PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR SEPTEMBER: RESPECT FOR THE PLANET’S RESOURCES

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR SEPTEMBER: RESPECT FOR THE PLANET’S RESOURCES

The Vatican has released Pope Francis’ video message accompanying his prayer intention for September, which is Respect for the Planet’s Resources, that we “Take care of Creation responsibly.”

By Vatican News

In his prayer intention for September 2020, Pope Francis asks everyone to pray that we learn to respect the planet’s resources

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

 Following is the full text:

We are squeezing out the planet’s goods. Squeezing them out, as if the earth were an orange. Countries and businesses from the global north have enriched themselves by exploiting the natural resources of the south, creating an “ecological debt.” Who is going to pay this debt?

 In addition, this “ecological debt” is increased when multinationals do abroad what they would never be allowed to do in their own countries. It’s outrageous. Today, not tomorrow; today, we have to take care of Creation responsibly.

Let us pray that the planet’s resources will not be plundered, but shared in a just and respectful manner. No to plundering; yes to sharing.

Each year, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation is observed on September 1. The international celebration marks the beginning of the Season of Creation, which extends to October 4, the feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

Click here for video: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-08/pope-francis-video-prayer-intention-september-respect-planet.html

At the August 30 Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis spoke of this:

“Dear brothers and sisters, the day after tomorrow, September 1st, is World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. From this date, until October 4, we will celebrate with our Christian brothers and sisters from various Churches and traditions the ‘Jubilee of the Earth’, to commemorate the establishment, 50 years ago, of Earth Day. I send my greeting to the various initiatives promoted in every part of the world and, among them, the Concert held today in the Cathedral of Port-Louis, capital of Mauritius, where unfortunately an environmental catastrophe has occurred recently.”

VATICAN INSIDER: THE 7 HILLS OF ROME, COATS OF ARMS AND CANDLES AND ROME’S OLDEST BRIDGE – VATICAN MUSEUM DIRECTOR NAMED TO ADVISORY BOARD OF HERMITAGE MUSEUM – SAINT AUGUSTINE’S STORY

L’Osservatore Romano weekly English edition: https://www.osservatoreromano.va/en/pdfreader.html/ing/2020/08/ING_2020_035_2808.pdf.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NewsletterOR-EN

If you are a mother (or know one) who has dedicated her prayer life to a child straying from all that is good and right in life, one who continually, as the expression goes, “pushes the envelope,” then the story of St. Monica and her son, St. Augustine, is for you! If you need to feel encouraged, if you are praying to experience even the slightest sensation of optimism, this is the story you need to know and reflect on.

Yesterday, as we know, was the memorial of St. Monica and today is the feast of her son. I’ve posted below the capsule version of St. Augustine’s life as told in their Saint of the Day column by franciscanmedia.org

VATICAN INSIDER: THE 7 HILLS OF ROME, COATS OF ARMS AND CANDLES AND ROME’S OLDEST BRIDGE

I’m looking forward to have you join me this weekend on Vatican Insider! Wherever you are as you listen, if you’ve decided to spend a brief moment with me this weekend, I think I have a fun offering for you in what is normally the interview segment.

I’ve called this segment INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW because I’m going to bring you some trivia – some little known, and often unusual facts about the Vatican – some fun stories about the 7 hills of Rome, the papal coat of arms, the Paschal candle, Vatican City State, the Vatican mosaic studio and the Bridge of Angels. I also call this “Inquiring Minds Want to Know” because so many people have written me in the past with questions and now is a good time to answer those questions, although I often try, when time allows, to personally answer those emails.

(A heads-up: There were hours of technical difficulties today as I was trying to record the News segment so, if by chance you notice an audio difference in that and my Special, it was due to different methods of recording. My EWTN colleagues in Alabama are very talented people so I know you’ll get the best audio possible!)

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

VATICAN MUSEUM DIRECTOR NAMED TO ADVISORY BOARD OF HERMITAGE MUSEUM

In an email to members of the meeting who regularly receive “The Agenda of Barbara Jatta, Museum Director,” it was announced that, “Following her recent appointment as an official member of the Advisory Board of the State Hermitage Museum, today, Friday 28 August, the Director of the Vatican Museums Barbara Jatta will participate by videoconference in the annual meeting of the committee that, for the year 2020, will bring together the directors of the principal international museums in the city of Yekaterinburg (Urals), where one of the new satellite offices of the illustrious cultural institution of St. Petersburg will soon be inaugurated.

