Thursday, December 31, 2009
This is the parish church connected with "The Work of the Church," a 50-year old movement started by Mother Trinidad, originally from Dos Hermanas, near Seville, Spain. It was in the town of Dos Hermanas that devotion to Mary with the title of Our Lady of Valme originated. It is said that King Fernando III carried her statue into battle in 1248 and was successful in taking Seville back from the Moors.
The church is in a dense residential neighborhood of apartment buildings on the slope of the Portuense hill as it goes down toward the Tiber River.
Chiesa di Nuestra Signora di Vilme was built between 1992-1996 and designed by Ferdinando Sciamanna and Cinzia Spina. The liturgical space is a square under a massive coffered concrete ceiling with two expansive walls of glass for the absidal wall and the entrance of the church.
Spanish (Baroque) influence can be seen in the chandeliers as well as in details of the shrine behind the altar that contains a painted image of Our Lady of Vilme.
The Eucharistic Chapel (with Perpetual Adoration) is to the left of the sanctuary, behind a glass wall covered with iron gates in a style that matches the chandeliers.
Next door "The Work of the Church" has a villa that welcomes Bishops visiting the Vatican for their Ad Limina visits. These visits are required by Canon Law. It is the obligation of bishops to send a report on the status of their dioceses to the Vatican every five years, visit the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul and "appear before the Roman pontiff."
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The interior, which is a central plan, rather than a basilica plan, is dominated by a large suspended cross and some sort of historical image of the Virgin behind the altar. To the right, beyond the baptismal and through stained glass windows, is the Eucharistic Chapel.
The cross, hanging from an "industrial" ceiling, has a wrapped element near the bottom that probably alludes to the Resurrection.
The tabernacle makes a monumental statement in a space illuminated by light coming through polychromed stained glass windows designed by Costantino Ruggeri, a Franciscan priest.
Monday, December 28, 2009
For Christmas I received a book from Vincenzo that will be a source for many birdwalks in the months (and maybe even years!) ahead.
The volume was done in collaboration with the Italian Episcopal Conference and contains information about 226 churches built in the Diocese of Rome between World War II and 2005. The churches are organized by geographical region and each entry includes pictures to accompany a commentary that gives the name of the architect, date of construction and details about the building.
I am looking forward to new neighborhoods that will be discovered as I search out many of the churches in this book. Watch for reports about my 20th Century Church Birdwalking as I post them here on this blog.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
This gate opens to the south-west zone of the Palatine Hill. In this area are some of Rome's most ancient ruins, including Iron Age huts with burial grounds. (This could be the site of the caves of Romulus, Rome's legendary founder.) This part of the Palatine was also the site of the Temple of Magna Mater, dedicated to the religion of Cybele, brought to Rome in 204 BC during the 2nd Punic War.
Advent Prayer to Jesus
You are our eternal salvation,
The unfailing light of the world.
You are truly our redemption.
Grieving that the human race was perishing
through the tempter's power,
without leaving the heights
You came to the depths in your loving kindness.
Readily taking our humanity by Your gracious will,
You saved all earthly creatures, long since lost,
Restoring joy to the world.
Redeem our souls and bodies, O Christ,
and so possess us as Your shining dwellings.
By Your first coming, make us righteous;
At your second coming, set us free:
So that, when the world is filled with light
and you judge all things,
We may be clad in spotless robes
and follow in Your steps, O King,
Into the heavenly hall.
Unknown Author, 10th century
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
This is the entrance to the Non-Catholic Cemetery here in Rome, often called the Protestant Cemetery or English Cemetery. Among those buried in the cemetery are John Keats, the poet Shelly, Goethe's illegitimate son August, American architect William Rutherford Meade (of McKim, Meade & White), Richard Henry Dana, the author of Two Years Before the Mast, Antonio Gramsci, a founding father of European Communism, and many other people who were painters, sculptors, authors and diplomats.
O King of the Gentiles and the long-for Ruler of the nations, You are the cornerstone Who make all one. - Come and save those whom You have created.
