Tag Archives: Italy

Saint of the Day for Thursday, August 6th, 2015: St. Hormisdas Pope


Image of St. Hormisdas Pope

St. Hormisdas Pope

Pope from 514-523, successor to St. Symmachus, and father of Pope St. Silverius  Born in Frosinone, Campagna di Roma, Italy, he was an Italian, although he had a Persian name. Married and … continue reading

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ROBERT SCHUMANN – Ouverture, Scherzo und Finale, Op.52


ROBERT SCHUMANN – Ouverture, Scherzo und Finale, Op.52

Rome prepares for Holy Year of Mercy – with ice cream :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

By Marta Jimenez

Rome, Italy, May 7, 2015 / 06:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pilgrims and tourists strolling down the streets of Rome in the coming months may come across an unexpected treat – a special “Jubilee of Mercy Ice Cream,” created in honor of the upcoming Holy Year.

Pope Francis has proclaimed the special Holy Year of Mercy, which is to last from Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, to Nov. 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King.

The special Jubilee ice cream can be sampled at the Hedera ice cream shop, situated on the legendary Borgo Pio, one of the streets most traveled by Rome’s tourists.

Hedera stands out from among the other restaurants and souvenir shops because of the sprawling ivy vines that completely cover the building and the adjacent old drinking fountain with a papal crest that slakes the thirst of passersby.

The sweet treat created for the Jubilee features the colors of the Vatican flag – yellow and white. It is made of milk, cream and limoncello, a lemon liqueur popular in Italy.

“We have tradition and innovation in our DNA. The idea came to us thinking about a product inspired by the Jubilee, something very significant,” said business owner Francesco Ceravolo.

“We didn’t want to make a product just to advertise, but an excellent product. We used the best milk available in the area, the best cream and limoncello, he explained, adding, “We lowered the alcohol in it so everyone could have it: children, adults, the elderly.”

Ceravolo is a big admirer of Pope Francis and a descendant of master ice cream makers. He said that the idea was to create a unique flavor that would represent penance. The lemon liqueur was therefore chosen to symbolize purification.

Hedera prides itself on high-quality products, all sourced from Italy and without preservatives.

The “Jubilee ice cream” is just one example of how the people of Rome are preparing to welcome the thousands of pilgrims that will visit the city for the Jubilee of Mercy that the Pope has declared.

Mercy is a theme that is dear to Pope Francis, and is the central topic of his episcopal motto “miserando atque eligendo,” which he chose when ordained a bishop in 1992.

In speaking about the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy, the Pope has emphasized that mercy is inseparable from the life and mission of the Church, as well as the role of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Upon making the public proclamation of the Holy Year, Pope Francis explained that he had declared this Jubilee of mercy because we are living at a “time of great historical change” which calls the Church “to offer more evident signs of God’s presence and closeness.”

This period in history is a time where the faithful “need to be vigilant and to reawaken in ourselves the capacity to see what is essential,” he said.

“This is the time for mercy.”

The aim of Jubilee Year of Mercy is to encourage the faithful to “welcome the numerous signs of the tenderness which God offers to the whole world,” the Pope stressed.

Tags: Holy Year of Mercy

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Français : emblème pontifical Italiano: emblema del Papato Português: Emblema papal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

via Rome prepares for Holy Year of Mercy – with ice cream :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

 

California’s soon-to-be saint hailed as a man ahead of his time : Bl. Junipero Serra


 

Statue of Fr Junipero Serra, Mission San Juan Bautista California. Credit: Ramon Lomeli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

  Statue of Fr Junipero Serra, Mission San Juan Bautista California. Credit: Ramon Lomeli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

California’s soon-to-be saint hailed as a man ahead of his time

Rome, Italy, May 3, 2015 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Experts in California history, archeology and the life of Bl. Junipero Serra have praised him as a passionate missionary with a vision that extended far beyond his own generation.

“I think that’s a characteristic of great people. They’re not bound up by the restrictions of their generation, they see ahead,” Mons. Francis J. Weber told CNA April 30, in reference to the life of Bl. Junipero Serra.

He compared Serra to former president of the United States Abraham Lincoln, who despite being heavily criticized during his life for working to abolish slavery, “was one of the greatest presidents we’ve ever had. But he was generations ahead of his time.”

“I think you could say that most great people are ahead of their own generation. I would probably say that they see things the way they should be done, but not as they are,” the priest said.

Mons. Weber is the author of more than 100 books, many of which focus on California’s Catholic history, and the former archivist of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

A pupil of the well-known Catholic Church historian John Tracy Ellis, Mons. Weber also taught history at Queen of Angels Seminary in Los Angeles and served as president of the Association of Catholic Diocesan Archivists.

He was one of four panelists present in Rome for an April 30 discussion on the life and legacy of Bl. Junipero Serra, who will be canonized by Pope Francis during his visit to the U.S. in September.

Fr. Serra was born in 1713 on the Spanish island of Majorca in the Mediterranean. He left his position as a university professor to become a missionary to the New World, helping to convert many of the native community to Christianity and teaching them new technologies. The Franciscan priest founded several of the missions that would go on to become the centers of major California cities.

