The Monastic Mirror


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Feast of Saint Scholastica

Today we celebrated the Feast of St. Scholastica.  Little is really known of this patron saint of "nuns" but as Fr. Michael so nicely put it this morning....she said a lot with the meaning of her actions more than the actions herself. It is this ideal of prayer, holy conversation and attaining a balance in the spiritual life that makes Scholastica so endearing to so many.  It is the simple things we do everyday that she did with grace.  Today we celebrated .....her life and our lives.

The Sisters from Korea sang a beautiful song about a flower in their homeland.  It was so gentle and pretty. 

Sr. Caritas (the second from the left) is my classmate and in my study group...

As with every party....we ate, drank, talked....and did it all over again...

To the left are my classmates (priests and brothers included) and the sisters doing what every household does at a party....congregate around the food.

I will attempt tomorrow to put a video on with the sisters of this community singing.  They have angelic voices and it was very touching.  Until then...may you be blessed today and everyday....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What a wonder....what finds...what a great tour.

This is the entrance of San Cecilia m Trastevere which we were able to visit yesterday.  The Benedictine Sisters from various parts of the world care for this wonderful place.

Did you know that St. Cecilia was not the first partron of music?  It was John the Baptist...when his father's mouth was opened at his birth he sang the Canticle and therefore he is the first Patron Saint of Music.

This is Sister Margaret a friend of Fr. Albain's who was so gracious to allow us into their beautiful home.  Sr. Margaret took us around the Basilica, crypt, and scavi of St. Cecilia with Sr. Cecilia who explained everything.  They were so hospitable that a mere "thank you" seems extremely inadequate.  I would say we had a 5 star tour.

The church today looks as it did in the eighteenth century with the cloistered convent to the right.
This is the main altar of the church which was built by Pope Paschal and houses the martyr's remains.

The beautiful art work is hard to portray in just a small photo on this blog...

The tops of the four post have sculptures of Cecilia, Cecilia's husband Valerian whom she converted, her brother in law and Paschal 

This is the beautiful mosaic apse that was done around 820.  It shows, Christ blessing, crowned by the hand of God, and at his sides: St. Paul, St. Cecilia and the Pope who paid for the church, carrying a model of it, and Sts Peter, Valerian and Agatha.  Below are the twelve lambs, surrounding the Lamb of God leaving the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. 

On the sides of this blog are pictures of the crypt, the first baptismal area, and the bath where they tried to kill St. Cecilia. 

 I hope you enjoy the pictures and have a great day.

St. Chrysogonus Basilicia

Yesterday, we went to a variety of places to see some of the oldest parish church, fresco's and sarcophagus's. 

To the left, is a fresco of St. Benedict healing the leper.  This fresco is the second oldest known of St. Benedict and to get to it we descended below the Basilica into the scavi that was also known to be the first parish church.

The original flooring of the parish church near the baptismal font that is semi-circular in nature.  This is remarkable when you think that this dates back to around the 2nd and 3rd century

This is the outside facade of Saint Chrysogonus. 

My next section will be on our visit to St. Cecilia's and the wonderful tour we had.