ROME DAY 16: Saints, Stamps and Sole Music

7:23 is when the Sun rose, which in turn will set at 18:27 and the Ave Maria should – but won’t – ring at 18:45.

One of the things that was causing a lot of stress some time ago is slated to be resolved before too long.

This blog has to move.

I was informed by the Whatever From High Atop The Thing that their business model had changed and everything that was not going to be In The View had to skedaddle before a Certain Terminal Moment.

The clock has been ticking and Crack Team of Experts has been working the problem.   The Certain Terminal Moment is upon us.

In a matter of days, or even perhaps hours, this blog will wanish… vanish!





Only to reappear again, once the polarity has been reversed, Beamed to Another Place.

Let’s hope that all goes well and that The Blog doesn’t get caught in the… what was it they always had a problem with? … the Transporter Buffer?

I don’t always get the tech right.  After all, I’m a priest, not a server technician.

That said, I am convinced more than ever that a Catholic Signal Corps is necessary.   We need a Crack Team of Experts who are dedicated to helping with and maintaining Catholic sites and who will eventually be able to build an infrastructure that isn’t at the mercy of demonic agenda driven ideologues.

Meanwhile, just around the corner from where I say Mass in the evenings, and just up from the Ponte Sisto, is the little church of the Pallottine Fathers.  This is where you may venerate St. Vincent Pallotti.  It’s on the Via dei Pettinari,

This is a Roman saint, who developed schools for tradesmen, such as shoemakers and tailors and carpenters.  There were lots of these shops in the area when this church is, and the streets are still named for various trades.

When his body was exhumed as part of his cause in 1906 and in 1950, it was incorrupt.

A Blessed is here, Elisabetta Sanna, who died in 1857 and was beatified in 2016.   She was a widow, terribly disfigured by small pox and a collaborator with St. Vincent.

Some of the history.  It mentions the first activity here of a hermit named Paul in 1260.

Our Sorrowful Mother.   Today she is sad because of the Amazon Synod (“walking together”).  I think that that’s also an eye-roll.

When you leave San Salvatore in Onda, after your visit to St. Vincent and Bl. Elisabetta, by order of the Most Illustrious and Most Reverend Monsignore President of the Streets, you are NOT to liter or you will be fined 10 golden scudi and maybe given other punishments as well.

I popped my head into the Neapolitan church, Lo Spirito Santo dei Napolitani on the Via Guilia.

Mass was on for Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, so I couldn’t explore.  The sermon took boring to new depths of soul annihilation.

The old church, once dedicated to St. Aurea (thus unlocking the mystery of the name of a nearby alleyway), was built in 1574.   It was S. Aura in strada iulia and there were nuns here.  Dedicated to the same St. Aurea of Ostia in whose church on the edge of Ostia Antica St. Monica’s body was kept, before it was translated into Rome to Sant’Agostino.

A lovely crowned image of Joseph.  You don’t see these too often.  There is a great one at San Carlo al Corso.

This is nice.  Nicknamed, “Madonna del Fulmine”, for reasons that are not clear to me.

Here’s a nice probably 18th c. painting of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Today, walking through the market to collect some clams for supper, I spotted this, embedded in the sanpietrini.  If I’ve seen it, I haven’t remembered it.   Of course it is near the statue of Giordano Bruno, so it’s hatemail to the Church.

Here’s the little, charming (without the cars) Vicolo del Bollo.   A Roman “vicolo” isn’t just an alley or connecting passage.  They had there own microcultures and nearly their own climates.  This one runs between the Via dei Cappellari (where surely saturnos were made) and the Via del Pellegrino.

It was named at the office of the Bollo, or “stamp” which was founded in 1608 to certify the quality of silver and gold in metal works.  There were gold smiths and jewelers around here.  There still are.  In Roman parlance we still say, “oro de bollo” for something that’s the real Dr. McCoy.  I once had an short term apartment here.  At the right time of year, you enjoy wisteria and bougainvillea.

I have a 19th c. silver chalice which I found and had repaired.  It bears the silver stamp of the Papal States.  I’m pretty sure that stamp, that bollo, was set in this little street.

Speaking of silver, click the wavy flag!  Mass tonight for Benefactors at 6-ish, Rome time.

Meanwhile, at the fish monger, I spotted a net of telline… ahhhh… telline, and of razor clams.   I wasn’t quite sure what to do with razor clams, since I’ve never prepared them, so I didn’t get any.  I’ll have to check on that.  I’ve had really good razor clams in Spain.

These are called fazzolari.  If you ever wanted to make a platter of clams and garlic, maybe a little bread crumb or two, try these.