The priest’s mission work often took place despite a painful ulcerated leg which is said to have been caused either by cancer or a spider bite soon after his arrival in Mexico. He died in 1784 at Mission San Carlos Borroméo del Carmelo in what is now the state of California.

St. John Paul II beatified Fr. Serra in 1988. In January, Pope Francis praised the missionary as “the evangelizer of the West” when he announced his intention to canonize him.

In the panel discussion, specific attention was given to Serra’s zeal to be a missionary. Mons. Weber said this can be seen in the priest’s decision to leave his home in Spain despite the fact that he wasn’t young anymore, and knowing that he likely wouldn’t see his aged parents again.

While praising Serra’s visionary perspective and the good that came out of the missions, panelists also addressed criticisms surrounding Serra and the missions in a conversation with journalists after the panel.

Controversy over the canonization has stemmed from claims that Serra’s missions enacted forced labor and conversions as well as corporal punishment. Scholarship on the issue is divided, and Serra supporters contend that many of the accusations against Serra are rife with misinterpretations and factual errors.

Robert Senkewicz, a history professor at Santa Clara University in California and co-author of a newly released 500 page biography on Junipero Serra, was also present at Thursday’s press conference.

He said he’s not surprised that there is contention over Serra’s canonization, and noted that much of the dissatisfaction likely surrounds a history of poor policies the U.S. had toward native Americans in the past.

Inevitably native populations will interpret their past to be a “prison” of previous U.S. policies toward Indians, because “it wasn’t nice,” he said.

“It was a policy of removal and extermination…so I’m not surprised that there’s a lot of dissatisfaction against the canonization Fr. Serra, because Californian Indians are American Indians, and American Indians interpret their past through the most catastrophic parts of it, which were the U.S. policies.”

Ruben Mendoza, an archeology professor at California State University, Monterey Bay, also spoke on the panel from a cultural perspective, being of both Mexican and Indian descent.

With extensive experience in the field of archeology as well as working in the California missions of San Juan Bautista, San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, Nuestra Senora de la Soledad and the Royal Presidio of Monterey, Mendoza was initially hostile to Serra, but changed his view after studying about the blessed and working in the missions himself.

Mendoza pointed out that despite Serra’s critics, “many of us carry currencies in our pockets that contain the images of individuals who we see as heroes, they were the founders of our country, and yet if we judge them from the perspective of our histories then they were human traffickers.”

These people, he said, “were a whole host of things that today we would not even begin to dream of if we consider ourselves as patriots.”

Mendoza also referred to how some have argued that Serra had sought to be a martyr at one point in his life, saying that if we look at this life, the reality is that “if he had sought martyrdom he would have been mortified.”

Serra, he said, “would have realized that the very people that he loved, that he devoted his life to, would now see him as the culprit in their disintegration.”

“I believe that in the end, by virtue of the very attacks that those descendants bring to the table, they have martyred Junipero Serra and turned him into a saint.”

Tags: Bl Junipero Serra


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

Today in History
May 5

1494   Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Jamaica, which he names Santa Gloria.
1814   British attack the American forces at Ft. Ontario, Oswego, New York.
1821   Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on the island of St. Helena.
1834   The first mainland railway line opens in Belgium.
1862   Union and Confederate forces clash at the Battle of Williamsburg, part of the Peninsula Campaign.
1862   Mexican forces loyal to Benito Juarez defeat troops sent by Napoleon III in the Battle of Puebla.
1865   The 13th Amendment is ratified, abolishing slavery.
1886   A bomb explodes on the fourth day of a workers’ strike in Chicago.
1912   Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda begins publishing.
1916   U.S. Marines invade the Dominican Republic.
1917   Eugene Jacques Bullard becomes the first African-American aviator when he earns a flying certificate with the French Air Service.
1920   Anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are arrested for murder.
1935   American Jesse Owens sets the long jump record.
1942   General Joseph Stilwell learns that the Japanese have cut his railway out of China and is forced to lead his troops into India.
1945   Holland and Denmark are liberated from Nazi control.
1961   Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space.
1965   173rd Airborne Brigade arrives in Bien Hoa-Vung, Vietnam, the first regular U.S. Army unit deployed to that country.
1968   U.S. Air Force planes hit Nhi Ha, South Vietnam in support of attacking infantrymen.
1969   Pulitzer Prize awarded to Norman Mailer for his ‘nonfiction novel’ Armies of the Night, an account of the 1967 anti-Vietnam War march on the Pentagon.
1987   Congress opens Iran-Contra hearings.
2000   The Sun, Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn align – Earth’s moon is also almost in this alignment – leading to Doomsday predictions of massive natural disasters, although such a ‘grand confluence’ occurs about once in every century.
Born on May 5
1813   Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher.
1818   Karl Marx, German philosopher (The Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital).
1830   John B. Stetson, American hat maker.
1861   Peter Cooper Hewitt, electrical engineer, inventor of the mercury-vapor lamp.
1883   Charles Albert “Chief” Bender, baseball player.
1890   Christopher Morley, writer (Kitty Foyle).
1899   Freeman F. Gosden, radio comedy writer and performer (Amos ‘n’ Andy).
1909   Carlos Baker, biographer.
1943   Michael Palin, actor and screenwriter (Monty Python’s Flying Circus).

