A LITTLE BIT OF THIS, A LITTLE BIT OF THAT….
THE FEAST OF ST. BLAISE
Have you had your throat blessed today?
THE SURF ‘n TURF SUPER BOWL BET
It looks like Bishop James Johnston of Kansas City-St. Joseph Missouri will soon be dining royally on Dungeness crabs thanks to Arcbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco. The two bishops made a bet before the Super Bowl. If the San Francisco 49ers lost the championship game, the Fisherman’s Wharf treat would go to Missouri. Had the Chiefs lost, Bishop Johnston would have sent steaks from the Kansas City Steak Company to San Francisco. Buon appetito, Bishop Johnston!
ST PETER’S DOME TO UNDERGO CLEANING
I took this photo last Friday from, the steps of the Governorate building in Vatican City. You can only see a bit of the scaffolding on the left side (would be to your right if you are in St. Peter’s Square). I do not yet know if they will cover only part of the dome at a time or if soon we will see the while dome encased in scaffolding. The smaller domes have all been cleaned and they were entirely covered in scaffolding. Both the Fabbrica of St. Peter’s and the Vatican’s technical services will be behind the cleaning and, where needed, restoration of the dome. I believe only the drum part of the dome (the part you see with windows and columns) will be in scaffolding for this work but will try to get details. (have tried but cannot enlarge photo)
I did not know this about the dome: (Designed by Michelangelo, who died before its completion,), Giacomo della Porta and Domenico Fontana brought the dome to completion in 1590, the last year of the reign of Sixtus V. His successor, Gregory XIV, saw Fontana complete the lantern and had an inscription to the honour of Sixtus V placed around its inner opening. The next pope, Clement VIII, had the cross raised into place, an event which took all day, and was accompanied by the ringing of the bells of all the city’s churches. In the arms of the cross are set two lead caskets, one containing a fragment of the True Cross and a relic of St. Andrew and the other containing medallions of the Holy Lamb. In the mid-18th century, cracks appeared in the dome, so four iron chains were installed between the two shells to bind it, like the rings that keep a barrel from bursting. As many as ten chains have been installed at various times, the earliest possibly planned by Michelangelo himself as a precaution, as Brunelleschi did at Florence Cathedral. (wikipedia)
“WHEN THE NEXT ASTEROID STRIKES”
Most of what was a grassy area filled with flower beds in the center of Rome’s Piazza Venezia is now filled with earth movers and other large equipment as the city continues work on the third metro line (metropolitana is Italian for subway). Linea C work started in 2007, although most Romans feel it has been going on since Romulus and Remus and the Caesars! As we rounded Pza. Venezia yesterday, I asked a taxi driver when he thought the subway might finally be finished. His answer: “when the next asteroid strikes the earth!”
POPE FRANCIS’ NEW PERSONAL SECRETARY
The Pope and Fr. Gonzalo Aemilius met in 2006 when then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, made contact with him because he had heard of his work with street kids. Gonzalo Aemilius, a Doctor of Theology, replaces Father Fabian Pedacchio, the Argentine priest who worked alongside the Pope from 2013 to 2019, and who returned last December to his post at the Congregation of Bishops. Father Aemilius was born in Montevideo on September 18, 1979 and was ordained a priest on 6 May 2006.
His face may be familiar to many because he is the priest whom the Pope greeted and summoned as part of the crowd gathered outside a Vatican Gate to welcome Pope Francis at the beginning of his pontificate on the morning of March 7, 2013 when he said Mass in the Vatican’s St. Anne’s church. After Mass, Pope Francis introduced Father Aemilius to all those present, asking them to pray for him and for his work with street children. Interviewed by L’Osservatore Romano, Fr. Aemilius said Bergoglio’s ability to integrate different values and channel them in a single direction had struck him deeply: “Experiencing this ability of his was decisive in my life. He taught me to take the best that is in each individual, however different he or she may be from others, and to put it to good use for the good of all.” Fr. Aemilius will accompany Francis’ current personal secretary, Fr. Yoannis Lahzi Gaid. (source: Vatican news)