Sunday, February 11, 2024

Dominica in Quinquagesima



(1 Corinthians 13:1-13) 

The merit of our good works, like the light which enlightens our minds, will be in proportion to the charity which we possess. Let us therefore, dispose our will to detachment from everything in it that is opposed to divine charity, so that having seen God "through a glass in a dark manner," by faith, here on earth, we may behold Him "face to face" in Heaven, in all the fullness of our love for Him.


(Luke 18:31-43) 

"The man blind from birth of whom the Gospel speaks", says St. Gregory in the Matins of today, "is most certainly the human race. Since its expulsion from Paradise in the person of our first parents, it has known nothing of the inspirations of supernatural light, and has moreover suffered from being plunged into darkness through its condemnation." It is Jesus Christ Who, by the merits of His Passion, must open its eyes as He did for the blind man of Jericho and at the same time, free it from the captivity of error and sin.

(St. Andrew Missal)

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The controversial relics of San Romualdo

Ecco Le Marche

Our loyal readers will immediately recognize the name San Romualdo! How often did we mention this saint in our articles? The Saint was born between 951-953 in Ravenna, not exactly near Le Marche, especially at that time!

Around the age of 20 he converted to the Benedictine order, stayed in Spain, came back to Ravenna, and then eventually, around the Year 1000, ended up in Camaldoli, near Arezzo. There, he founded a branch of the Benedictines: the Camaldolese Order, to which he also added Eastern hermitage in addition to the Western Ora et Labora (pray and work). This union of Western and Eastern philosophy was reflected in the symbol of this Order: two doves drinking together from the same chalice.

The Camaldolese monks therefore often built hermit caves, or hermit buildings, in addition to ordinary monasteries. For example, the Eremo dei Frati Bianchi in Cupramontana, where the first monks lived in cliff dwellings.

An 18th century copy of the painting The Apparition by Andrea Sacchi (17th century in the Vatican Museums) hangs in the San Leonardo Church in Cupramontana. Here San Romualdo is depicted as an elderly man in his white habit.

Romualdo then moved regularly in Umbria and Le Marche, where he died in 1027 in the abbey of Valdicastro.

In addition, a small community took the name of this saint: Poggio San Romualdo

He was canonized in 1595. But already in 1480 his body was already important. Two monks from Ravenna tried to smuggle Romualdo’s body from the Abbey of Valdicastro back to his hometown. But during their stop in Jesi, their plan was discovered. From then on, a whole battle started between Fabriano (to which Valdicastro belonged) and Jesi, because relics or better still bodies of clerics who were venerated, always attracted many pilgrims and of course meant income!

In the end, Fabriano received almost all of the body, with Jesi receiving part of the arm that can be seen in the Cathedral of Jesi.

This is how Romualdo ended up in the San Biagio church of Fabriano (13th-18th century), which was then called the Chiesa dei Santi Biagio e Romualdo


Friday, February 2, 2024


 And suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord ...

... whom you seek."
-- Mal 3:1-4

"My eyes have seen..Salvation!"
-- Luke 2:22ff

From the Holy Gospel according to Luke
Luke 2:22-32
In that time, after the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord. And so on.

Homily on this passage by St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan.
Bk. 2, Comm. on Luke II
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. The birth of the Lord is attested not only by Angels and Prophets, and shepherds, but also by elders and just men. Every age, and both sexes, as well as the miracles of the events themselves, are here to strengthen our faith. A virgin conceiveth, a barren woman beareth, a dumb man speaketh, Elizabeth prophesieth, the wise man worshippeth, the unborn child leapeth, the widow praiseth, and the just man waiteth.
Well is he called just, who looked not for favour for himself, but for consolation for his people. He desired to be set free from the bondage of this frail body, but he waited to see the Promised One for he knew that blessed are the eyes that see Him. Then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said: Lord, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. Behold a just man, confined in the weary prison of the body, desiring to be dissolved and to begin to be with Christ. For to be dissolved and to be with Christ is much better. Phil. i. 23.

Whosoever will be dissolved and be with Christ, let him come into the Temple, let him come to Jerusalem, let him wait for the Lord's Christ, let him take hold on the Word of God, let him embrace it with good works, as it were with arms of faith and then let him depart in peace, for he shall not see death, who hath seen life. Behold how the Lord's Birth doth overflow with abounding grace for all, and prophecy is not denied to the just, but to the unbelieving. Behold, Simeon prophesieth that the Lord Jesus Christ is come for the fall and rising again of many; yea, He shall separate the just from the unjust by their deserts, and according as our work shall be, so shall the true and righteous Judge command us to be punished or rewarded.

N.B. Today we hold the blessed tapers alight in the holy liturgy of procession and Mass. As the lights and decorations of Christmas are put away for next year’s celebration of the Incarnation, we seek, behold and adore all the more intensely through faith the light of Christ truly present in our temples as the Holy Eucharist. And when we receive Him thus in a state of grace we become alight through the Truth we believe, embrace and live as Divine light amidst the darkness and sin of this passing world.