The meeting will be a precious moment of exchange and comparison to identify the most suitable strategies to face the critical issues of the museum sector in this particular historical moment.

SAINT AUGUSTINE’S STORY

(franciscanmedia.org) Saint Augustine of Hippo – Saint of the Day for August 28 (November 13, 354 – August 28, 430)

A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience.

There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures, redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love.

His tomb in Pavia, Italy –

Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent: politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism.

In his day, Augustine providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him/I will speak in his name no more/But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart/imprisoned in my bones/I grow weary holding it in/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9). https://www.franciscanmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SODAug28.mp3

 

POPE FRANCIS VISITS CHURCH OF ST. AUGUSTINE, TOMB OF ST. MONICA – INTERRELIGIOUS SOLIDARITY IN SERVICE TO A WORLD STRUCK BY COVID-19

POPE FRANCIS VISITS CHURCH OF ST. AUGUSTINE, TOMB OF ST. MONICA

Pope Francis this afternoon made an unannounced visit to the basilica of Sant’Agostino (St. Augustine) near Rome’s celebrated Pza. Navona that houses the tomb of Saint Monica, the mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. Today is the memorial of St. Monica, who died in 387.

The following photos were taken by EWTN’s Daniel Ibanez who, knowing it was the saint’s feast day, decided to visit the church!

Built in the 13th century, Sant’Agostino is the mother church of the Order of Saint Augustine and hosts works by Renaissance artists including Caravaggio, Raphael, Guercino and Bernini. The façade was constructed with travertine taken from the Colosseum.

St. Augustine was bishop of Hippo in northern Africa from 396 to 430, and was buried here when he died on August 28, 430. Over time, with the persecution of Christians in this area, his remains were moved to Sardinia and, in 720, when Sardinia also became dangerous his remains were moved to Pavia, northern Italy. This Doctor of the Church now rests in the basilica of San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro in an elaborate marble reliquary.

INTERRELIGIOUS SOLIDARITY IN SERVICE TO A WORLD STRUCK BY COVID-19

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the World Council of Churches call for Christians to reflect on “the importance of interreligious solidarity in a world wounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

By Vatican News

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) on Thursday released a joint document. In it, they call on Christians to reflect on the importance of interreligious solidarity as the world confronts the Covid-19 crisis.

“Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity: A Christian Call to Reflection and Action During COVID-19,” is aimed at encouraging “churches and Christian organisations to reflect on the importance of interreligious solidarity in a world wounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The document provides a Christian rationale for interreligious solidarity in response to the crisis but is also aimed at followers of other religions, “who have already responded to Covid-19” with similar reflections based on their own traditions.

“Because interreligious relationships can be a powerful means of expressing and building solidarity, and of opening ourselves to resources coming to us from beyond our limitations, we invite reflection on how we as Christians can become partners in solidarity with all people of faith and goodwill. In this journey towards solidarity, different communities are inspired and sustained by the hope we find in our respective traditions.”

In the document, the PCID and the WCC find a basis “for interreligious solidarity in our belief in the God who is one in three Persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

In a series of statements, the document notes that all human beings are a family, created by God according to the Father’s plan; that “our trust and our hope are in Jesus Christ”; and that we are “all connected by the work of the Holy Spirit.” This serves as a foundation for universal solidarity, following the example of Christ in serving others, inspired by the spiritual force of the Spirit which “turns us towards God in prayer and towards our neighbours in service and solidarity.”

The document continues with shared Christian principles that can “guide us in our work of serving each other in a wounded world, together with all people of faith and goodwill.”

These principles include humility and vulnerability, respect for others, compassion, dialogue, repentance, gratitude and generosity, and love.

The heart of the document lies in a series of recommendations for how Christians can serve our neighbours, and serve alongside them.

It asks Christians to consider finding ways to bear witness to suffering; nurture solidarity through common forms of spirituality; encourage and support the idealism and energy of the young; and restructure projects and processes for interreligious solidarity, among other ideas.“Love one another”

In the statement introducing the document, Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of the PCID, notes that the Covid-19 pandemic “has exposed the woundedness and fragility of our world, revealing that our responses must be offered in an inclusive solidarity, open to followers of other religious traditions and people of goodwill, given the concern for the entire human family.”