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.6DhlyMv5.dpuf

†Rome, Italy, Apr 15, 2015 / 02:25 am (CNA)†


Crucifix. Credit: Bluekdesign via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

High-profile Rome exorcist: ‘ISIS is Satan’ Crucifix. Credit: Bluekdesign via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

In a recent Facebook post, well-known Roman exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth said the Islamic State (ISIS) “is Satan,” and he also questioned the lack of response from Western nations.

“ISIS is Satan. Things first happen in the spiritual realms, then they are made concrete on this earth,” he said in an April 8 post on the social media website.

Father Amorth continued, “there are only two spiritual realms: The Holy Spirit and the demonic spirit.”

He said the demonic enters in “because evil is disguised in various ways: political, religious, cultural, and it has one source of inspiration: the devil. As a Christian I fight the beast spiritually.”

“The political world, which today seems to lack a response in face of the massacre of Christians, will also have to fight ISIS and it will do it in a different way. If it advances as it seems to be doing, we ask ourselves what has the West done over the course of the last decades.”

The priest, who founded the International Association of Exorcists, explained that Satan “keeps saying that the world is in his power, and what he says is true. Biblically speaking we are in the last days and the beast is working furiously.”

ISIS took control of the largest Christian city in Iraq, Qaraqosh, in August last year, causing tens of thousands of people to flee.

The terrorist group has persecuted and murdered Christians and other religious minorities in parts of Syria and Iraq.

Fr. Amorth, age 90, has performed over 70,000 exorcisms during the past 29 years. The number is so high because carrying out an exorcism can require multiple sessions and each time the rite is administered it is counted as one instance.

Fr. Amorth has previously spoken about the danger posed by people no longer believing in the devil, as well as a shortage of exorcists.
 

Tags: Exorcism, ISIS, Satan

article: Pompeii


Pompeii

Pompeii was a Roman city near modern Naples, Italy, that was destroyed during the catastrophic 79 ACE volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. As a result of the eruption, the city was buried under many feet of ash for 1,600 years before it was accidentally rediscovered. Its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. During the first excavation in 1860, voids discovered in the ash-layer were found to be spaces left by what? More… Discuss

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

February 2

962   Otto I invades Italy and is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
1032   Conrad II claims the throne of France.
1494   Columbus begins the practice using Indians as slaves.
1571   All eight members of a Jesuit mission in Virginia are murdered by Indians who pretended to be their friends.
1626   Charles I is crowned King of England. Fierce internal struggles between the monarchy and Parliament characterized 17th century English politics.
1848   The Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo formally ends the Mexican War.
1865   Confederate raider William Quantrill and his bushwackers rob citizens, burn a railroad depot and steal horses from Midway, Kentucky.
1870   The press agencies Havas, Reuter and Wolff sign an agreement whereby between them they can cover the whole world.
1876   The National Baseball League is founded with eight teams.
1900   Six cities, Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis agree to form baseball’s American League.
1901   Mexican government troops are badly beaten by Yaqui Indians.
1916   U.S. Senate votes independence for Philippines, effective in 1921.
1921   Airmail service opens between New York and San Francisco. Airmail’s First Day.
1934   Alfred Rosenberg is made philosophical chief of the Nazi Party.
1939   Hungary breaks relations with the Soviet Union.
1943   Last of the German strongholds at Stalingrad surrender to the Red army.
1944   The Germans stop an Allied attack at Anzio, Italy.
1945   Some 1,200 Royal Air Force planes blast Wiesbaden and Karlsruhe.
1948   The United States and Italy sign a pact of friendship, commerce and navigation.
1959   Arlington and Norfolk, Va., peacefully desegregate public schools.
1960   The U.S. Senate approves 23rd Amendment calling for a ban on the poll tax.
1972   The Winter Olympics begin in Sapporo, Japan.
1978   U.S. Jewish leaders bar a meeting with Egypt’s Anwar Sadat.
1987   Largest steel strike in American history, in progress since August, ends.
Born on February 2
1754   Charles Maurice de Tallyrand-Perigord, minister of foreign affairs for Napoleon I, who represented France brilliantly at the Congress of Vienna.
1882   James Joyce, Irish novelist and poet (Ulysses, Portrait of a Young Man).
1890   Charles Correl, radio performer.
1895   George Halas, National Football League co-founder.

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.IrmCKXD6.dpuf

Google Art Project originally shared: Enjoy the tour! #museweb #art #museum #Uffizi


 
250 years ago, in 1765, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence was officially opened to the public. Have you ever been to this art museum, one of the oldest and most famous in the world?

