a bit and he was shocked that Americans sent cash and checks through the US postal service.

  7. Gab says:

    The detail, the intricacies, the craftsmanship in the Spada chapel – just breathtaking. What a beautiful monument to God. It always amazes me how a sculptor can make stone and marble look like fabric! Beautiful photos and am so glad your health is improving, Father.

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