The sunrise here in Rome was at 7:31, sunset is at 18:18 and the Ave Maria should ring at 18:30.
It is the traditional Feast of the Archangel Raphael, the healing angel who acts in the Book of Tobit, one of the seven Archangels who stands before the Lord.
O Lord, thank you for this day.
Here is a lovely devotional painting of St. Raphael and Tobit with his fish.
Remember that we are not to invoke the names of angels that are not in Scripture. We have only three names: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. I have always thought it odd that we have so few angelic names even though angels are all over the place in Scripture.
Inside the rarely open church of the Archconfraternity of the “Palafrenieri”, that is, of the guys who used to carry the sedia gestatoria and the deceased popes.
An early morning street.
I still have some alstroemeria going, pink and white, but I’ve culled it a bit and put it in smaller vases (actually cheap 1 liter pitchers). I couldn’t pass up a good deal with my flower guy at the Campo de’ Fiori for white lilies. It smells like an Easter altar in here. They’re huge.
I’ll arbitrarily thank the last person who made a “wavy flag” Roman Trip donation that was about amount I spent on the flowers. Thanks DH! Your donation brightened up the place, as do your occasional comments and notes. I remember all my benefactors with Masses and prayers.
The Summit Dominicans make more than soap. They make splendid candles, too. I have them in the Two Trinities Chapel across the pond. Advent is coming up FAST, 27 November, just over a month away. Whaddya say? Get your candles from these lovely sisters?
This was, for me, really hard. Take note of the situation. Each side has both rooks and passed pawns close to promotion. White’s King is in the path of the enemy black pawn. On the other hand, the black King is on the other side of the board from white’s passer.
White to move and maybe provoke a headache!
1. Kf3 is to block the f4 pawn is tempting, but then black can play … Rb8, blocking white’s pawn attacking it twice. So that’s not going to work. We have to start with something that will force black. The enemy King is stuck on the 8th rank and is limited by the f8 Rook. That’s a clue. Hence, 1. Ra7 connects the Rooks on the 7th rank (often a deadly combo). Black’s f6 Rook can’t take the a6 pawn, because that would hang inevitable mate in three. 1. … Rb8 to clear space for the King and attack the pawn brings 2. b7, which threatens Ra8. So that’s not going to work for black. Instead, make a check with 1. … f3+. This brings 2. Kf2 to block the passer. However, black takes the g file with 2. … Rg6. This leaves the f pawn protected by the other Rook, threatens a check and protects that vulnerable g7 square and the mating net. Now 3. b7 and white’s passer is one square from promotion and Ra8 looms large. Would black’s 3. … Rb3 work to attack the pawn and X-ray the b8 promotion square? No (4. Ra8 Rb2+ 5. Kg3 f2 6. Rxf8+ KxR 7. Kg2 Ke8 8. Rc8+ threatening promotion). Black needs counterplay. 3. … Rg2+ 4. Kf1 f2. White must not succumb with 5. KxR because then f8=Q protected by the f8 Rook and the 7th rank mating net won’t work anymore because of the b7 pawn. Instead there is 5. Rf7. If black’s King takes the Rook, white promotes with a discovered check. If black’s Rook takes the Rook on g7, then the pawn promotes with check. It looks like black’s option is Rb8 to block the passer.
Good grief… I’ll stop there and let you work it out.
I’ve gotten you to about half way. What’s your solution?