Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Conversion, Penance, Confession, Forgiveness, Reconciliation

Michel Marigny (1795-1849)
Saint Jean Nepomucène martyr du secret de la confession (esquisse)
Saint John Nepomucene, Martyr of the Secret of the Confession (esquisse)
Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Petit  Palais, Paris

Johann Michael Fischer 1692-1766 and Johann Schmuzer 1642-1701
Benedictine Abbey Church 
Ottobeuren, Bavaria

Adolf Seel (1829-1907) 
The Confession 
Oil on canvas 
94 x 77 cm 
Private collection

Louis d'Anthoine (1814-1852)
Confession du Giaour 
Confession of the Giaour
Oil on canvas
128 x 165 cm
Musée des beaux-arts, Nantes

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres 1780  - 1867 
La Confession publique à Saint-Pierre de Rome 
Public confession in St Peter`s, Rome
1814 - 1820
19.3 x  19.2 cm
Musée Ingres, Montauban

At one time Confession and the Confessional were two of the hallmarks of Catholicism and being a Catholic

The above images record that fact

St. John Nepomucene (about 1340 - 20 March 1393) is the Czech martyr saint hailed as the first martyr of the Seal of the Confessional and  a patron against calumnies 

He refused the order of the Czech King Wenceslas IV to divulge the confessional secrets of the Czech Queen. He was put to death for this stand

The Bavarian baroque church illustrates the importance of the place where the Confession or Sacrament is to take place. Reconciliation takes place within the locus of the Church or Church building. It is a permanent fixture protected by the Church

Both images underline the inviolability and impregnability of the Christian conscience properly formed
It symbolises man in his examination of conscience before God. If this is not be unassailable, what is ? What would then be the content of a civil right to the freedom of religion and of conscience ?

That is why the Irish Government`s proposal to compel priests to break the seal is so obnoxious

Seel was part of the Düsseldorf School of Painting a school which was distinguished by its religious and allegorical themes

The painting exudes a rather mysterious air as well as the hesitancy of the penitent. The troubled conscience - will there be Reconciliation ?

"The Giaour" is a poem by Lord Byron first published in 1813 

In the painting, the Giaour (a Turkish word for an infidel or nonbeliever)  is on his deathbed and is being confessed by  monk who is pointing to the sky. It is the last confession before death, an attempt at reconciliation with God in extremis

As a historical record Ingres` drawing is interesting. The drawing was executed while the artist was in Rome and was one of the sketches leading up to his painting on the theme of The Sistine Chapel

It seems to be based on real life, on one Good Friday, the day of the Crucifixion, the Great Sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.  The annotation reads:
à st Pierre le vendredi saint le Cardinal / de Gregorio grand penitencier confesse un / individu publiquement 
This may have been Cardinal Emanuele de Gregorio whose image is here

The sacrament does not have one name but at least five
Conversion, Penance, Confession, Forgiveness, Reconciliation.
All these names correspond to different elements of the Sacrament

Many myths and errors abound about this sacrament especially among non-Catholics. The same errors and more are also evident amongst Catholics too

The Catechism states:
1441 Only God forgives sins. Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of himself, "The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" and exercises this divine power: "Your sins are forgiven." Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name.... 
1442 Christ has willed that in her prayer and life and action his whole Church should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that he acquired for us at the price of his blood. But he entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the "ministry of reconciliation." The apostle is sent out "on behalf of Christ" with "God making his appeal" through him and pleading: "Be reconciled to God." ... 
1448 Beneath the changes in discipline and celebration that this sacrament has undergone over the centuries, the same fundamental structure is to be discerned. It comprises two equally essential elements: on the one hand, the acts of the man who undergoes conversion through the action of the Holy Spirit: namely, contrition, confession, and satisfaction; on the other, God's action through the intervention of the Church. the Church, who through the bishop and his priests forgives sins in the name of Jesus Christ and determines the manner of satisfaction, also prays for the sinner and does penance with him. Thus the sinner is healed and re-established in ecclesial communion. 
1449 The formula of absolution used in the Latin Church expresses the essential elements of this sacrament: the Father of mercies is the source of all forgiveness. He effects the reconciliation of sinners through the Passover of his Son and the gift of his Spirit, through the prayer and ministry of the Church

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Old Nick at 500

Antonio Maria Crespi, called  Il Bustino (attributed) (c. 1580 - 1630)
Portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli 
c. 1613 -1621
Oil on canvas
60 x 51 cm 
Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Pinacoteca  Milan

He looks like a weasel. He was. 

