ROME 23/05 – Day 20: It’s the little things.

It was 05:43 when the sun rose and it will be 20:31 when it sets.

The Ave Maria should chime at 20:45.

Today is, among others such as St. Bernardine of Siena, the Feast of St. Aurea, “Golden Girl”.  More about her elsewhere.

In your goodness, please raise a prayer for my mother.  Thanks.

Welcome registrants:


Folks, best not to use your email as your username here.  Just sayin’.

Upon entering the sacristy today, I found this evocative arrangement.   Clearly “Something’s up today!”, quoth I, or I would have were I wont to talk to myself.   Admittedly, I do sometimes, and that’s when I know I have to get back to Rome to recharge.   I digress.  Upon closer examination I see cotton balls and an ampule of Sacred Chrism.  That can only mean: confirmations.

As it turns out, Card. Müller will come to confirm today in the Vetus Ordo.

It is simple cruelty that some in the Holy See and in diocesan chanceries deny traditional Confirmation to the faithful who desire it.  It’s just plain cruel.

I’ll head back to church later today for the rite and try to get some good images to post.

Meanwhile, I received word that, at the end of the month, scaffolding should be going up for the restoration of the façade of the church!   It is in bad shape and it is one of the last churches in Rome that still has the rusty reddish wash that was applied all over during the 18th c.  The façade of Ss. Trinità is, in fact, travertine!   When it is done, it’ll be amazing, gleaming white.

A quick view, again with the happy rondini.   For some reason the WordPress app doesn’t like videos that are more than a certain length, so I keep them short if I am working directly from my phone and not from my laptop.

On the way to church in the morning I pass by this super elegant door number.

It’s the little things.

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Meanwhile, what you have all been impatiently waiting for: CHESS news!

Chess.  That nearly infinitely complex game that a 6 year old can play.   It’s a life time gift you give when you teach a child to play chess.

GM Aleksandra Goryachkina is leading in the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2022-2023 go on, I think, in Nicosia. Their final round is today.

The Grand Chess Tour continues today in Warsaw with Rapid and Blitz. All the biggies are there. Well, a lot of them are: for example,

Levon Aronian, Wesley So (YAY!), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Richard Rapport, Anish Giri, Magnus Carlsen…. I note that Nepo and Ding are not there, after their lackluster showing in Bucharest. They are probably flat-lined.

The traditional monks of Norcia make really good beer, three kinds.  You can have some! I’m serious about the beer being really good.

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Interested in learning? This guy helped my game.  Try THIS.

White to move. Checkmate in 2.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I think the solution is:
    1. Ng2 … Kd4
    2. Ne2#

  2. 1. Ng2+ (forces) Kd4
    2. Ne2#

    Side by side knights can be a real pain for your opponent!

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    Fr. Z, I know less than anybody about technology, but for sending any size videos we have found “We Transfer” to be really helpful.
    I can’t imagine just coming across a confirmation with Cdl. Muller in the Vetus Ordo. That’s excellent. What contradictions happen in Rome. The sublime, and the purely malevolent. It’s like a tremendous storm with a cold front and a warm front. In the states those produce tornadoes, often with devastation, then the air is clear again. What kind of storm will it take for Rome to be clear again.

  4. imm1858 says:

    Fr. Z, I cannot find the pictures anymore in your posts, perhaps is because I am on my mobile, but what is the reason behind the forehead cloth on the newly confirmed? Pardon my ignorance please.

  5. immi: There are probably several reasons, a few of which are, just as in the case when the newly ordained priest’s hands are anointed with chrism and then bound together with a cloth:

    1) It makes a bigger psychological impact the confirmed,
    2) It keeps the chrism in place,
    3) It keeps the chrism off your clothing,
    4) I makes a bigger psychological impact those watching.

    As I wrote that, it occurred to me to make a connection with the confirmation and ordination rite with the dictate of Deuteronomy 6:8 to bind the Word of God on hands and foreheads. I’m stretching with that, but that’s what I do.

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