If you haven’t, you definitely should! And in the meantime, you can take a virtual peak at the splendid galleries with #StreetView at:  http://goo.gl/d9p0Iq
Enjoy the tour! #museweb #art #museum #Uffizi

St. Dacius: Feastday: January 14


St. Dacius

Image of St. Dacius

Facts

Feastday: January 14

Death: 552

Bishop of Milan, Italy, probably from 530, exiled by the Arian Ostrogoths. When Milan was attacked by the Goths, General Belisarius of Constantinople, failed to aid the city. It is believed that Datius was taken prisoner for a time but was freed by his friend Cassiodorus. He went to Constantinople to support Pope Vigilius against Emperor Justinian in the Three Chapter Controversy of 545 . He probably died there.

Today In History: What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

Today in History
January 7

1327   King Edward II of England is deposed.
1558   The French, under the Duke of Guise, finally take the port of Calais from the English.
1785   Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American Dr. John Jeffries make the first crossing of the English Channel in a hydrogen balloon.
1807   Responding to Napoleon Bonaparte’s attempted blockade of the British Isles, the British blockade Continental Europe.
1865   Cheyenne and Sioux warriors attack Julesburg, Colo., in retaliation for the Sand Creek Massacre.
1901   New York stock exchange trading exceeds two million shares for the first time in history.
1902   Imperial Court of China returns to Peking. The Empress Dowager resumes her reign.
1918   The Germans move 75,000 troops from the Eastern Front to the Western Front.
1934   Six thousand pastors in Berlin defy the Nazis insisting that they will not be silenced.
1944   The U.S. Air Force announces the production of the first jet-fighter, Bell P-59 Airacomet.
1945   U.S. air ace Major Thomas B. McGuire, Jr. is killed in the Pacific.
1952   French forces in Indochina launch Operation Violette in an effort to push Viet Minh forces away from the town of Ba Vi.
1955   Marian Anderson becomes the first African American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House.
1975   Vietnamese troops take Phuoc Binh in new full-scale offensive.
1979   Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge are overthrown when Vietnamese troops seize the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.
1980   US President Jimmy Carter signs legislation providing $1.5 billion in loans to salvage Chrysler Corporation.
1985   Vietnam seizes the Khmer National Liberation Front headquarters near the Thai border.
1985   Japan launches its first interplanetary spacecraft, Sakigake, the first deep space probe launched by any nation other than the US or the USSR.
1989   Prince Akihito sworn in as Emperor of Japan, following the death of his father, Hirohito.
1990   Safety concerns over structural problems force the Leaning Tower of Pisa to be closed to the public.
1993   The Bosnian Army carries out a surprise attack on the village of Kravica in Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.
1999   The impeachment trial of US President Bill Clinton opens in the US Senate.
Born on January 7
1718   Israel Putnam, American Revolutionary War hero.
1745   Etienne Montgolfier, French inventor who, with his brother, launched the first successful hot-air balloon.
1800   Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States.
1845   Louis III, last King of Bavaria.
1911   Butterfly McQueen (Thelma McQueen), actress best known for her role as Scarlett O’Hara’s maid Prissy in Gone with the Wind (1939); won Daytime Emmy portraying Aunt Thelma, a fairy godmother in “The Seven Wishes of Joanna Peabody,” an ABC Afterschool Special.
1912   Charles Addams, cartoonist, creator of the Addams Family.
1922   Jean-Pierre Rampal, flautist.
1930   Jack Greene, country singer, musician; won Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year for “There Goes My Everything” (1967).
1939   Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark.
1948   Kenny Loggins, singer, songwriter; half of Loggins and Messina duo.
1957   Katie Couric, journalist, author; has hosted news and talk shows on all three major TV networks.

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.bInOmWCg.dpuf

Leaning Tower of Pisa Begins Decade-Long Closure (1990)


Leaning Tower of Pisa Begins Decade-Long Closure (1990)

The Leaning Tower is the freestanding bell tower of a cathedral in Pisa, Italy. Though designed to stand upright, Pisa’s most famous landmark began leaning soon after construction began in 1173. In 1964, Italy’s government enlisted the aid of a multinational task force to prevent the tower from toppling, but the tilt remained so severe that the tower was closed to the public in 1990. After another decade of stabilization efforts, it was reopened in 2001. What first caused it to lean? More… Discuss

Large families are schools of solidarity and sharing, Francis affirms


Pope Francis greets pilgrims during the General Audience held Jan. 8, 2014. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA.

Pope Francis greets pilgrims during the General Audience held Jan. 8, 2014. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA

Large families are schools of solidarity and sharing, Francis affirms

Credit for this message of Hope and Peace >>  here <<

.- In an address on Sunday to Italy’s National Numerous Family Association, Pope Francis thanked the members of large families for their cultivation of virtues that benefit society at large, as well as themselves.

“The fact of having brothers and sisters is good for you,” he said Dec. 28 to the children among the some 7,000 members of large families from across Italy at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

“The sons and daughters of large families are more inclined to fraternal communion from early childhood. In a world that is frequently marred by selfishness, a large family is a school of solidarity and sharing; and these attitudes are of benefit to all society.”

The audience was on the occasion of the association’s tenth anniversary, and marked the feast of the Holy Family.

