Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Advent Calendar: Roman Door 17

Front door of the Church of St. Francis Xavier del Caravita. This is where my faith community gathers each Sunday morning (except August) for Eucharist. Caravita welcomes pilgrims from all faiths and all walks of life and on any Sunday, you can find an eclectic, international group of English–speaking people from the far corners of the world.

Caravita was built between 1618 and 1633 as an oratory for the Jesuit Colegio Romano. and was completely rebuilt, between 1670 and 1677, by Giovanni Antonio de’ Rossi.  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart preformed at Caravita in 1770 when he was a teenager. During the 17th and 18th centuries the church served as a center for lay ministry with particular attention to caring for the sick, the homeless and the imprisoned. Today, that tradition continues with the Jesuit Centro Astalli whose offices are located on the lower level of this church - a center of welcome and assistance for refugees and immigrants.

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

"The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord." Isaiah 11:2-3
"[...] he is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in wisdom." Isaiah 28:29

The "O Antiphons" are antiphons used at vespers in the evenings of the last days of Advent. The origin is unknown, but by the 8th century they were in use in Rome. For the final days of Advent, this calendar will include the "O Antiphon" appointed for the day. The Latin text is from the Breviarium Romanum and the English text is from the Church of England's Common Worship. Biblical quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version.

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