Sunday, December 31, 2006

Papal Tombs and Monuments (1800-2005) Part VII

Pope St Pius X
His Eminence Giuseppe Melchiorre Cardinal Sarto, Cardinal Priest of San Bernardo alle Terme, Patriarch of Venice. Elected Bishop of Rome on 4 August 1903 in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, taking the name Pius X.

Pope Pius X died on 20 August 1914 in Rome. He was buried on 23 August in the Grottoes of the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica. He was beatified on 3 June 1951, and canonized on 29 May 1954 by Pope Pius XII. His mortal remains were transferred on 17 February 1952 to the altar of the Chapel of the Presentation of the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica.

The image above shows Pope St Pius X's original tomb in the Grottoes of the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica. The image below shows the current tomb in the Presentation Chapel of the same Basilica. The face and hands are covered with silver.

The monument to Pope St. Pius X was planned by the architect Florestano Di Fausto and carved by the sculptor Pietro Astorri in 1923.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Papal Tombs and Monuments (1800-2005) Part VI

Pope Leo XIII
His Eminence Gioacchino Vincenzo Cardinal Pecci, Cardinal Priest of San Crisogono, Bishop of Perugia with the title of Archbishop ad personam, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church. Elected Bishop of Rome on 20 February 1878 in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, taking the name Leo XIII.

Pope Leo XIII died on 20 July 1903 in Rome. He was buried on 25 July in the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica. On 22 October 1924 his mortal remains were transferred to the Patriarchal Lateran Basilica, where on 27 October he was buried.

The monument to Pope Leo XII is the work of Giulio Tadolini. It was funded by the Cardinals that Leo had created.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Papal Tombs and Monuments (1800-2005) Part V

Pope Pius IX

Pope Pius IX died on 7 February 1878 in Rome. He was buried on 13 February in the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica. His mortal remains were transferred on 13 July 1881 to the basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, Rome. He was beatified on 3 September 2000 by Pope John Paul II.
The image above shows the original tomb in San Lorenzo. The images below show how the tomb looks today, having being opened up following Pius IX's beatification in 2000.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Papal Tombs and Monuments (1800-2005) Part III

Pope Pius VIII

Pope Pius VIII died on 30 November 1830 in Rome. He was buried on 6 December in the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica. His remains were transferred on 5 June 1846 to the Grottoes of the same basilica.

The Monument to Pius VIII was created by Pietro Tenerani. It is in the Neoclassical style and shows the Pontiff kneeling; above him is the statue of Christ enthroned, and below, are the statues of Sts. Peter and Paul. On the base are the allegorical figures of Prudence and Justice. Through the door visible beneath the monuments is the entrance to the Basilica's Sacristy and Treasury Museum.

Urbi et Orbi 2006

Dear brothers and sisters, wherever you may be, may this message of joy and hope reach your ears: God became man in Jesus Christ, he was born of the Virgin Mary and today he is reborn in the Church. He brings to all the love of the Father in heaven. He is the Saviour of the world! Do not be afraid, open your hearts to him and receive him, so that his Kingdom of love and peace may become the common legacy of each man and woman. Happy Chrismas!

Papal Tombs and Monuments (1800-2005) Part II

Pope Leo XII

His Eminence Annibale Cardinal della Genga, Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria in Trastevere, former Bishop of Senigallia with the title of Archbishop ad personam, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Ecclesiastical Immunity, Vicar General of His Holiness for the City of Rome, Archpriest of the Patriarchal Liberian Basilica. Elected Bishop of Rome on 28 September 1823 in the Quirinal Apostolic Palace, taking the name Leo XII; crowned on 5 October.

Pope Leo XII died on 10 February 1829 in Rome. He was buried on 15 February in the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica. His remains were transferred on 5 December 1830 to the Grottoes of the same basilica to a location before the altar of St Leo the Great.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Wishing you a Happy and Holy Christmas

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Nativity with Saints Francis and Lawrence
(Stolen from the Oratory of San Lorenzo, Palermo, in October 1969)

Papal Tombs and Monuments (1800-2005) Part I

Pope Pius VII

His Eminence Gregorio Barnaba Cardinal Chiaramonti, O.S.B.Cas., Cardinal Priest of San Callisto, Bishop of Imola, was elected Bishop of Rome on 14 March 1800 in Venice, taking the name Pius VII, and was crowned on 21 March.