“You have come here with the most beautiful fruits of your love,” he said to the parents of the families. “Maternity and paternity are gifts from God, but your task is to receive this gift, to be amazed by its beauty and to let it shine in society. Each of your children is a unique creation that will never be repeated in the history of humanity. When we understand this, that each person is willed by God, we are astonished by the great miracle that is a child! A child changes your life!”

We have all seen, he reminded them, men and women who have profoundly changed “when a child arrives,” adding that a child is “the unique fruit of love,” coming from and growing in love.

“You, children and young people, are the fruit of the tree that is the family: you are good fruit when the tree has good roots – grandparents – and a good trunk – the parents,” Pope Francis said. “The great human family is like a forest, in which the trees bear solidarity, communion, fidelity, support, security, happy moderation, friendship. The presence of large families is a hope for society.”

This, he said, “is why the presence of grandparents is very important: a valuable presence both in terms of practical assistance, but above all for their contribution to education. Grandparents conserve the values of a people, of a family, and they help parents transmit them to their children. Throughout the last century, in many countries in Europe, it was the grandparents who transmitted the faith.”

“Dear parents, thank you for your example of love for life that you protect from conception to its natural end, in spite of all the difficulties and burdens of life, that unfortunately public institutions do not always help you to bear.”

He lamented that while the Italian constitution calls for particular regard for large families, this is only “words” and is “not adequately reflected in the facts.”

Considering Italy’s low birth rate, he voiced hope that it’s politicians and public administrators would give large families “all due support.”

“Every family is a cell of society, but the large family is a richer, more vital cell, and the state has much to gain by investing in it.”

In light of this, he affirmed the National Numerous Family Association, and groups like it, for advocating for large families in the European nations, and for being “present and visible in society and in politics.”

He concluded by praying in particular “for those families most affected by the economic crisis, those in which the mother or father have lost their jobs and in which the young are unable to find work, and those families in which the closest relationships are marked by suffering and who are tempted to give in to loneliness and separation.”

Saint of the Day for Monday, December 15th, 2014: St. Mary Di Rosa


Image of St. Mary Di Rosa  St. Mary Di Rosa

Saint Mary (Paula) Di Rosa December 15 The pounding on the barricaded door of the military hospital sent every heart thudding in terror. In the middle of the war in Brescia (Italy) in 1848, the … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

Saint of the Day for Sunday, December 7th, 2014 St. Maria Giuseppe Rossello


Image of St. Maria Giuseppe Rossello

St. Maria Giuseppe Rossello

Foundress of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy. She was born at Albisola Marina, Liguria, Italy, in 1811, and was baptized Benedetta. At sixteen she became a Franciscan tertiary, and in 1837, she … continue reading

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Saint of the Day for Thursday, December 4th, 2014: St. John of Damascus


Image of St. John of Damascus

St. John of Damascus

Saint John Damascene has the double honor of being the last but one of the fathers of the Eastern Church, and the greatest of her poets. It is surprising, however, how little that is authentic is … continue reading

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Antonin Dvorak – Rusalka – Song To The Moon: make music part of your life series


Antonin Dvorak – Rusalka – Song To The Moon

Europe – Fury as Italy quashes asbestos conviction in ‘trial of century’ – France 24


An Italian flag reads “Eternit: Justice” in a picture posted on Italian author Roberto Saviano‘s Twitter account
Text by Benjamin DODMAN
Latest update : 2014-11-20

Victims of asbestos poisoning are well accustomed to the gruelling twists and turns of Italy’s judicial process. But even the most battle-hardened were ill-prepared for the latest, bitter turn in a landmark case that has dragged on for decades.

Late on Wednesday, Italy’s top court overturned an 18-year prison sentence for Swiss billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny, the former owner of construction giant Eternit.

Schmidheiny, 67, was found guilty in 2012 of causing 3,000 deaths linked to the use of asbestos in his factories – in the biggest ever trial on asbestos-related deaths.

He was jailed in absentia and ordered to pay tens of millions of euros in compensation to local authorities and families of the victims, who included factory workers and residents who lived near Eternit factories in northern, central and southern Italy.

via Europe – Fury as Italy quashes asbestos conviction in ‘trial of century’ – France 24.

todays holiday: Plebeian Games


Plebeian Games

The Roman leader Flaminius is thought to have instituted the Plebeian Games in 220 BCE. They originally may have been held in the Circus Flaminius, which he built. Later, they may have moved to the Circus Maximus, a huge open arena between the Palatine and Aventine hills. The Games were dedicated to Jupiter, one of whose feast days was November 13, and included horse and chariot races and contests that involved running, boxing, and wrestling. The festival lasted from November 4-17, and its first nine days were devoted to theatrical performances. More… Discuss

This Pressed: Army major general speaks to CNN from inside Ebola quarantine | Follow Ebola


STORY HIGHLIGHTS

American troops who helped fight Ebola in West Africa are under “controlled monitoring” in Italy
The Italian government expressed concern about the troops when they returned to Italy from Liberia
CNN spoke with Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams via a military video conferencing system

Washington (CNN) — They’re just back from the Ebola hot zone, they can’t have any physical contact with family or loved ones and their plastic forks are being burned after each use.