The interim general secretary of the WCC, Dr Ioan Sauca said, “In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the human family is facing together an unprecedented call to protect one another, and to heal our communities.” He added:

“Interreligious dialogue not only helps clarify the principles of our own faith and our identity as Christians, but also opens our understanding of the challenges—and creative solutions—others may have.”

 An excerpt from “Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity: A Christian Call to Reflection and Action During COVID-19,” along with a link to the full text (PDF file), can be found on the website of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

 

WELCOME CHRIST’S GIFT OF HOPE IN DIFFICULT TIMES – THERE’S ALSO THIS….

WELCOME CHRIST’S GIFT OF HOPE IN DIFFICULT TIMES

In his final general audience to be streamed live from the papal library in the Apostolic Palace because of the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on healing the world and made the universal destination of goods and the virtue of hope his focus.

He asked the faithful to “welcome the gift of hope that comes from Christ,” especially in times when so many “risk losing hope.” It is Christ, he said, who “helps us to navigate the tumultuous waters of sickness, death and injustice, which do not have the last word over our final destination.”

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” said the Holy Father, “In our continuing reflections on the effects of the current pandemic, we have seen how our world’s problems are becoming ever more evident and indeed more serious. Among these is social inequality, itself the fruit of an unjust global economy that creates boundless wealth for a relative few and greater impoverishment for the rest of our human family.”

Francis explained that, “In God’s plan, the earth was created as a garden, to be cultivated, not brutally exploited. As stewards of creation, we are called to ensure that its fruits, which are destined for all, are in fact shared by all. The Church reminds us that the principle of the subordination of private property to the universal destination of goods is the first principle of the whole ethical and social order.”

The Pope stated, “When millions of people lack access to primary goods, when inequality and lack of opportunity threaten the very fabric of society, and when greed endangers the very environment in which we live, none of us can stand by idly.”

He stressed that, “Christian hope, which trusts in the transforming grace of the risen Christ, impels us to work for the healing of our world and the building of a more just and equitable social order.

Concluding, Pope Francis invited the faithful to “think about the children”, so many of whom are suffering due to this unjust economic system. Many are dying, hungry, lacking the opportunity to an education. After the crisis, he stressed, we must be better.

In language greetings following the catechesis, Pope Francis had special words for the Polish faithful: “I cordially greet all the Poles. Dear brothers and sisters, today the Church in Poland celebrates the solemnity of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. Carrying the memory of my visit to that shrine alive in my heart four years ago on the occasion of WYD, today I join the thousands and thousands of pilgrims who gather there, together with the Polish Episcopate, to entrust themselves, their families, all humanity to her maternal protection. Pray to the Blessed Mother, to intercede for all of us, and especially for those who in various ways suffer from the pandemic, and bring them relief. Please pray for me too. God bless you!”

THERE’S ALSO THIS….

SAINT MOTHER TERESA was born on August 26, 1910 so today is the 110th anniversary of her birth!

CARDINAL ALBINO LUCIANI, PATRIARCH OF VENICE WAS ELECTED TO THE PAPACY 42 years ago today, taking the name John Paul, the first Pope ever to have a double name. He was also the first pope to abandon the coronation ceremony, not wearing the triple tiara. The Eucharistic celebration thus became the first papal inauguration ceremony. He was the last Pope to use the sedia gestatoria, the elevated chair by which Popes were formerly carried into rooms. He was the first Pope born in the 20th century, and the last Pope to die in the 20th century, after a pontificate of only 33 days, dying of a heart attack on September 28. He was not known as John Paul I until Cardinal Wojtyla succeeded him and took the name John Paul II.

I was in Rome when he was elected. Years after his death, a priest friend in the Vatican told me that one day early in his brief pontificate, the Pope was signing a document. A priest assistant was at his side as he wrote, in Latin, Joannes Paulus I – John Paul I – and said “Your Holiness, you would only be John Paul I if there was a John Paul II. Pope Luciani looked up, smiling, and said, “There will be a John Paul II!”

For more: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-08/pope-john-paul-i-election-anniversary-42-years.html

GENERAL AUDIENCES WITH FAITHFUL TO RESUME SEPTEMBER 2:   The Prefecture of the Pontifical Household announced today that as of Wednesday, September 2, Pope Francis’s general audience will once again take place “with the participation of the faithful.” Following the hygiene directives issued by the competent authorities, the audiences for the month of September will be held in the Apostolic Palace’s San Damaso courtyard. They are open to anyone who wishes to participate and no ticket is necessary. Audiences will start at 9:30 am. Entry will be through the Bronze Gate under the right colonnade of St Peter’s Square starting at 7:30 am.

