Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Miracle: Blood of Saint Januarius liquifies during Francis’s visit to Naples

News excerpt and photo from

The blood of St Januarius liquified in the presence of a pope for the first time since 1848 on Saturday.

The blood of the patron saint of Naples, which is normally solid, partially liquified after Pope Francis kissed the relic during his day trip to the southern Italian city.

According to AFP, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples showed the vial to the congregation in the city’s cathedral, saying: “The blood has half liquified, which shows that St Januarius loves our Pope and Naples.”

Pope Francis responded: “The bishop just announced that the blood half-liquified. We can see the saint only half loves us. We must all spread the word, so that he loves us more!”

The blood last liquified for a pope in the presence of Pius IX. The phenomenon did not occur when St John Paul II visited Naples in 1979 and Benedict XVI visited the city in 2007.

Read more: Saint Januarius Miracle

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Heartbroken Dog Attends Mass Daily

The photo and following excerpt is from

Every day when the bells ring out to mark the start of services at a church in Italy, Tommy is there. The German Shepherd used to attend mass with his owner Maria Margherita Lochi. Two months ago Lochi passed away and Tommy continues to attend mass without her, heartbroken and missing his companion.

When 57-year-old Lochi passed away, Tommy was there with the mourners at her funeral service. He continues to mourn and attends services every day. “He’s there every time I celebrate Mass and is very well behaved,” said Father Donato Panna. “He’s still coming to Mass even after Maria’s funeral, he waits patiently by the side of the altar and just sits there quietly.” Panna, who recently lost his own dog, can’t bear to turn Tommy away.

Read More: Tommy

Saturday, August 04, 2012

50 artists from Progetto Arte Poli give facelift to new churches

The following excerpt is from

For 60 years the Italian artist Albano Poli has been working to renew the aesthetics of Catholic churches as well as promoting meditation through art.

From his art gallery in Rome, he creates stained glass windows, mosaics and statues with a group of artists known as Progetto Arte Poli. It's a team of around 50 people located in Verona, Italy.

Assistant, Progetto Arte Poli
“Around 80 to 90 percent of our work is related to the Church. From sunrise to sunset, we are thinking about how to give a greater sense to the liturgy. We're also helping priests to deepen their celebration of the Eucharist at Sunday Mass, in every religious rite.”

Among the art pieces in the gallery, there is a giant mosaic of John Paul II that highlights his facial features. There's also this mosaic of the risen Christ made of marble in different planes.

This team of artists now has an international reputation for their work that has traveled to places like Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, France and most recently in Chile.

Assistant, Progetto Arte Poli

“We are doing important work in Coquimbo, Chile, which is the location of the tallest Cross in Latin America. It's the Cross of the Third Millennium, it's close to 300 feet tall and was created by Ramón Bravo. We were asked to make the bronze door to this great temple and bronze figure of the Blessed John Paul II.”

The Progetto Arte Poli was also responsible for the design of the vestments worn by priests at Mass.
Their work of precision art goes to show that many forms of artwork have a deeper meaning behind the beauty.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Communion of the Saints Gregorian Chant Communion of the Saints Gregorian Chant

The following excerpt is from the website of Institute of Christ the King:

Communion of the Saints Gregorian Chant was recorded in the seminary chapel near Florence, Italy by a large group of seminarians of the Institute of Christ the King. These young voices, the vast majority of whom are under thirty years of age, are formed to chant the timeless contemplative melodies of the traditional Roman Liturgy in the spirit of the great Chant masters of Solesmes. Hours of guided exercise in the fine technique of Chant are directed by Choirmaster, Reverend Canon Wulfran Lebocq.

This newly released CD includes the propers of various Masses of the saints, beautifully sung in the solemn tone.

Visit the following link for more information about the CD: Gregorian Chant

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Peace of Saint Francis of Assisi

This is a guest post by Kenji Crosland of TeachStreet.  TeachStreet is a website dedicated to providing online and local classes, as well as classes on religion.