But American troops quarantined in Italy have good morale and are proud of their work against the “silent enemy” of Ebola, according to Major General Darryl Williams, who is being isolated alongside his men at the Army base in Vicenza.

via  Army major general speaks to CNN from inside Ebola quarantine | Follow Ebola.

today’s holiday : Ochi Day


Ochi Day

Ochi Day is a national holiday in Greece, commemorating the day during World War II when Greeks said “ochi” (“no”) to an attempted incursion ordered by Italy‘s fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini. On October 28, 1940, the Italian ambassador to Greece called on General Ioannis Metaxas, the prime minister, to demand that Italian troops be allowed to occupy areas in Greece. Metaxas curtly responded, “Ochi.” The Italians invaded, but were routed by the Greeks. Ochi Day is observed in Greece with military and school parades; it is also a public holiday celebrated in Cyprus with parades. More… Discuss

Saint of the Day for Thursday, October 23rd, 2014: St. John of Capistrano


Veni Vidi Vici


Veni Vidi Vici

Before Julius Caesar was made dictator for life, he engaged in a civil war with his rival Pompey. Caesar started the war by crossing the Rubicon River into Italy, reportedly uttering the words Iacta alea est—”the die is cast.” Pompey fled and was eventually killed after Caesar pursued him to Egypt. From Egypt, Caesar went to Syria and Pontus, where in 47 BCE he defeated Pharnaces II with such ease that he reported his victory with the words Veni, vidi, vici—meaning what? More… Discuss

Felix Mendelssohn-Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25: great compositions/performances


Felix Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor,  Op. 25:

  1. Molto allegro con fuoco in G minor
  2. Andante in E major
  3. Presto—Molto allegro e vivace in G major

Saint of the Day for Thursday, October 16th, 2014: St. Gerard Majella


Pope Francis General Audience 2014.10.15


[embed}https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaMGUozY3-0[/embed]

Pope Francis General Audience 2014.10.15

Early Intervention No HIV Cure


Early Intervention No HIV Cure

Promising results from several babies born with HIV and treated with antiretroviral drugs within hours of birth had led to hopes that such early interventions could prevent the virus establishing reservoirs in the body and offer a cure for the disease, but one by one the virus reemerged in these patients once they were weaned from their medications. Most recently, doctors in Italy reported on a child who had been placed on an antiretroviral regimen within hours of birth and had long had no detectable viral load in his bloodstream. At the age of three, he was taken off the medication, and within two weeks showed signs of the virus again. More… Discuss

Mendelssohn-Piano Concerto No. 1 in g minor Op. 25, Rudolf Serkin/Philadelphia Orchestra- Eugene Ormandy: great compositions/perfornmances


Mendelssohn-Piano Concerto No. 1 in g minor Op. 25

official trailer of the film “I Build the Tower” the Watts Towers by Simon Rodia: A MUST SEE!


Sam (Simon Rodia) of the watts Towers

Simon Rodia, Architect and sole builder of the Rodia Towers (Watts Towers)

the Watts Towers Arts Center and tours
call (213) 847-4646 fax (323) 564 7030
add +1 when dialing from abroad

e-mail cadwattsctr@earthlink.net

Mottetto per San Paolino – Giacomo Puccini(1858-1924): make music part of your life series


Mottetto per San Paolino – Giacomo Puccini(1858-1924)

Sophia Loren (1934); Remember “La Ciociara” (“Two Women”)?


today’s birthday:  Sophia Loren (1934)

Sophia Loren is a famous film actress who grew up in poverty near Naples, Italy. With the help of Italian producer Carlo Ponti, whom she later married, she gained international fame, acting in both tragic dramas and boisterous comedies. She won the first Academy Award for a foreign-language performance for her role in the 1961 film Two Women, and she received a special Academy Award in 1991 for her body of work. Why did she serve more than two weeks in prison in 1982? More… Discuss

La Ciociara – Vittorio de Sica by GM

What is: Ciociara? Is to Ciocharia what Malagueña is for Malaga


Ciociaria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fresco representing the Campagne and Maritime Province, in Vatican Museums

Ciociara (woman from Ciociaria) by Enrique Simonet.

Ciociaria (Italian pronunciation: [tʃotʃaˈɾiːa]) is the name of a traditional region of Central Italy without a defined border nor historical identity.[1] The name was adopted by a fascist movement of Frosinone as an ethnical denomination for the province of Frosinone, when it was created in 1927.[2] In the Middle Ages, this region was referred to as Campagna. The local dialect, now known as ciociaro, was earlier referred to as campanino. In more recent times, the term Campagna Romana, or Roman Campagna, a favorite subject of countless painters from all over Europe, has referred to the adjoining region to the north of Ciociaria, but part of the Province of Rome.

The name appears to be derived from the ciocia (plural cioce), the traditional footwear still worn by a few sheep and cattle herders in the Central Apennines.