VATICAN NEWS FEATURED MELANIA TRUMP: “Republican Convention: Melania Trump appeals for racial unity – First Lady Melania Trump appeals for racial harmony and expresses compassion for those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic on the second day of the Republican party convention.” To read more: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/world/news/2020-08/republican-convention-melania-trump-appeals-for-racial-unity.html</a

60 YEARS AGO TODAY – SUMMER OLYMPICS OPEN IN ROME

Another quiet day at the Vatican and another day without a press office bulletin but, as I wrote yesterday, that’s not unusual in August. My favorite story of the day follows!

60 YEARS AGO TODAY – SUMMER OLYMPICS OPEN IN ROME

I found this fascinating 7-minute video on the wantedinrome.com website as it marked the 60th anniversary today of the opening of the summer Olympics games in Rome in 1960. It is in both English and Italian but you can understand most just by the images. The film starts on August 24 when the organizers and over 5,000 athletes gathered in St. Peter’s Square to be blessed by Pope John XXIII. You hear the pontiff’s words and see an amazing pomp and splendor in the square.

Later that evening, at 9 pm, the Olympic flame was brought to Capitoline Hill where remained until the following afternoon, August 25, when it was brought to the stadium for the opening ceremony. You’ll see parts of the opening ceremony procession into the stadium by athletes and learn that both East Germany and West Germany participated under one flag, that of the Olympic Games.

Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PB7VjMW4&feature=emb_err_woyt

(wantedinrome) – Rome held 1960 Olympic Games at Stadio Olimpico and at ancient sites around the city.

The 1960 Olympic Games kicked off in Rome on this day, 25 August, 60 years ago, lasting until 11 September.

There were 83 nations involved in the games, with 5,338 participating athletes (4,727 men, 611 women) and 150 events in 17 sports (23 disciplines).

The opening and closing ceremonies took place in the newly-renovated Stadio Olimpico, which also hosted athletics and equestrian sports, while the football finals were held in the brand new (but now dilapidated) Stadio Flaminio.

However the city also made good use of its majestic sites, with gymnastics taking place at the Baths of Caracalla, wrestling at the Basilica of Maxentius, and rowing and canoeing held at Lake Albano in Castel Gandolfo.

Highlights of the Rome games included Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia winning the marathon barefoot to become the first black African Olympic champion; Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali), winning boxing’s light-heavyweight gold medal, and Wilma Rudolph, a former polio patient, winning three gold medals in sprint events on the track to be acclaimed as “the fastest woman in the world”.

The Soviet Union dominated the games, winning a total of 103 medals, followed by the US which won 71 medals and the United Team of Germany (East and West) with 42.

1960 was the last time that South Africa participated in the Olympics under its apartheid regime, which saw it banned until 1992, while Singapore competed for the first time under its own flag after the British granted it self-government a year earlier.

***** I found another video – 2 hours, 20 minutes – and was riveted as I fast forwarded through it, stopping at some interesting moments about track and field, swimming and diving, yachting, water polo and, of course the marathon, run through the historic streets of Rome and ending near the Colosseum at the Arch of Constantine.

I have watched as much as I could of every Olympic Game ever played since they were first televised, especially when they were in time zones in which I lived. I attended part of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin in person and did radio reports and a blog for EWTN! I felt sad for organizers and athletes that the Summer Olympics could not take place this year in Japan as planned.

I was riveted by the competition and also by the commentary that was sometimes hilarious in this video of The Great Olympics. It is fascinating to see how far technology has come in several sports and how far fashion has come as well! Especially for referees and judges who did their work then in full suits and often wearing hats. Commentary is in both English and Italian. If you have a bit of time to go back a bit in history, I think you’ll be riveted by certain moments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kx8mGG7KYBk&feature=emb_rel_err

 

NEED A LAUGH TODAY? READ ON…

NEED A LAUGH TODAY?   READ ON…

In a time of serious and sad news stories from around the world, and especially from so many cities in the US, allow me a few minutes for a humorous story that has a very indirect tie to a news story – as you will see!

For many of the years I was working at the Vatican, both my parents played a lot of golf, having retired to Southern California for the great climate and possibility of frequent golf. Mom played with a small group called the Ninettes as they only played 9 holes two days a week. The ladies loved to talk about their families and when the women found out that I worked at the Vatican, there were a lot of questions – and a lot of jokes!   Every so often in a letter, Mom would tell a story the ladies had told her, prefacing it with “they said you could even tell this in church.”