Pius VII died on 20 August 1823 in Rome. He was buried on 25 August in the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica. His monument in St Peter's is the work of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. It is the only sculpture in the Basilica that was executed by a Protestant.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


The third Sunday of Advent, so called from the first word of the Introit at Mass (Gaudete, i.e. Rejoice). The season of Advent originated as a fast of forty days in preparation for Christmas, commencing on the day after the feast of St. Martin (12 November), whence it was often called "St. Martin's Lent" - a name by which it was known as early as the fifth century. In the ninth century, the duration of Advent was reduced to four weeks, and by the twelfth century the fast had been replaced by simple abstinence. Notwithstanding all these modifications, however, Advent still preserved most of the characteristics of a penitential season, which made it a kind of counterpart to Lent, the middle (or third) Sunday corresponding with Laetare or Mid-Lent Sunday. On it, as on Laetare Sunday, rose-coloured vestments were allowed instead of purple (or black, as formerly).

(Adapted from The Catholic Encyclopedia).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Caption Competition III

You know, Piero, it's not all smoke and mirrors!
Your suggestions?
Come on, don't be shy!

Requiescat in Pace

The death occurred today of Salvatore Cardinal Pappalardo, former archbishop of Palermo. He was 88.

A Roman by birth, Pappalardo spent some time as a diplomat in Indonesia before being appointed President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the renowned training ground of most high level papal diplomats (a notable exception being the current Secretary of State!).

Pappalardo was translated to the see of Palermo in October 1970 and was appointed a Cardinal in March 1973, the same time as a certain Albino Luciani.

However it is for his strident opposition to the Mafia that Pappalardo will be best remembered. Speaking at the funeral of an assassinated police chief in 1982, the Cardinal famously suggested, borrowing his words from the Roman historian Sallust, "While in Rome they pondered what to do, the city of Saguntum was vanquished by enemies." He went on to add "Yet this time it is not Saguntum, but Palermo! Our poor Palermo!" The point was clear, the Italian government was not doing enough to root out the cancer of Cosa Nostra in Sicily.

Cardinals wear red as a symbol of their willingness to shed blood for the faith. While it never came to that point for Pappalardo he did have to endure police protection and armoured transport due to his outspokenness.

"His efforts against the Mafia, made amid risks and hostility ... were of deep value to the church and to all civil society," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi today told Italy's ANSA news agency.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Oh Dear!

A recent contribution by Joee Blogs which itself links to a posting by Fr Ray Blake says so much about what is wrong about the preoccupations of many of those who contribute to St Blog's Parish...and many others besides, I suggest.

Of course seeking the Truth is central to our earthly pilgrimage; but isn't there something written somewhere about the Truth and charity? Oh, yes, there is: in his Letter to the Ephesians, St Paul writes, “let us proclaim the truth in charity and grow to the full maturity of Christ the head” (4:15).

Look at these links and tell me where you can discover charity? For the life of me I can't.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Lovers of Futility!

'O men, how long will your hearts be hardened, will you love what is futile and seek what is false?'

With apologies to Fr Tim Finigan!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Caption Competition II

After enduring a particularly long Wednesday Audience, His Holiness repairs to the Vatican's new portable convenience.

Now here's my challenge:

1. Post your own caption.
2. Can anyone tell me what that thing is?

(With thanks to The American Papist for the image!)

Michael Collins

A story on the BBC today refers to the production by an American-based company, of a whiskey named after the Irish republican leader Michael Collins. It seems that the tipple was launched on St Patrick's Day but the issue is only just coming to the fore. A group of local politicians in Collin's home county of Cork have condemned the decision to name the drink after Collins as being 'in poor taste'. Better the decision than the whiskey I suppose!

Anyway, I thought it was a good excuse the upload an image of Collins lying in state. This famous painting is by Belfast-born artist, Sir John Lavery, and is entitled Love of Ireland.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Emperor and the Pope

On this day in 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of France. If you examine David's painting of this event you will notice the then Pope, Pius VII, sitting in the background. Some accounts indicate that the Pope was meant to crown Napoleon but at the appointed time the French general took the crown from the Pope's hands and crowned himself. More recently Frederick J Baumgartner suggests in his book, Behind Locked Doors, that the events that took place on that day were previously arranged. In any case, the Pope looks pretty glum!