And this little group sends you off to your own day.  Kinda like a MoTown group, a little sole music

Sorry about the puns.  I can’t help myself.

COLD REPORT: It’s under control, but the cough remains. It’s infrequent, but it’s there.

Today, writing. Tomorrow, Vatican gardens and a checkup at the Vatican ATM. I found a zip cover for my Baronius Press Breviary the other day at the Paoline. So that’s done. Meanwhile, I’m reading, Newman, the book on Bernini and Borromini, Windswept House, and Weigel’s new book.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Maximilian75 says:

    Is the “bollo” in “oro de bollo” pronounced “boyyo” like Spanish? I’m an Italian neophyte but it’s a cool phrase and I’d like to use it.

  2. pray4truth says:

    re: Madonna del Fulmine

    Awesome post, as always, Fr. Z! Thank you and May the Madonna del Fulmine protect you!

  3. Unwilling says:

    I recall in the late ’90s reading an article by a Benedictine monk expressing his liberated feelings as he burned many sets of books in Latin by manualists. Perhaps he supposed that the culture war was over and that evidence of conservative thinking was an embarrassment that needed covering up. But I have always abhorred the idea of burning any books (possibly excepting the voluntary burning in Acts 19, since an Apostle was present: “those who practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all”). The plaque remembers the confiscating burning of all the Talmuds in Italy in 1553 (47 years before Bruno was burned there). Good to remember. Our time is coming.

  4. Sandy says:

    May the angels help with the blog issue; that’s alarming. I continue to be awed by the photos, Father. Can anyone tell us how many churches there are in Rome? Does anyone even know the total count?! It’s amazing there are so many, and so beautiful. What art and architecture, the value of which cannot be calculated! Thank you and God bless you in all your challenges.

  5. GM Thobe says:

    I’m glad that you appear to be using the family advice for your sole-searching.

  6. Eriugena says:

    The story goes that the Emperor Augustus saw a bolt of lightning hit the Capitol in Rome on the day of Our Lord’s birth, so “Our Lady of the Bolt of Lightning” shows Her on the day She gave birth…

  7. Charles E Flynn says:


    Here is a list of the Catholic churches in Rome. There is no total given, but a quick copy and paste with BBEdit shows more than 1,300 entries:

    List of Catholic churches in Rome

  8. hilltop says:

    Please bring your Latin and a crucifix to the Vatican Gardens!
    Saint Stephen Deacon and Martyr, pray for us!
    Saint Michael the Archangel, contend for us!

  9. Kathleen10 says:

    Aw, you’re missing the good ole US of A, playing the Four Tops. Great sole music, lol! Rome is beyond beautiful, those churches, thank you for sharing them. Every tile and ornament shows the great love for God the builders and designers had for Christ. And what do we have, wooden idols, ah, it’s nauseating.
    If your cough is dry, you might try a steam tent and deep breathing. You either pass out or it breaks up congestion. I’m kidding, it breaks up congestion. I’ve mentioned before, Guafensin, if you can get it, is great as a cough remedy. It’s the primary ingredient in Mucinex I think, without the other stuff. My doc gives me Cheratussin, it’s pretty yummy actually.
    Watch out in the Vatican garden, don’t fall in with any weirdo cults! They’ve been reported in there.

  10. Andrew says:

    Looking at all these pictures of ceilings it is easy to understand why the Romans called a ceiling a “lacunar”.

  11. Thomas Stewart says:

    Sorry to hear that you have to move your site. The owner of WordPress was born Catholic, and he’d be a great resource except that now he’s just a standard Coastal Liberal, one each. (His Sicilian grandmother, may she rest in peace, would give him such a smack.)

    I’m sure that one of the Catholic colleges and universities somewhere has a computer science program full of students who are still faithful – which rules out any of the Jesuit-run schools, alas – that could be of service helping to create and maintain Catholic blogs. (Programming is good for their development – no matter how creative you feel, some rules are not optional, best intentions don’t count. Ignoring formalism because you think it is outdated or a waste of time will result in failure. Consult your manuals when you are unsure.) Bonus points if their spellcheck can handle Latin.

  12. mbarry says:

    I tell you, when I finally make it to Rome my wife and I will spend all of our time just visiting churches. They are so beautiful and transcendent…

  13. Spinmamma says:

    Fervent prayers offered for the success of the blog move. My heart quails to think there may be some serious glitches and this lifeline is interrupted. I hope the idea of a tech group to help Catholic blogs survive has been discussed at the meetings of the good shepherds and laity while you are there in Rome.

  14. Hidden One says:

    I’m not aware of any English-using faithful Catholic universities/colleges with a comp sci department, actually. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, though. Is anyone able to fill in this lacuna in my knowledge?

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