Here’s one story:

One of the people who followed Jesus almost everywhere he went was a famous robe maker who had a decent clientele. One day, he had the good fortune to approach Jesus after hearing him speak and he said, “Master, I follow you everywhere and listen to every word you say, but may I tell you something?”

Jesus said, “of course.”

Looking for a way to improve business, the robe maker said, “Your robe is a bit shabby and it might be better for your image if you had a new one. I can do that for you. We could even work together and call ourselves “The Robe Maker and Jesus.”

Jesus answered that his robe, something material, was not his main concern but he thanked the man for his thought.

The robe maker, not discouraged, thought maybe Jesus was not happy with the company name so he made another suggestion: “I have a much better name if that is the problem. We can call the business Lord and Taylor.”

I did laugh at that story!

What made me think of that story was the sad news of the Lord and Taylor stores that are closing nationwide with apparently only 14 that will remain open. It is sad not only for Lord and Taylor but for any business or store or restaurant, be it large or small, a chain or an independently-owned business, to have to close because of the impact of coronavirus.

To be honest, I pray daily for anyone whose business is struggling because a teensy thing we cannot even see with the human eye has brought the world to its knees.

COVID-19: ROME’S FIRST FINE FOR NOT WEARING MASK HANDED OUT AT TREVI FOUNTAIN – ITALY EXTENDS STATE OF EMERGENCY OVER THE COVID-19 CRISIS UNTIL 15 OCTOBER 2020 – ITALY BEGINS HUMAN TRIALS OF COVID-19 VACCINE IN ROME

It was a quiet day in the Vatican. Not even a press office bulletin was published but that is not necessarily surprising in August, the main vacation month of the year in Italy. A fair number, perhaps I can even say a high number, of Vatican employees are away this month and things in the Vatican, in Rome and in Italy in general are expected to be back to normal by early, probably mid-September.

Today, the offerings are meager and basically concern the state of things in Italy vis-a-vis Covid-19, restrictions, travels, new laws, etc.

COVID-19: ROME’S FIRST FINE FOR NOT WEARING MASK HANDED OUT AT TREVI FOUNTAIN

Police enforce rules obliging people to wear masks in crowded places.
(wantedinrome.com) Rome police have fined a man €400 for refusing to wear a mask among the crowd at the Trevi Fountain on Friday night, after he made fun of the officers by saying “covid-19 doesn’t exist,” reports Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The 29-year-old Italian, whose friends also mocked the situation before eventually putting on their masks to avoid the penalty, became the first person in Rome to be fined under the new regulations obliging people to wear masks in crowded areas at night.

Masks must now be worn in public areas where social distancing is not possible between 6 pm and 6 am, while the order closing discos also applies to outdoor dancing venues such as beaches.

The move is part of a coordinated operation by police to monitor the capital’s smaller squares and streets where social distancing is difficult to maintain, in addition to the usual nightlife hotspots of Ponte Milvio, Trastevere, S. Lorenzo, Campo de’ Fiori, Pigneto and Piazza Bologna.

The news comes as Italy registered 1,071 new covid-19 cases on 22 August, the highest number since 12 May when the country was still in lockdown, with 215 new cases in the central Lazio region which includes Rome, according to data released by the Italian health ministry.

ITALY EXTENDS STATE OF EMERGENCY OVER THE COVID-19 CRISIS UNTIL 15 OCTOBER 2020

(wantedinrome.com) The Italian government has extended the country’s existing state of emergency, which expands the government’s powers in tackling the coronavirus health crisis, until 15 October.

The extension of the current state of emergency – introduced six months ago and set to expire on 31 July – was approved on 29 July, despite objections from the opposition which accused Italian premier Giuseppe Conte of trying to keep too much power despite a dramatic fall in the rate of contagion.

Describing the extension as “inevitable,” Conte told the senate: “The virus continues to evolve and has not run its course. It would be incongruous to abruptly suspend such an effective measure.”

However Conte also stressed that there was “no intention to dramatise the situation” or to fuel “an unjustified state of alarm.”

What exactly is the state of emergency?
The state of emergency grants special powers to national and regional authorities in tackling the fallout from the coronavirus crisis quickly, cutting through the usual bureaucratic procedures to implement, modify or revoke emergency measures if and when required.

