Sunrise in Rome: 7:35. Sunset in Rome: 18:12. Ave Maria: 17:30.
Today is the Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles. Martyrs. Their tomb is in St. Peter’s Basilica. I posted a photo of their resting place yesterday.
In a special way I ask the Apostles, one in particular known for interceding in the cases of impossible causes, to intercede for me on my 60th Birthday.
Yesterday there was a great Mass at Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini, celebrated by Bp. Dominque Rey of the Diocese of Frejus-Toulon. He has been a champion of evangelism and traditional liturgy.
It was a Mass at the faldstool. Masses at the Throne are impossible in Rome.
This is a Roman altar, friends. With the “buste” and relics and the wonderful… what are they called again. The floral decorations in metal. I can never remember the term. Under that painting by Guido Reni.
After Mass I was greeted by very many people. One of them is a young Vietnamese man who told me about the TLM being celebrated in Vietnam for the first time in a very long time. Also, he spends time in Finland.
I also had a wonderful conversation with two Koran pilgrims. And there were many others from the USA (Portland stands out!) and elsewhere.
The organizers of the conference I spoke at gave me a bottle of good Calvados. I brought it for lunch with the priests and the bishop after Mass. It went well with the apple pie.
I had a good chat with Bp. Rey. He has 95 – 95 – seminarians. 95. He has a missionary view. Tradition and a missionary spirit brings them.
I told him that one of the priests in his diocese and I were seminary companions and dear old friends, long sundered. He instantly got out his mobile phone and called him. Handing it over to me, we had cordial exchange of greetings. I guess have to go to S. France to see what is going on.
In these last few days I have had a flatmate. We went to met mutual friends, who came to Rome specifically for these days, atop the Minerva Hotel at their well-known roof-top terrace bar and restaurant. The view. In the distance St. Peter’s. Close, Sant’Ivo. The next dome, St. Agnes on the P.za Navona. The tower, Santa Maria dell’Anima.
I don’t get this. Beams of light shooting up through the oculus of the Pantheon. I don’t think they remember that it is a church. In any event, my symbol wasn’t being projected, so I didn’t have to dash off.
Supper was… fussy. This had something to do with mozzarella, though you wouldn’t have known from the flavor. That thing propped up on the side that looks like it belongs on a rock in the ocean…. no, the one the right… was pretty good.
A view on the way back to the apartment.
Tonight, supper out with a small group of very close friends.
Speaking of friends, a great fellow from Tokyo, Augustine, came for the pilgrimage. It was something to see him in his traditional kimono holding the UNA VOCE banner in St. Peter’s Basilica during the Pontifical Mass.
Knowing that it was to be my 6oth birthday, Augustine brought a gift of fine sake and a beautiful little sakazuki cup. The 60th birthday, kanreki (), is one of the most important in Japanese culture. The characters indicate “circulate” and “calendar”, which means that you have come back to the same lunar year as when you were born, in my case, the Boar. In other words, I’ve completed a cycle. The little sakazuki which my friend brought is delicate, of wood, with a gilded bowl with a stylized boar. I will treasure it.
Yesterday I stopped at the restaurant where we will eat tonight and told the chef (this guy’s got game, friends) and asked if he could create a special risotto that we could have with the sake. There are few things in life that give more lasting pleasure and good memories than an evening out with a select cohort in a legendary place with thoughtful gifts to share around.
So the countdown is coming to an end. Not only do I have some 60 hours remaining in this Roman sojourn, but, in Scripture, 60 is a threshold year when people enter the last major age of life.