22 February 2010
Tom and I have been in Rome for about a week now, and have enjoyed the cooler weather and fewer crowds that wintertime has allotted us. Accomodations are also much cheaper--we've gotten away with a double room with private bathroom for $65/night, right next to the railway station. My thoughts have been running to the vast differences between the Holy Land and Rome, the de facto Christian capital, and it is consoling to be here in this place where everything has the mark of Christendom upon it. It feels like somewhat of a panacea for the possible complexes one might inherit from spending two and a half months in Israel.
Anyhow, these are thoughts that I'd like to develop when I have more time. For now, it's off to the Pantheon! Check back soon for more in-depth reflections on what it's been like overseas, as well as thoughts on Pope Benedict's Truth and Tolerance (in which he grapples with the question of world religions).
14 February 2010
A receptacle for such sacred objects as pieces of the true cross, short-ribs of the saints, the ears of Balaam's ass, the lung of the cock that called Peter to repentance and so forth. Reliquaries are commonly of metal, and provided with a lock to prevent the contents from coming out and performing miracles at unseasonable times. A feather from the wing of the Angel of the Annunciation once escaped during a sermon in Saint Peter's and so tickled the noses of the congregation that they woke and sneezed with great vehemence three times each. It is related in the "Gesta Sanctorum" that a sacristan in the Canterbury cathedral surprised the head of Saint Denis in the library. Reprimanded by its stern custodian, it explained that it was seeking a body of doctrine. This unseemly levity so raged the diocesan that the offender was publicly anathematized, thrown into the Stour and replaced by another head of Saint Denis, brought from Rome.