It will also facilitate the continuation of smart-working, will allow for the ban on flights to and from countries considered at risk, and will speed up the process in getting schools ready to reopen in September, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

ITALY BEGINS HUMAN TRIALS OF COVID-19 VACCINE IN ROME

(wantedinrome.com) Rome doctors hope to produce ‘Made in Italy’ coronavirus vaccine by next spring.

Human trials of an Italian-developed covid-19 vaccine have begun on volunteers at Rome’s Spallanzani hospital on 24 August, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The first person to volunteer for the vaccine, a 50-year-old woman, was inoculated at 08.30 this morning at the Spallanzani, a specialist centre for infectious diseases which has played a central role in battling Italy’s coronavirus crisis.

The woman said she was “excited and proud” to be the first volunteer to take the vaccine and hopes that it will help to “save lives,” ANSA reports.

After being observed by doctors for four hours, the woman will return home and be monitored for the next 12 weeks, said hospital director Francesco Vaia, who stated that if the trials go well a vaccine could be ready on a commercial basis by next spring.

Earlier this month, when the Spallanzani put out the call for 90 volunteers to come forward to take the vaccine, more than 3,000 people volunteered, in what Vaia said demonstrated the “great heart of the Italian people.”

The vaccine has been produced by Italian biotechnology firm ReiThera of Castel Romano, near Rome, with funding from the Lazio Region whose president Nicola Zingaretti said: “Today, an historic phase in research begins.”

The news comes the day after Italy registered 1,210 new coronavirus cases, up from 1,071 the day before.

VATICAN INSIDER EXPLORES BELLS, FLAGS, BASILICA FLOOR MARKINGS AND MORE! – EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VATICAN BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK – ROME’S FIUMICINO AIRPORT TURNS 60

Weekly Vatican newspaper in English: https://www.osservatoreromano.va/en/pdfreader.html/ing/2020/08/ING_2020_034_2108.pdf.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NewsletterOR-EN

Some day you WILL return to the Eternal City and chances are you will land at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport aka Fiumicino (FCO) The grand lady of airports turned 60 two days ago and there was a great story in the online edition of Wanted in Rome (see below)

VATICAN INSIDER EXPLORES BELLS, FLAGS, BASILICA FLOOR MARKINGS AND MORE!

Welcome to Vatican Insider as we come close to the end of summer, a time when you’re possibly on vacation or, if not vacation, spending a tranquil weekend, hopefully relaxing and enjoying family and friends and some down time. If you’ve decided to spend a brief moment with me on this weekend, I think I have a fun offering for you in what is normally the interview segment. I’ve called this segment “Inquiring minds want to know” because I’m going to bring you some trivia – some little known, and often unusual facts about the Vatican – some fun stories about bells and flags and basilica floors. But remember this might be trivia but it is not trivial!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VATICAN BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK

If there is something you wanted to know about the Vatican, Vatican City State, and the Roman Curia, there is one site that will take you to 83 websites for Vatican congregations, dicasteries, tribunals, councils, offices linked to the Vatican, the health care center, museums, Swiss Guards, synods, Pontifical Musical Chorus of the Sistine Chapel: Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Campo Santo Teutonic (Teutonic cemetery), Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and a ton more!

I started to explore this link and realized I needed some hours to do a good job of exploring each website individually. I did click on a fair number and found, as you will, that there is a great variety in the sites, especially with regard to languages. Some sites have 5 or 6 languages, some only Italian and others only Italian and English. The website about the Teutonic cemetery has, for example only German (unfortunately, I think). A site I would have thought would have 5 or 6 languages but only had Italian and English was the Dicastery for Communication.

Have fun! http://www.vatican.va/siti_va/index_va_en.htm

ROME’S FIUMICINO AIRPORT TURNS 60

From the joy of the Olympic Games to the trials of covid-19, the story of Rome’s main airport.

(wantedinrome.com) Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport, better known as Fiumicino, celebrates its 60th birthday on 20 August 2020.

The airport, which was a symbol of restart during Italy’s post-war economic boom, opened to air traffic on 20 August 1960, five days before the start of Rome’s Olympic Games.

Designed to cope with increasing demand for flights to the capital, the new airport came about after two designs were merged: plans by Riccardo Morandi and Andrea Zavitteri were combined with those by Amedeo Luccichenti and Vincenzo Monaco.

