Archive for January, 2010

Christian Treasure Hoards of Europe:

January 31, 2010

From the Treasure of Gourdon; lost around 524, recovered in 1845. The hoard features a chalice and paten in Merovingian style:

The Chalice of Ardagh; lost between 8th and 9th centuries, discovered in 1868. Beaten silver, gold, copper and semiprecious crystal:

From the Treasure of Guarrazar; Date lost unknown, discovered 1858. The votive-crown of King Reccesuinth, by which he offered the Church a token of his orthodoxy:

Church > State

January 29, 2010

Just an interesting observation. It is customary for bishops to wear simple damask mitres while in the presence of the Pope:

In the presence of a monarch, however, no chance. Take that, kaiser! *Update* (Yes, I know it’s Bl. Karl. This doesn’t change the observation just because he is a blessed; So don’t make a big deal out of it all of you who are writing in)

Closer Look: Ecclesiastical Rings, Part 2:

January 28, 2010

A repeat from last time, but I like the image:

A ring of Paul II:

Go Into the Whole World…

January 27, 2010

“Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature”–Mark 16:16.

Get ready for a new set. The best Catholic images of the entire world, by continent!

La Salute, Venice:

January 27, 2010

The magnificent Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute! Construction began in the 1630s when Venice was suffering an incurable plague. The republic would dedicate the new church to Mary for her protection, as she was always the great patroness of Venice. While its exterior is clearly Baroque, the Byzantine interior reflects the 17th century’s “image” of Venice as a place for the exotic.

The Cathedra

January 23, 2010

In the Ancient world, the traditional posture of teaching was to sit, while the traditional posture of learning was to stand. Yet in academics today, we see the posture has been reversed, as has much of Western tradition as a whole. Modernity despises tradition, and posture means something. At every sacred and meaningful event in life, posture is important. A man bends on one knee in supplication to his future wife at the proposal, a congregation stands at the reading of the Gospel and kneels at the Consecration, we hold our hands over our hearts at the sound of a national anthem. It is interesting to note how many traditional postures have remained more or less unaffected, but the teacher-student posture has been reversed. Is this a sign of the pride of Modernity, hubris, or arrogance?

The Greek Παιδαγωγος teaches a youth:

Early depiction of Christus Magister:

Yet this ancient image of the sitting teacher remains intact in the symbology of Church architecture. As Christ is our teacher and master, and the bishop is possessed of the fullness of Christ’s ministry, the bishop ought also to be our teacher. This is why every cathedral has a cathedra (Lat. “chair”) from which he teaches with the authority and wisdom of the Church.

Papal Tiaras, Finally:

January 21, 2010

We had to mention them at some point didn’t we? And I am in a good mood, so for your approval,

Papal Tiara


And Im obligated to show you this hideous piece which lies in state in the crypt of the National Shrine.

I doubt we’ll ever see one in use again. I’m sorry to say it. If any future popes out there are reading this, don’t be afraid to try one on. It’s your right.


January 18, 2010

Blogging has been light the past few weeks for two reasons:

Cliff has been busy reorganizing and beginning his new job at Catholic Charities for the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Dan will be taking time off from the blog for a while to devote more time to his priestly studies. He is still on the payroll though. Let’s pray for Dan as he continues to hit the books.

New Posts coming later this week!

In Haiti, Before and After:

January 16, 2010

In Haiti the suffering already present was made even more prevalent after this great disaster. The Archbishop of Port-Au-Prince is dead, seminarians and priests are among the victims and the dead. Let us pray for the people of the island of Hispaniola.

San Pietro in Vincoli

January 11, 2010

“And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shined in the room. And he, striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him: Gird yourself and put on your sandals. And he did so. And he said to him: Cast your garment about you and follow me, and going out, he followed him. And he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision. 10 And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city which of itself opened to them. And going out, they passed on through one street. And immediately the angel departed from him.” –Acts 12.

St. Peter in Chains is unremarkable on the outside. On the inside, however, it contains a great treasure. The chains from two of St. Peter’s imprisonments. They fused together miraculously when Leo the Great held them together. Oh, and Michelangelo’s masterpiece (he was a sculptor, not a painter) the tomb of Julius II.


It was originally designed to be about 2/3 bigger. Still it is one heck of a tomb.

This is the guy who build St. Peter’s basilica more or less. You can thank him in the hereafter.