O Emmanuel our King and our Lawgiver You are the Desired of the nations and the Savior of all men. - Come to save us, O Lord, our God!
From the Great "O Antiphons"
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
This gate is in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, built in the 6th century as a church for the Greek people of Rome. Today the church is used by the Melkite community, mainly Lebanese Catholics under the Byzantine Rite. (The Mass is celebrated in both Arabic and Greek.) The church is one of the main tourist attractions in Rome because of la Bocca della Verità, an ancient sculpture thought to be a drain covering, located in its portico. But for those who venture inside the basilica, there are beautiful mosaics and sculptures. (Among the former titular cardinals of the church is Reginald Cardinal Pole, the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury.)
Collect for the 4th Sunday in Advent
Pour forth thy power, O Lord, and come: Assist us by that mighty power, so that by thy grace and merciful kindness we may swiftly receive the salvation that our sins impede: Who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Monday, December 21, 2009
The Porta San Giovanni is a gate in the Aurelian Wall named after the nearby Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano. It is made up of a single grand arch built in 1574 by Giacomo della Porta for Pope Gregory XIII. The story is told that della Porta died at this gate in 1602 when he was coming back from Frascati in a coach with his patron, Cardinal Aldobrandini. His death was a result of violent indigestion brought on by melons and watermelons he ate while in the Casteli Romani.
Introit: Advent Four
Father, all-powerful God, your eternal Word took flesh on our earth when the Virgin Mary placed her life at the service of your plan. Lift our minds in watchful hope to hear the voice which announces his glory and open our minds to receive the Spirit who prepares us for his coming. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
From the Companion Missal
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Anglican Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Advent
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation,
that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a
mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
1979 Book of Common Prayer
Saturday, December 19, 2009
O Key of David and Royal Power of Israel, You open what no man can shut, and You shut what no man can open. - Come and deliver Your people imprisoned by darkness and the shadow of death
O Radiant Dawn You are the brightness of eternal light and the Sun of justice. - Come to enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
from the Great "O" Antiphons
Friday, December 18, 2009
OWisdom, Holy Word of God You rule all creation with power and true concern. - Come teach us the way of salvation.
O Sacred Lord and leader of ancient Israel You communicated with Moses at the burning bush and gave him the law on Mount Sinai - Come to set us free by Your mighty arm.
O Root of Jesse raised up as a sign of all peoples in Your presence kings become mute and the nations worship before You - Come to deliver us and do not delay.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
This farm gate is in the Caffarella Valley, located near the Aurelian Walls and between two ancient Roman roads, Via Appia and Via Latina, both leading to southern Italy. The farm, with a history that began in the 16th century, is within the city limits of Rome and is still active today. It is part of the 8,500 acre Parco Regionale dell' Appia Antica.
Lamb of God,
You once came to rid the world of sin;
cleanse me now from every stain of sin.
Lord, you came to save what was lost;
come once again with Your salvific power
so that those You redeemed will not be punished.
I have come to know You in faith;
may I have unending joy
when You come again in glory.
New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
People of hope
In this season of Advent, inspire us to be a people of hope.
Encourage us not to be greedy for material possessions, but for justice and truth.
Enflame us with a love for others, which crosses boundaries of race, religion and nationality.
Stir within us a desire to fight for the integrity of creation and appreciate the immense beauty of the earth.
Be with us, Lord, at this time, that we may be a people of hope. Amen.
© Susy Brouard/CAFOD
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Catholic Collect for the 3rd Sunday in Advent
We beseech thee to listen to our prayers, O Lord,
and by the grace of thy coming enlighten our darkened minds:
Thou who livest and reignest with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins,
let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver
us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and
the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The sculpted bees on the left and right of this gate identify it as part of the Palazzo Barbarini, built in the 17th century.
