Monthly Archives: January 2014

Feast of St. John Bosco

The statue of St. John Bosco in St. Peter's Basilica.  One day while walking through St. Peter's with Pope Leo XIII, St. John Bosco said: "My statue will be right there."

The statue of St. John Bosco in St. Peter’s Basilica. One day while walking through St. Peter’s with Pope Leo XIII, St. John Bosco said: “My statue will be right there.”

Statue of Jesus on top of the Church of the Sacred Heart.  Pope Leo XIII asked St. John Bosco to come to Rome to raise the money to build this church.

Statue of Jesus on top of the Church of the Sacred Heart. Pope Leo XIII asked St. John Bosco to come to Rome to raise the money to build this church.

The altar in the Church of the Sacred Heart where St. John Bosco offered Mass.  The inscription to the left commemorates this.  Our Lady, Help of Christians, is the image.

The altar in the Church of the Sacred Heart where St. John Bosco offered Mass. The inscription to the left commemorates this. Our Lady, Help of Christians, is the image.

The inscription reads: “St. John Bosco, celebrating the Eucharist on this altar, was seen to halt and to cry a lot of times, contemplated with a miraculous look the whole vast panorama of his life.  Contained in the words told him by the Madonna in the dream when he was nine years old: 'In its time all will understand!'”

The inscription reads: “St. John Bosco, celebrating the Eucharist on this altar, was seen to halt and to cry a lot of times, contemplated with a miraculous look the whole vast panorama of his life. Contained in the words told him by the Madonna in the dream when he was nine years old: ‘In its time all will understand!’”

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Sub tuum praesidium

Sub tuum praesidium

“Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genitrix; nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus nostris; sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.”

We fly to thy patronage,
O holy Mother of God.
Despise not our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from all dangers
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

“The first known Marian invocation goes back to the third century and begins with the words: “We fly to thy patronage (Sub tuum praesidium), O holy Mother of God…”.” (Bl. Pope John Paul II, 11/5/97)

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January 30, 2014 · 5:42 PM

St. Peter (Trajan’s Column)

St. Peter (Trajan's Column)

A statue of St. Peter the Apostle sits atop Trajan’s Column. To the left of the column are the churches Santa Maria di Loreto and Santissima Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano (Church of the Most Holy Name of Mary at the Trajan Forum). To the right of the column, you can see some of the ruins of Trajan’s Markets.

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January 29, 2014 · 7:13 PM

St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe (1/29)

“Rest confidently assured that who belongs to Her will not be lost, but will be Hers all the more and so Jesus’ and His Father’s.”

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Tribute to St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor

Roccasecca.  The hometown of St. Thomas Aquinas.  Behind the Church of Santa Maria Annunziata is the birthplace of the Saint.  Unfortunately, the former home is now little more than a ruin.

Roccasecca. The hometown of St. Thomas Aquinas. Behind the Church of Santa Maria Annunziata is the birthplace of the Saint. Unfortunately, the former home is now little more than a ruin.

Chiesa di San Tommaso D’Aquino (Church of St. Thomas Aquinas) (14th century).  This Romanesque-Gothic church is the first church dedicated to him.

Chiesa di San Tommaso D’Aquino (Church of St. Thomas Aquinas) (14th century). This Romanesque-Gothic church is the first church dedicated to him.

Castello di San Tommaso D’Aquino (The Castle of St. Thomas Aquinas) (10th century).  The ruins of the castle where his brothers imprisoned him in an attempt to prevent him from entering the Dominican order.

Castello di San Tommaso D’Aquino (The Castle of St. Thomas Aquinas) (10th century). The ruins of the castle where his brothers imprisoned him in an attempt to prevent him from entering the Dominican order.

Monte Cassino.  St. Thomas was sent here as an oblate when he was 5 years old.  He would have been introduced to Gregorian Chant here.  The buildings had to be reconstructed after World War II.

Monte Cassino. St. Thomas was sent here as an oblate when he was 5 years old. He would have been introduced to Gregorian Chant here. The buildings had to be reconstructed after World War II.