The final project was approved in August 1958 and the construction works lasted 21 months, during which the remains of five ancient Roman ships were discovered.

During the Olympics, Fiumicino was used to help alleviate Rome’s other airport, Ciampino. Fiumicino did not become fully operational however until 15 January 1961, with the landing of the first airliner: the Twa Lockheed Constellation, from New York.

Located about 35 km southwest of the centre of Rome, Fiumicino consisted of just two runways in the 1960s, with a third one added in 1973 along with a new hangar to accommodate Boeing 747s.

In recent years the airport has won a string of awards, however its level of organisation and customer service was not always at the high level it enjoys today.

Over the past six decades the airport has also been affected by tragic events such as the terrorist attacks in 1973 (32 dead) and the second in 1985 (13 dead).

Fiumicino suffered a setback too with a fire on 7 May 2015, which spread to Terminal 3, causing major disruption but no serious injuries.

Fiumicino has recently undergone an extensive modernisation programme and has also been to the forefront in technological development, becoming the first Italian airport to install e-gates.

The airport has also achieved much success with awards, including among passengers, and in 2019 it welcomed around 44 million passengers.

2020 is perhaps Fiumicino’s most difficult year to date, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, however the airport has risen to the challenge by operating to strict regulations and carrying out covid-19 tests on passengers from ‘at risk’ countries.

Most recently the airport was recognised by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for its commitment to sustainability.

 

POPE FRANCIS: FREE THE FIGURE OF MARY FROM THE INFLUENCE OF THE MAFIA

POPE FRANCIS: FREE THE FIGURE OF MARY FROM THE INFLUENCE OF THE MAFIA 

The Italian language site of Vatican News posted a story today about a letter Pope Francis wrote to the International Pontifical Marian Academy in which he addresses the issue of freeing the figure of Mary from the influence of the mafia. The Holy Father stressed that, “Marian devotion is a religious-cultural heritage to be safeguarded in its original purity, freeing it from superstructures, powers or conditioning that do not meet the evangelical criteria of justice, freedom, honesty and solidarity”.

The Pontiff noted that the Department of analysis and study of criminal and mafia phenomena was created within this papal academy “to free the figure of the Madonna from the influence of criminal organizations.” Examples of this distorted spirituality include the “bowing down” before statues of Mary in front of the homes of mafia bosses during processions.

In his letter, Pope Francis greeted the promoters, speakers and participants in the study day scheduled for September 18 that has been organized by the International Pontifical Marian Academy in collaboration with ecclesiastical authorities and public institutions. The aim of the initiative is to identify “effective responses” for a necessary “cultural awareness raising operation.”

Francis expressed the hope that Marian shrines will become more and more “citadels of prayer, centers of action of the Gospel, places of conversions, cornerstones of Marian piety.”

Fr. Cecchin gave an interview in Italian to Vatican News: https://www.vaticannews.va/it/papa/news/2020-08/papa-francesco-lettera-accademia-mariana-intervista-cecchin.html

HEALING THE VIRUS OF SOCIAL INJUSTICE, INEQUALITY, MARGINALIZATION – WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ITALY NOW….

Definitely today’s good news story from EWTN! https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=290962375534891

HEALING THE VIRUS OF SOCIAL INJUSTICE, INEQUALITY, MARGINALIZATION

As he has been doing throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis held a weekly general audience this morning in the papal library of the Apostolic Palace that was live streamed for the faithful around the world.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” he began, “in our reflection on the current global pandemic, we have seen that it has made us sensitive to an even graver virus affecting our world: that of social injustice, lack of equal opportunity and the marginalization of the poor and those in greatest need.”

He underscored that “Christ’s example and teaching show us that a preferential option for the poor is an essential criterion of our authenticity as his followers. Christian charity demands that, beyond social assistance, we listen to their voices and work to overcome all that hinders their material and spiritual development.”

Noting the worldwide desire for life to “return to normal,” Francis explained that, “Our desire for a return to normality should not mean a return to social injustices or to a delay of long overdue reforms. Today we have an opportunity to create something different: an ethically sound economy, centered on persons, especially the poor, in recognition of their innate human dignity.”

“The pandemic is a crisis” he continued, “and we do not emerge from a crisis the same as before: either we come out of it better, or we come out of it worse. We must come out of it better, to counter social injustice and environmental damage. Today we have an opportunity to build something different.”