You are our eternal salvation, The unfailing light of the world. Light everlasting, You are truly our redemption. Grieving that the human race was perishing through the tempter's power, without leaving the heights You came to the depths in your loving kindness. Readily taking our humanity by Your gracious will, You saved all earthly creatures, long since lost, Restoring joy to the world. Redeem our souls and bodies, O Christ, and so possess us as Your shining dwellings. By Your first coming, make us righteous; At your second coming, set us free: So that, when the world is filled with light and you judge all things, We may be clad in spotless robes and follow in Your steps, O King, Into the heavenly hall.
Unknown Author, 10th Century
Friday, December 11, 2009
The Basilica San Marco was built in 336 by Pope Mark and rebuilt in 833 by Pope Gregory IV. It is located in the small Piazza di San Marco (adjoining Piazza Venezia) in the center of Rome. The current facade was built in 1466 with marbles taken from the Colosseum and the Theatre of Marcellus, and is attributed to Leone Battista Alberti.
Lamb of God, You once came to rid the world of sin; cleanse me now from every stain of sin. Lord, you came to save what was lost; come once again with Your salvific power so that those You redeemed will not be punished. I have come to know You in faith; may I have unending joy when You come again in glory.
New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The Porta Portese was built in 1644 as part of the Janiculum Walls commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, replacing the Porta Portuensis. The Via Portuense starts from it, which originally connected the city to Portus. A popular flea market is held every Sunday in the area of Porta Portese.
Advent Prayer for Hope
Lord Jesus Christ, who is, who was, and who is to come, we pray for the virtue of hope, that amidst the trials and difficulties of this world, we may keep our hearts fixed upon you, who reigns over the cosmos. May your grace enliven us, strengthen us, and defend us, as we await your coming in glory. Amen
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The Basilica of Santo Stefano Rotundo on the Celian Hill was built in the 5th century. Today it is part of the German College in Rome and is also the Hungarian National Church dedicated to Saint Stephen the Martyr and Saint Stephen of Hungary.
Father, in the wilderness of the Jordan you sent a messenger to prepare people's hearts for the coming of your Son. Help me to hear his words and repent of my sins, so that I may clearly see the way to walk, the truth to speak, and the life to live for Him, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Introit: Advent Two
Father in heaven, the day draws near when the glory of your Son will make radiant the night of the waiting world. May the lure of greed not impede us from the joy which moves the hearts of those who seek him. May the darkness not blind us to the vision of wisdom which fills the minds of those who find him. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.
From the Companion Missal
Monday, December 7, 2009
The Via Porta San Sebastiano is a quiet tree-shaded road, leading from the Baths of Caracalla to the "Appian Gate." The road itself was originally part of the Via Appia Antica and outside of the earliest Roman walls. In the 3rd century, the Aurelian Walls were built which incorporated this area into the city.
Collect for the 2nd Sunday of Advent
Stir up our hearts, O Lord,
to prepare the paths of thine Only-begotten Son:
that we may worthily serve thee
with hearts purified by His coming:
Who livest and reignest with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The Porta Ardeatina is one of the gates in the Aurelian Walls of Rome. It is between the Porta San Sebastiano (known originally as the Porta Appia) and the Porta San Paolo. By the 8th century this gate was closed. Today it is little more than a "window," with the portals of the Via Cristoforo Colombo nearby.
You can see the opening of the Porta Adreatina to the left of the four arches in the ancient wall that were opened for the traffic of the Via Cristoforo Colombo, a highway built by Mussolini from the Circus Maximus to the sea.
Anglican Collect for The Second Sunday of Advent
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to
preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our
Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen..
1979 Book of Common Prayer
Saturday, December 5, 2009
God our Father, you loved the world so much you gave your only Son to free us from the ancient power of sin and death. Help us who wait for his coming and lead us to true liberty. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Friday, December 4, 2009
Advent Prayer for Hope in Christ's Coming
All-powerful God, help us to look forward in hope to the coming of our Savior. May we live as he taught, ready to welcome him with burning love and faith. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Liturgy of the Hours, Fridays in Advent
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Advent Evening Hymn
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Introit: Advent One
Father in heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of his coming may find us rejoicing in his presence and welcoming the light of his truth. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.
From the Companion Missal