Friday, November 2, 2007

All Soul's Day

Cimitero Acattolico (the non-Catholic Cemetery of Rome)

This afternoon we stopped at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Wall to remember our beloved who have died. The Benedictine abbot of St Paul has pastoral care with ordinary power (like that of the diocesan bishops) over a part of Rome that includes our neighborhood of Garbatella. So, it was like stopping in at our local Cathedral.

Today I am especially remembering Madeleine l'Engle who died on September 6th. I first encountered Madeline as an author while reading "A Wrinkle in Time" in a drive from California to New York in 1979. I have enjoyed many of her books, both fiction and non-fiction. One of the last books my mother read, before her own death, was Madeline's "Glorious Impossibe," a reflection on events in the life of Christ with illustrations from Giotto's frescoes in the Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua. It is a book I have read over and over again. I got to personally know Madeline when we were at All Angels Church together in New York City. I have many memories of meals together in restaurants and her home during this time and the work we did together on the vestry of the parish. She was a treasured friend and wonderful "significant older person" in my life.

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