“How sad,” the Holy Father commented, “it would be if, for example, access to a Covid-19 vaccine were made available only to the rich, and not to others in equal or greater need! It would be sad if this vaccine became the property of such and such a nation, not universal for all. The pandemic has laid bare the difficult situation of the poor and the great inequality that reigns in the world. And the virus, while it makes no exception among people, has found, in its devastating path, great inequalities and discriminations. And it has increased them!”

The Pope concluded by saying he hoped “the Gospel might inspire us to find ever more creative ways to exercise that charity, grounded in faith and anchored in hope, which can heal our wounded world and promote the true welfare of our entire human family.”

 “Starting from this love anchored in hope and founded in faith, a healthier world will be possible.”

FOR VIDEO OF GENERAL AUDIENCE: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-08/healing-the-world-an-opportunity-to-build-something-different.html

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ITALY NOW….

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, LARGEST AND MOST MAGNIFICENT FLOOR THAT EVER WAS MADE”

Siena has unveiled the extraordinary inlaid marble mosaic floors of its cathedral in as part of an eagerly-awaited annual event. The magnificent marble floor, covered with masonite sheeting for the rest of the year, can be visited from today until 7 October.

Visitors, who will be obliged to follow precautions to contain the spread of covid-19, will be able to admire the inlaid floor whose 56 panels were created between the 14th and 16th centuries. The interlocking “marble carpet” floor was described by Giorgio Vasari as “the most beautiful, largest and most magnificent floor that ever was made”.

For information about how to visit the stunning floor, which contains allegories, virtues, and scenes from the Old Testament, see the Duomo di Siena website. https://www.wantedinrome.com/news/italy-siena-cathedral-unveils-beautiful-mosaic-floors.html

RAPHAEL SHOW IN ROME, A RESOUNDING SUCCESS, TO REMAIN OPEN 24 HOURS

Rome’s blockbuster dedicated to Raphael on the 500th anniversary of his death has been met with such demand from the public that organisers have taken the unprecedented decision to open the exhibition around the clock. The sell-out show, which had the misfortune to open just days before Italy shut all museums and went into lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic, reopened on 2 June under strict visiting regulations.

The Scuderie del Quirinale controls the flow of visitors who are obliged to maintain social distancing, however this has not put off the public in the slightest, with the museum struggling to cope with the boom in demand for tickets. As the once-in-a-lifetime exhibition nears its final days, the museum will open to visitors from 08.00 until 01.00 from Monday 24 to Thursday 27 August, before opening 24 hours a day from Friday 28 until midnight on Sunday 30 August.

Billed as the greatest exhibition ever dedicated to Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, the show features no fewer than 100 paintings by the High Renaissance master, with 40 masterpieces on loan from the Uffizi in Florence.

For full exhibition details see Scuderie del Quirinale website. https://www.wantedinrome.com/news/rome-opens-raphael-blockbuster-24-hours-a-day-to-cope-with-demand.html

ROME ZOO INGENUITY IN FIGHTING AUGUST HEAT
Authorities at Rome’s Bioparco are ensuring the zoo’s residents are coping with the summer heat by providing the animals with swimming pools and refreshing frozen fruit. The Bioparco says that during the extreme heat the animals choose whether to go outdoors or stay in their shelters.

For those who venture outside there are new shaded areas as well as swimming pools for elephants, tigers, hippos, wolves and bears. Primates such as ring-tailed lemurs and macaques receive bamboo canes filled with yogurt and frozen fruit which, in addition to cooling them down, sharpens their food-finding skills, according to the zoo.

https://www.wantedinrome.com/news/romes-zoo-animals-cool-off-with-frozen-fruit.html

470 QUARANTINED AT RESORT WHEN STAFF MEMBER TESTS COVID POSITIVE

Local authorities ordered guests not to leave the Santo Stefano resort on Monday after the case was detected at the resort on Sardinia’s La Maddalena island. The region’s crisis unit conducted swab tests on some 470 vacationers and staff on Monday.

“We are waiting for the swabs to be processed, in the meantime we have arranged that no one leaves the resort,” stated regional health councilor Mario Nieddu.

Guests are allowed to move freely around the resort itself, but mustn’t leave, Italian media reports. Two guests reportedly tried to escape shortly after the lockdown was ordered, but were stopped by local police on their way to Olbia airport.

https://www.thelocal.it/20200819/coronavirus-sardinian-hotel-with-hundreds-of-guests-locked-down-over-positive-case