Saint of the Day for Friday, September 19th, 2014: St. Januarius


Image of St. Januarius

St. Januarius

St. Januarius was born in Italy and was bishop of Benevento during the Emperor Diocletion persecution. Bishop Januarius went to visit two deacons and two laymen in prison. He was then also imprison … continue reading

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today’s holiday: Feast of San Gennaro


Feast of San Gennaro

San Gennaro, or St. Januarius, 4th-century bishop of Benevento, is the patron saint of Naples, Italy. He is said to have survived a fiery furnace and a den of wild beasts before being beheaded during the reign of Diocletian. His body was brought to Naples, along with a vial containing some of his blood. The congealed blood, preserved since that time in the Cathedral of San Gennaro, is claimed to liquefy on the anniversary of his death each year—an event that has drawn crowds to Naples since 1389. More… Discuss

word: alfresco


alfresco 

Definition: (adverb) In the fresh air.
Synonyms: outdoors
Usage: Dining alfresco is one of my great summer pleasures. Discuss.

Vivaldi – The Four Seasons / Autumn Op.8/3, RV 293 / Fabio Biondi: make music part of your life series


3. Vivaldi – The Four Seasons / Autumn Op.8/3, RV 293 / Fabio Biondi

World’s Oldest Republic Is Born (301)


World’s Oldest Republic Is Born (301)

San Marino, surrounded by Italy, is the world’s smallest republic and likely Europe’s oldest existing state. According to tradition, its founder, Marino—a Christian stonecutter from Dalmatia—took refuge on Mount Titano in the Apennines to escape religious persecution. By the mid-5th century, a community had formed. Its relatively inaccessible location has helped it to maintain its independence with only a few brief interruptions. Which US president was made an honorary citizen of San Marino? More… Discuss

Venice (on my mind) + Venetian and Neapolitan Music for Consort of Viols / L’Amoroso


Venice

The Italian city of Venice spans more than 100 small islands in the Venetian Lagoon of the Adriatic Sea. Separating the islands are about 150 narrow canals crossed by some 400 bridges. The curving Grand Canal is the city’s main traffic artery. Now a tourist, commercial, and industrial center, Venice was at its artistic peak during the Renaissance, and it owes its origin to refugees who came to the islands while fleeing Lombard invaders in the 6th century. What are traghetti? More… Discuss

 

today’s holiday: Nemoralia


Nemoralia

The Nemoralia was an ancient Roman festival in honor of the goddess Diana held at Nemi, in the territory of Aricia about 16 miles southeast of Rome. Diana was worshipped throughout Rome and Latium (now western Italy) on August 13, the day on which her temple on the Aventine Hill had been dedicated by Servius Tullius. But her most famous cult was in Aricia, where the Nemoralia was observed to protect the vines and the fruit trees. It is still common in some parts of the Orthodox Christian Church for worshippers to make offerings of new wheat and cakes to the Theotokos on that day. More… Discuss

Giotto


Giotto

Giotto di Bondone (1266/7 – January 8, 1337), known as Giotto (Italian: [ˈdʒɔtto]), was an Italian painter and

Uffizi Giotto.jpg

Statue representing Giotto, outside the Uffizi
Born Giotto di Bondone
1266/7
near Florence, Republic of Florence, in present-day Italian Republic
Died January 8, 1337 (aged about 70)
Florence, Republic of Florence, in present-day Italian Republic
Nationality Italian
Known for Painting, Fresco, Architecture
Notable work(s) Scrovegni Chapel frescoes, Campanile
Movement Late Gothic
Proto-Renaissance

architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages. He is generally considered the first in a line of great artists who contributed to the Italian Renaissance.Considered the father of European art, he turned from the formulaic, impersonal Byzantine style to a more natural representation of human expression and movement. Compared with the gracefulness of Byzantine forms, Giotto’s figures are monumental, even bulky, but imbued with a new compassion for the human being. His innovative style likely influenced Renaissance artists. His main works are cycles of frescoes inside churches in what Italian cities? More… Discuss

today’s Saint, July 30, 2014: St. Peter Chrysologus (Feastday: July 30)


 

 

 

 

 

Pedro crisologo01.jpgSt. Peter Chrysologus
Greek: Ἅγιος Πέτρος ὁ Χρυσολόγος, Petros Chrysologos meaning Peter the “golden-worded”)
He is revered as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

 

Feastday: July 30
Birth: 380
Death: 450

 

St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Feast-July 30) Born at Imola, Italy in 406, St. Peter was baptized, educated, and ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. St. Peter merited being called “Chrysologus” (golden-worded) from his exceptional oratorical eloquence. In 433, Pope Sixtus III consecrated him bishop of Ravenna. He practiced many corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and ruled his flock with utmost diligence and care. He extirpated the last vestiges of paganism and other abuses that had sprouted among his people, cautioning them especially against indecent dancing. “Anyone who wishes to frolic with the devil,” he remarked, “cannot rejoice with Christ.” He also counseled the heretic Eutyches (who had asked for his support) to avoid causing division but to learn from the other heretics who were crushed when they hurled themselves against the Rock of Peter. He died at Imola, Italy in 450 and in 1729 was made a Doctor of the Church, largely as a result of his simple, practical, and clear sermons which have come down to us, nearly all dealing with Gospel subjects.

