Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
This 17th century fresco of St. Michael the Archangel is above the sanctuary on the left wall in the Oratory of Saint Francis Xavier del Caravita, close to the Pantheon and the Via del Corso in the center of Rome.
The traditional prayer to St. Michael:
In honor of this angelic feast, here are some of the Bernini designed angels on the Ponte Sant' Angelo.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
The Bambino receives letters from all over the world. There are baskets of them on both sides of his private altar. After a certain time they are burned, without being opened.
Here is a 16th century sculpture of the chubby Pope Leo X (1475-1521) located outside the chapel of the Bambino. (He is the pope who sold indulgences to finance the building of St. Peter's Basilica.)
Saturday, September 19, 2009
This last week I had the occasion to visit the Roman Children's Hospital of Bambino Gesù. One of my students was being treated for a stomach infection.
Bambino Gesù was founded in 1869, as the first children’s Hospital in Italy, by the Salviati family, at a time when children were not given any special medical consideration and were often sharing beds with adult patients. Other families of the city joined in to support the hospital, allowing it to grow from 12 beds in the center of Rome to its current location on the Janiculum Hill.
In 1924 the Salviati family decided to donate Bambino Gesù to the Holy See to ensure the future of the hospital. New buildings were created with additional operating rooms and outpatient clinics. In the 1960's, with the help of donations from the American Catholic bishops, the hospital underwent substantial rennovation.
Today the hospital has 800 beds and has an international reputation for excellent treatment and children's health research.
Here are some architectural details of the hospital environment, including a terra cotta Madonna and Child at the entrance to the John Paul II Pavilion.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Commodilla is an unknown Christian matron, on whose property were buried Saints Felix and Adauctus, martyred during the persecution of Diocletian.
This 4th century frescoe was dicovered in 1953 on the ceiling of an underground corner of the Catacombs of Commodilla. It is of Jesus the Alpha and Omega and is the earliest representation of Christ with a beard. Before this time Jesus was usually depicted as a young beardless man. (Image is from www.religionfacts.com.)