I remember the first time I had visited Assisi Italy, the home of St. Francis in the Summer of 2003.  Before we had even entered the town where St. Francis preached, we witnessed the fields sweep by our bus windows, radiating gold in the sun.  It was no small wonder that it was in this place that St. Francis found his calling, forsook his father's wealth, and took a vow of poverty to pursue his devotion to God.

Golden Fields near Assisi in Umbria
Photo Source: Un Raggazo 

As we passed through the quiet cobblestone streets, we met the Franciscan monks who had, just like the founder of their order had done centuries ago, taken a vow of poverty and donned the brown robes.  I can still remember to this day how the monks had such an aura of peace about them.  Just being in there in that beautiful place was enough to feel divine peace, and through them it shined.

From the sunlight and the peace of the Assisi streets we entered into the Basilica of St. Clare where we saw the copy of crucifix of San Damiano.  Although only a copy of the original crucifix that had spoken to St. Francis with a mission from God, the feeling that the icon would speak to any of us there at any moment was palpable.

The San Damiano Cross

Also, equally impressive was the Basilica of St. Francis, with the walls adorned with frescoes from the master artist Giotto.  However, I was more impressed by the simple hedges that spelled the word "Pax" (Peace) in front of the Basilica.  Although St. Francis was a fierce follower of the Church, he recognized the value of peace and how it could bridge the gaps between faiths.  So important this was that the Franciscan order had made "Peace" part of the landscape as a reminder of what the Saint had striven for and what they should strive for as well.

Photo by: Sacred Destinations

Of the many places that one can make a pilgrimage, this is one of the most extraordinary. In Assisi you can feel the peace the simplicity and the faith of St. Francis everywhere you go. If you ever have a chance to visit Rome, be sure to plan a day trip to Assisi.  You won't regret it.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Muslim writer defends crucifixes in Italy

The following article appeared on the Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Young Muslim writer defends crucifixes in Italy

Rome, Italy, Nov 13, 2009 (CNA) - A young Muslim writer named Randa Ghazy has written an article entitled, “I, a Muslim, Defend the Crucifix,” in which she expresses her opposition to a ruling by the EU Human Rights Court that ordered all crucifixes be taken down in classrooms across Italy. The article will appear in the December edition of the magazine Mondo e Missione, a publication of the Pontifical Institute Missioni Estere.

“One of the most beautiful memories of my childhood and adolescence was of Father Bruno,” she writes. “I would often go to the oratory with my little brother and the sisters would treat us with great kindness and care.”

Ghazy recalls as well that “Father Bruno made us truly laugh. When it was time for Mass, my brother and I would run off to play ping pong and eat candy. Every day Father Bruno would ask us to stay with the other kids who were there in the church, which we embarrassingly declined to do.”

“One day, Father said to us, ‘Why don’t you come and say your prayers?’ And so we did. During Mass my brother and I slowly recited prayers from the Koran. So the crucifix, all the different kinds that I remember (from grade school to college) was always a symbol of security for me, a projection of the greatness of the heart of Christ, and in some way, of Father Bruno."

For this reason, Ghazy says, “I support and encourage every possible debate between Muslim and Christian citizens, all discussion about the secularity of the State, but with respect for the great models of humility that each one can find in his past and his experiences."

“I turn off the television so I don’t see the continuous verbal assaults, I remember Father Bruno and I smile, thinking about those two little Muslims who looked at each other in that beautiful church. I almost feel nostalgia for the 90s,” she writes.

The young Muslim writer was born in 1987 in the Italian region of Lombardy to Egyptian parents. She has written three books, the first when she was only 15, entitled, “Dreaming of Palestine.” The book is about the friendship shared by a group of young people in the occupied territories.

Her second book, “Bloody Trial,” was published in 2005. In 2007 she wrote, “Today I'm Not Going to Kill Anyone: Short Stories of a Young Muslim Who is Not a Terrorist.”

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