More on incense in depth, after my trip to Rome next week!
Archive for May, 2009
Closer to home for me is one of the epicenters of Catholic Eye Candy in Florida, St. Augustine. Founded in 1565 under Pedro Menendes de Aviles. Very early on, the settlers built the town cathedral there, only for it to be burnt to the ground by Sir Francis Drake in 1586. So after they rebuilt the cathedral a second time, it burned down yet again in 1599 by accident. The industrious St. Augustinians rebuilt it a third time in 1605. We can thank the Protestant Brits again for burning the cathedral down a third time (they were, if nothing else, persistent) in 1702. Finally in 1793, the cathedral which stands today was begun.
The Cathedral and Interior
Sir Francis Drake attacks St. Augustine (Dramatization)
Mission Nombre De Dios
The Timucua Natives
Florida was the land of the some of the first martyrs in the Americas, beginning with the first mission of Ponce de Leon in 1513. Not only did they have to brave the threats of the Timucua, but I’m sure they had to watch out for these guys every few steps!
Here is the resting site of Augustin Verot, former priest of the Archdiocese of Paris, later professor of the seminary in Baltimore, and first bishop of St. Augustine. Ask me some time about when his corpse exploded all over the mourners at his own funeral! (True story)
“The LORD called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name…I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”–Isaiah 49.
Pope Pius XII
Pope John Paul I
Pope John Paul II
Pope Benedict XVI
The term baldacchino may refer to either a cloth canopy used in eucharistic processions, or the architectual stylized canopy which is placed over the main altar of a church. It was once called “ciborium”, from the Greek kiborion (the globular seed-pod of the lotus, used as a drinking-cup) because of the similarity of its dome top to an inverted cup.
Though it certainly enhances the impressive design of an altar, its meaning is much deeper. We have all heard the scriptures which call the Church the Bride of Christ. The baldacchino reminds us that Christ and the Church are united as bride and groom. The Jews have a custom at weddings where the bridal couple is wed underneath a silk canopy, called a chuppa, signifying their union as one. This same canopy hangs over the altar at Mass. Here the bridegroom, who is Christ, performs his spousal duty for his bride the Church. This is why the priesthood has a spousal meaning.
“All the glory of the king’s daughter is within in golden borders, clothed round about with varieties.After her shall virgins be brought to the king: her neighbours shall be brought to thee. They shall be brought with gladness and rejoicing: they shall be brought into the temple of the king.”–Ps. 44 : 14-16
An adorned chuppah
Etymologically, the word biretta is Italian in origin and would more correctly be written beretta. It probably comes from birrus, a rough cloak with a hood, from the Greek pyrros, flame-coloured, and the birretum may originally have meant the hood.Even at the present day birettas vary considerably in shape. Those worn by the French, German, and Spanish clergy as a rule have four peaks instead of three; while Roman custom prescribes that a cardinal’s biretta should have no tassel. As regards usage in wearing the biretta, the reader must be referred for details to some of the works mentioned in the bibliography. It may be said in general that the biretta is worn in processions and when seated, as also when the priest is performing any act of jurisdiction, e.g. reconciling a convert. It was formerly the rule that a priest should always wear it in giving absolution in confession, and it is probable that the ancient usage which requires an English judge assume the “black cap” in pronouncing sentence of death is of identical origin.