ROME 23/05 – Day 25: Picture show

Sunrise in Rome today was at 05:39 and sunset will be at 20:35 on this Feast of St. Gregory VII (+1085).

Welcome registrant:


In the traditional calendar it is also the Feast of St. Urban I who got a commemoration.   His Collect is interesting

Deus, qui Ecclésiam tuam, in apostólicæ petræ soliditáte fundátam, ab infernárum éruis terróre portárum: præsta, quæsumus; ut, intercedénte beáto Urbáno Mártyre tuo atque Summo Pontífice, in tua veritáte persístens, contínua securitáte muniátur.

O God, Who firmly established Your Church upon the rock of the apostle and delivered her from the dreadful powers of hell, grant, we beseech You, that through the intercession of blessed Urban, Your Martyr and Supreme Pontiff, she may remain faithful to Your truth so as to be always safe under Your protection.

That’s a mighty powerful prayer.   Can you imagine hearing such a prayer in any Mass of the Novus Ordo?  Doesn’t it seem out of step with our present day representation of the Apostolic See and College?

Something about Gregory VII (Hildebrand) is in order.  Here is Card. Schuster:

The story of this most valiant of the Popes (Hildebrand), at one time a most zealous Abbot of the monastery of St Paul at Rome, has many points of resemblance to that of the great Athanasius, for, if the latter in the fourth century was the invincible champion of the divine nature of the Word, in the eleventh, at a time, that is, when the Church lay degraded at the foot of the imperial throne of Germany, to which it had been enslaved by the ineptitude, the weakness, and the venality of many of its ministers, [Plus ça change,…] Gregory rose up fearlessly and, placing his trust in God, fought courageously, one against all, for the divine character of the mystical Spouse of Christ. Athanasius was forced to wander through the world with-out being able to find a safe spot to which to withdraw himself from the snares that the whole world seemed to have laid for him ; Gregory, in his turn, hated by his enemies, misunderstood by his friends, deprived of means and of all human help, rested calmly on the wings of his faith in God, and thus endured, unshaken, the burning of his pontifical metropolis, the anger of the populace, and even death in exile (1085). The last words of this determined Pontiff reflect the energetic temper of his mind : “I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile.” He does not regret the past ; on the threshold of eternity his judgement of men and of events does not differ from that which he had formed during his life. Gregory blesses those who bow to his pontifical position, but at the very moment when he is about to pass through the gates of heaven, he resolutely closes those gates in the face of the Emperor Henry IV and his ministers, and of all who refused to submit to his apostolic authority.

Breakfast this morning. Since I always think of donations in concrete terms, I’ll simply pick at random from one of yesterday’s contributors, 24thers, to thank. Thanks KC! Un cappuccio e un cornetto semplice.  So good.

Yesterday, the newly restored altar piece of the St. Philip Neri altar of Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini was put back into place.

Before they reinstalled the painting, I thought I’d leave a little trace of my affection, in the style of the youths of Rome.   Can you find it?  I tried to be subtle.


And so it went.

One of the priests literally supervising.

What I would like to see next is a super hi def photo with professional lighting of that portrait of St. Philip made while he was alive.  The parish would be able to sell copies, I think, and make a little dosh.

Yesterday they were also fixing a space for a recently restored reliquary of the great Saint for his day.

On the way home I saw this sight at one of the butcher shops and couldn’t help but be impressed at the application of the old phrase agere sequitur esse.

Yeah, pal.  I know the feeling.

Speaking of which, the altar of St. Philip today in church was lovely.

My dear readers, my dear benefactors, donors.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making it possible to be back here in situ, in my Roman environment.  If there are “rescue dogs” or “rescue horses” or whatever, there are also “rescue priests”.  Here is an example of my agere sequitur esse.

Yesterday in chess news, at the second leg of the Grand Chess Tour, the Warsaw Rapid and Blitz, now the Blitz phase, Magnus Carlsen won five straight games including one again the leader Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland. My guy Wesley So also did well. He beat Magnus with the Scandi opening.

People have asked why I like So so much. Firstly, he’s a devout and open Christian, whose past is, I believe Catholic, having grown up in the Philippines and having attended Catholic schools. He has a kind personality which comes out in his interviews. He lives now in my native place, the Twin Cities in Minnesota! He is also a super solid and consistent player. An admirable young man and super chess player. BTW… Magnus went on his winning streak after losing to Wesley.

Here is So V. Carlsen from yesterday (this has all the games so scroll down).  Animated GIF of the game HERE

Meanwhile, it’s white to move and mate in 2.  Can you find it?  This isn’t the easiest puzzle.

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

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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One Comment

  1. Charivari Rob says:


    Great. Now all I can think of is a Kilroy-esque doodle with the contextual variations of a biretta and a Roman nose.

    If you’re going text-only, then you misspelled “wuz”.

    [Yeah… it really had to be that.]

Think, proof read, preview BEFORE posting!