The Chapel of the Relics in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.  The Chapel of the Relics has fragments of the Cross of Christ, found, according to tradition by St. Helena, on Calvary in Jerusalem.  Together with the fragments of the Cross are retained: the Titulus Crucis, or the inscription that, according to the Gospels, was placed on the cross, a nail, which was also found by St. Helena, two spines, belonging, according to tradition, to the crown placed on the head of Jesus, and the finger of St. Thomas, the apostle who doubted the resurrection of Christ, and a part of the cross of the Good Thief.  St. Thomas Aquinas wrote quite well about the Passion.  http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4046.htm

The Chapel of the Relics in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. The Chapel of the Relics has fragments of the Cross of Christ, found, according to tradition by St. Helena, on Calvary in Jerusalem. Together with the fragments of the Cross are retained: the Titulus Crucis, or the inscription that, according to the Gospels, was placed on the cross, a nail, which was also found by St. Helena, two spines, belonging, according to tradition, to the crown placed on the head of Jesus, and the finger of St. Thomas, the apostle who doubted the resurrection of Christ, and a part of the cross of the Good Thief. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote quite well about the Passion.
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4046.htm

Fresco in St. Peter’s Basilica depicting Sts. Peter and Paul appearing to St. Thomas.  St. Thomas admitted to his secretary, Br. Reginald, that God had sent the Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul to help him understand a passage from Isaiah.

Fresco in St. Peter’s Basilica depicting Sts. Peter and Paul appearing to St. Thomas. St. Thomas admitted to his secretary, Br. Reginald, that God had sent the Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul to help him understand a passage from Isaiah.

St. Paul the Apostle (St. Paul’s outside the Walls – Rome).  St. Thomas wrote excellent commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul.

St. Paul the Apostle (St. Paul’s outside the Walls – Rome). St. Thomas wrote excellent commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul.

According to tradition, St. John was boiled in oil (San Giovanni in Oleo – Rome).  St. Thomas compiled a Patristic commentary on St. John’s Gospel.  It is part of his Catena Aurea.

According to tradition, St. John was boiled in oil (San Giovanni in Oleo – Rome). St. Thomas compiled a Patristic commentary on St. John’s Gospel. It is part of his Catena Aurea.

St. Agnes (Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone – Rome).  St. Thomas cherished a most tender devotion to St. Agnes, virgin and martyr, constantly carrying her relics on his person.

St. Agnes (Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone – Rome). St. Thomas cherished a most tender devotion to St. Agnes, virgin and martyr, constantly carrying her relics on his person.

Tomb of St. John Chrysostom (St. Peter’s Basilica).  One day St. Thomas was reluctantly dragged to the court of King St. Louis the Ninth of France to attend a banquet.  When they entered Paris someone showed him from a hill the magnificence of the city, saying: “How wonderful it must be to own all this.”  St. Thomas only muttered: “I would rather have that Chrysostom manuscript I can’t get a hold of.”

Tomb of St. John Chrysostom (St. Peter’s Basilica). One day St. Thomas was reluctantly dragged to the court of King St. Louis the Ninth of France to attend a banquet. When they entered Paris someone showed him from a hill the magnificence of the city, saying: “How wonderful it must be to own all this.” St. Thomas only muttered: “I would rather have that Chrysostom manuscript I can’t get a hold of.”

St. Augustine. (Church of Sant’Agostino – Rome).  Anyone who has read St. Thomas’ works knows how much he mentions St. Augustine.

St. Augustine. (Church of Sant’Agostino – Rome). Anyone who has read St. Thomas’ works knows how much he mentions St. Augustine.

Tomb of St. Philip Neri (Chiesa Nuova – Rome).  He always kept the Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas near him for consultation; this and the Holy Bible were his only books.

Tomb of St. Philip Neri (Chiesa Nuova – Rome). He always kept the Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas near him for consultation; this and the Holy Bible were his only books.

St. Robert Bellarmine (Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola – Rome).   He taught theology from St. Thomas’ Summa Theologica.

St. Robert Bellarmine (Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola – Rome). He taught theology from St. Thomas’ Summa Theologica.

Carafa Chapel (Santa Maria Sopra Minerva – Rome) The right hand wall of this chapel is called ‘The Glory of St. Thomas’.  The Saint is holding a book with the Latin inscription Sapientiam sapientum perdam (“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise” [1 Cor. 1:19]).  At his feet is a figure covered by books, symbolizing sin, with the cartouche Sapientia vincit malitia (“Wisdom conquers malice”), an allusion to the importance attributed by Dominicans to knowledge in the fight against heresy and vice.