 

When in 1729 he was declared a Doctor of the Church, his feast day, not already included in the Tridentine Calendar, was inserted in the General Roman Calendar for celebration on 4 December. In 1969 his feast was moved to 30 July, as close as possible to the day of his death, 31 July, the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

 

A contemporary portrait of Saint Peter Chrysologus, found in the mosaics of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Ravenna, depicts him among the members of the eastern and western imperial family, showing his extraordinary influence.

 

 

 

Seismology


Seismology

Seismology is the scientific study of earthquakes—their origins, geographic distribution, and effects. Much of what we now know about the composition of the Earth and its internal structure comes from seismologic research. In recent years, seismologists have focused intense efforts on developing ways to predict earthquakes in hopes of minimizing casualties caused by seismic events. Unfortunately, a reliable method has yet to be developed. Why were six seismologists recently indicted in Italy? More… Discuss

today’s Saint, July28, 2014: St. Innocent I


Image of St. Innocent I

St. Innocent I

Innocent was born at Albano, Italy. He became Pope, succeeding Pope St. Anastasius I, on December 22, 401. During Innocent’s pontificate, he emphasized papal supremacy, commending the bishops of Africa for referring the decrees of their councils at Carthage and Millevis in 416, condemning Pelagianism, to the Pope for confirmation. It was his confirmation of these decrees that caused Augustine to make a remark that was to echo through the centuries: “Roma locuta, causa finitas” (Rome has spoken, the matter is ended). Earlier Innocent had stressed to Bishop St. Victrius and the Spanish bishops that matters of great importance were to be referred to Rome for settlement. Innocent strongly favored clerical celibacy and fought the unjust removal of St. John Chrysostom. He vainly sought help from Emperor Honorius at Revenna when the Goths under Alaric captured and sacked Rome. Innocent died in Rome on March 12. His feast day is July 28th.

today’s holiday: Baths of Caracalla


Baths of Caracalla

Originally designed as a social gathering place for men in third-century Rome, the Baths of Caracalla became the unusual setting for open-air opera in 1937. Held every summer in July and August, the Bath Operas feature grand Italian operas, as well as ballet performances produced by local and international dance companies. The events take place in the evening on one of the world’s largest stages—100 feet long and 162 feet wide. While the acoustics are far from ideal, more than 10,000 spectators generally fill the bleachers to enjoy this one-of-a-kind musical extravaganza. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Feast of Our Lady of Carmel


Feast of Our Lady of Carmel

Our Lady of Carmel (the Madonna del Carmine) is the patroness of the city of Naples, Italy. Her festival is celebrated with dancing, singing, and magnificent fireworks displays. Brightly decorated wax replicas of human body parts used to be sold at booths near the church, and people suffering from various physical ailments appealed to the Madonna to restore their health by offering her these replicas of the diseased portions of their bodies. Her feast is also observed by Italian Americans in the United States. More… Discuss

Saint of the Day, July 11, 2014: St. Benedict of Nursia


Saint of the Day

Image of St. Benedict of Nursia

St. Benedict of Nursia

St. Benedict, the Father of Western monasticism and brother of Scholastica, is considered the patron of speliologists (cave explorers). He was born in Nursia, Italy and educated in Rome. He was … continue reading

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today’s birthday: Nicolai Gedda (1925)


Nicolai Gedda (1925)

Gedda is a famed Swedish tenor known for his vocal control. He has made some 200 recordings and is said to be the most recorded tenor in history. In 1952, he made his debut at the Royal Swedish Opera and went on to collaborate with conductor Herbert von Karajan. Gedda then went to Italy and gained international fame, performing all over the world at venues such as the Paris Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. How did Gedda go from being a bank teller to a world-famous tenor? More… Discuss

Espresso Machine’s Out-of-This-World Launch


Espresso Machine’s Out-of-This-World Launch

Coffee lovers of the world—nay, universe—rejoice! You will now be able to get a decent cup of joe in space. After decades of drinking subpar java, astronauts will finally have access to real Italian espresso in orbit. Engineers partnered with coffee giant Lavazza to design an espresso machine suitable for use on the International Space Station (ISS). The 44-pound (20-kg) “ISSpresso” machine is set to launch early next year on a cargo ship bound for the ISS, where Samantha Cristoforetti, Italy‘s first female astronaut, will also serve as the first space barista. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Gioco del Ponte


Gioco del Ponte

The Gioco del Ponte, or “Battle for the Bridge,” in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy, goes back to the 13th century. Following a medieval procession, two teams in full medieval costume take part in a traditional competition which involves a reversal of the usual tug-of-war: about 20 or 30 men from each team line up behind a mechanism on rails and push. The first team to make a “goal” on the opposing side wins; the winner is determined by the best of six matches, or a draw match if both teams win three. More… Discuss

Saint of the Day June 25, 2014: St. William of Vercelli


Saint of the Day

Image of St. William of Vercelli

St. William of Vercelli

William of Vercelli, Saint 1085-1142. founder, born in Vercelli Italy he was brought up as an orphan became a hermit on Monte Vergine, Italy after a pilgrimage to Compostella and attracted so many … continue reading

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