ROME 23/05 – Day 26: Truly precious

On this 146th day of the year, we come to the Feast of St. Philip Neri (+1595), a great saint whose impact on the Universal Church was momentous.

It still is momentous, especially through the grace-ripples emanating from the parish where he was (and is still) active in Rome.

On this feast the Ave Maria Bell should tonight be run at 2100.

The sun should set at 20:26.

The sun rose shortly before the photo, below, at 05:39.

Welcome new registrant:


In church I found things ready for Mass.  Very nice.



This cloth of gold is truly precious.

After a quick standing breakfast with friends I went to the Campo for supplies for meals today, since I have nothing else on my plate. See what I did there?

After obtaining fresh mozzarella, off to the fishmonger for clams, a spur of the moment choice.   I ran into these critters, which were not so familiar to me in this phase.  These are called “gobbetti”.  Note the blue spots.



On closer inspection, the blue are eggs.

Gobbetti can be eaten either cooked or raw. Yum.


Such a plethora of gifts from God in this place.

Along the way I stopped at my veg and fruit stand and chatted with the folks, I got waved at from the door of the butcher shop, the cheese monger called me over to sample some mixed Robbiola (goat, cow), the manager of one of the bar/resto/cocktail places came over to say hi after the veg stand, happy Pippo de’ Fiori gave me a white rose because one of the Trinità priests told him of my anniversary (50 went to Mary at her altar in church), Daniela of the corner bakery was particularly pleasant, even the usually growly guy at the register smiled, and on the next street over I ran into one of the owners of a fine trattoria (Sicilian) that I send friends to and enjoy myself.

I got back to my place and started the clams to soak, and gave the rose some water. In that moment I was overwhelmed with the desire never to leave. I think it was in one of the Rocky movies someone says that once you’ve been in a place for a long enough, you are that place. The way things are right now, its the only place I really can be me.  Thanks for what you all do for me.  Each day is precious.

Clams are transported home in paper here. If you are going to keep them for a while, and that is possible, you have to wrap them tightly together in a moist towel which prevents them from opening and getting into all sorts of mischief around the place. Clams! Can’t take your eyes off them for a moment.

Salty water. For several hours. They say they are purged. I purge more.

Last night after the Litany and Prayer of Card. Baronius to St. Philip – I’ll be posting a video when it is done processing – I encountered a priest of a certain Society and long time reader who says the traditional Mass. We stopped over at the new place I’ve been going to for supper – you are not going to find better classics in Rome. I started with fiori di zucca, the fried zucchini flowers stuffed with a little mozzarella or other and a bit of anchovy. In many place when you get these they are nasty undercooked oil sponges. These, however, were perfect, fried exactly right, crispy and not a bit over oily.

I think God, knowing about Rome head of time, made sure that zucchini would produce so very many blossoms every day so that we could really enjoy them in season.  It is a crime to take His wonderful gifts and make bad food out of them when it is so easy to make excellent food simply and gratefully.

Anyway, long chat over food and back home.  I was constrained to see this on my walk, poor me.

Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance.  US HERE – UK HERE

Here’s a puzzle.

White to move.  Mate in 2.

Magnus won the Warsaw Rapid and Blitz.  He is a force of … something. My guy Wesley So and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave tied for third. Second was Jan-Krzysztof Duda who had finally fallen to the No. 1 in the World (though not official World Champ). In the Champions Chess Tour ChessKid Cup Fabiano won two Armagedon’s to go on to play Nodirbek Abdusattorov in the Final.

Get your chess stuff and start in, friends.  Make sure your children learn.

The idea of that chess cafe in Rome will NOT go away.  I renew my plea to San Pippo and San Giuseppe.  Help me, dear saints, figure all of this out.  I feel like I am on the edge of something that I can’t quite make out.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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