Carafa Chapel (Santa Maria Sopra Minerva – Rome) The right hand wall of this chapel is called ‘The Glory of St. Thomas’. The Saint is holding a book with the Latin inscription Sapientiam sapientum perdam (“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise” [1 Cor. 1:19]). At his feet is a figure covered by books, symbolizing sin, with the cartouche Sapientia vincit malitia (“Wisdom conquers malice”), an allusion to the importance attributed by Dominicans to knowledge in the fight against heresy and vice.

This chapel was commissioned by Cardinal Oliviero Carafa.  This fresco is St. Thomas presenting him to the Blessed Virgin.  The artist was Fra Filippino Lippi.  This church reportedly has the left arm-relic of St. Thomas.

This chapel was commissioned by Cardinal Oliviero Carafa. This fresco is St. Thomas presenting him to the Blessed Virgin. The artist was Fra Filippino Lippi. This church reportedly has the left arm-relic of St. Thomas.

St. Louis-Marie de Montfort (St. Peter’s Basilica).  He read avariciously commentaries on the works of Thomas Aquinas.

St. Louis-Marie de Montfort (St. Peter’s Basilica). He read avariciously commentaries on the works of Thomas Aquinas.

The tomb of Cicero in Formia.  St. Thomas quotes Cicero 196 times in the Summa Theologica.

The tomb of Cicero in Formia. St. Thomas quotes Cicero 196 times in the Summa Theologica.

Wine. (Nice restaurant in Spoleto).  St. Thomas Aquinas: “Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath, and a glass of wine.”

Wine. (Nice restaurant in Spoleto). St. Thomas Aquinas: “Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath, and a glass of wine.”

The Abbey of Fossanova, one of the finest examples of Cistercian Gothic architecture in Italy, has the room where St. Thomas Aquinas died on March 7, 1274, on his way to the Second Council of Lyon.

The Abbey of Fossanova, one of the finest examples of Cistercian Gothic architecture in Italy, has the room where St. Thomas Aquinas died on March 7, 1274, on his way to the Second Council of Lyon.

The abbey preserves several relics associated with St. Thomas, including the stirrups from the mule he rode on his way to the abbey from Maenza and some of the hoofmarks of the animal. The funeral of the saint was held in the cloister chapel and his relics were kept at Fossanova for several years.

The abbey preserves several relics associated with St. Thomas, including the stirrups from the mule he rode on his way to the abbey from Maenza and some of the hoofmarks of the animal. The funeral of the saint was held in the cloister chapel and his relics were kept at Fossanova for several years.

The room where St. Thomas Aquinas died.

The room where St. Thomas Aquinas died.

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St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe (1/28)

“Please tell the dear brothers that they should never be concerned that they might love the Immaculate too much, for as our Father Guardian expressed himself, we will never love Her as much as Jesus, nor as He did.  And, after all, the imitation of Christ is the source of all our holiness.”

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Santa Maria in Aracoeli

Santa Maria in Aracoeli

The basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, at the top of the staircase, is the home of several relics. Among them are:
a) A figure of the Child Jesus which was carved by a Franciscan friar in the Holy Land in 1480 and, according to legend, was painted partly by angels. The statue is venerated throughout the world. This is a replica, as the original was stolen.
b) The church is also the home of a 6th century image of Our Lady which is venerated under the title of “Salus Populi Romani”, the same title as the image of Our Lady at St. Mary Major.
c) A chapel dedicated to St. Helena (†330) in the left transept contains relics of the saint.
d) Relics of Sts. Zeno (†300), Abundius (†303), and Abundanitus (†303) are claimed by this church. The church also contains the tomb of Fra Juniper, a companion of St. Francis.

This basilica is absolutely gorgeous, and you will enjoy the many side altars. It is also sloped inside.

The staircase leading to the church has 124 steps (122 if you begin from the right), and was completed in 1348.

To the left of the church, you can see the Victor Emmanuel Monument, and to the right of the church, you can see the Cordonata, Michelangelo’s magnificent staircase, leading to the Piazza del Campidoglio. At the top of his staircase, you can see the Palazzo Nuovo, which houses the Capitoline Museums. The façade of the Palazzo Nuovo was designed by Michelangelo, but he didn’t finish it.

I highly recommend visiting this basilica and this part of Rome. It is definitely worth it, and is a very nice mix of the ecclesiastical and the classical.

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January 27, 2014 · 7:05 PM