But Florence is this year celebrating the 500th anniversary of Machiavelli's writing of The Prince, the political treatise which argues that the pursuit of power can justify the use of immoral means

When the Medici family returned to power in Florence in 1512, Machiavelli was removed from his post in the city's chancery because of his association with the head of a rival faction. 

His name was then linked with a conspiracy to overthrow the Medici. 

They imprisoned, tortured and later released him and placed under house arrest outside the city

Machiavelli then wrote The Prince in the hope of regaining the approval of the Medicis. He dedicated it to Cardinal Giuliano dei Medici, the brother of Pope Leo X and later to be Pope Clement VII see portrait below

Sebastiano del Piombo (c. 1485 – June 21, 1547)
Portrait of  Clement VII 
Oil on canvas
145 x 100 cm 
Museo di Capodimonte, Naples

It is not known if either Leo or Clement read the work but if they did it did neither any good and more importantly for the Church. Their pontificates were disasters in all senses and all ways. 

Cary Nederman in "Niccolò Machiavelli", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2009 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), writes of the doctrines of Machiavelli:
"For many, his teaching adopts the stance of immoralism or, at least, amoralism.  
The most extreme versions of this reading find Machiavelli to be a “teacher of evil,” in the famous words of Leo Strauss (1958) on the grounds that he counsels leaders to avoid the common values of justice, mercy, temperance, wisdom, and love of their people in preference to the use of cruelty, violence, fear, and deception.  
A more moderate school of thought, associated with the name of Benedetto Croce (1925), views Machiavelli as simply a “realist” or a “pragmatist” advocating the suspension of commonplace ethics in matters of politics. Moral values have no place in the sorts of decisions that political leaders must make, and it is a category error of the gravest sort to think otherwise.  
Weaker still is the claim pioneered by Ernst Cassirer (1946) that Machiavelli simply adopts the stance of a scientist—a kind of “Galileo of politics”—in distinguishing between the “facts” of political life and the “values” of moral judgment.  
Thus, Machiavelli lays claim to the mantle of the founder of “modern” political science, in contrast with Aristotle's classical norm-laden vision of a political science of virtue.  
Perhaps the mildest version of the amoral hypothesis has been proposed by Quentin Skinner (1978), who claims that the ruler's commission of acts deemed vicious by convention is a “last best” option. Concentrating on the claim in The Prince that a head of state ought to do good if he can, but must be prepared to commit evil if he must (Machiavelli 1965, 58), Skinner argues that Machiavelli prefers conformity to moral virtue ceteris paribus."
Leo Strauss in 1987 said of his doctrines:
""Machiavelli is the only political thinker whose name has come into common use for designating a kind of politics, which exists and will continue to exist independently of his influence, a politics guided exclusively by considerations of expediency, which uses all means, fair or foul, iron or poison, for achieving its ends - its end being the aggrandizement of one's country or fatherland - but also using the fatherland in the service of the self-aggrandizement of the politician or statesman or one's party." 
Strauss, Leo (1987), "Niccolo Machiavelli", in Strauss, Leo; Cropsey, Joseph, History of Political Philosophy (3rd ed.), University of Chicago Press

Cardinal Reginald  Pole reported that The Prince was spoken of highly by Thomas Cromwell in England and had influenced Henry VIII in his turn towards Protestantism, and in his tactics, for example during the Pilgrimage of Grace

Italian-American mobsters  John Gotti and Roy DeMeo would regularly quote The Prince and consider it to be the "Mafia Bible".

Nowadays of course the guide for modern politicians is Robert A Caro`s magisterial biography of President Lyndon B Johnson

Volume 4 of the five volumes was published last year The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson  

The author has said of his work that his volumes are "about America in the second half of the 20th century and how political power changed. It's about the workings of political power."

One of the figures singled out for "praise" in The Prince is Cesare Borgia, the son of the Borgia pope, Alexander VI and brother of Lucretia Borgia see portrait below

Altobello Melone (c . 1490-1491 – before 3 May 1543)
Portrait of a Gentleman (Cesare Borgia) 
Oil on canvas
58,1 x 48,2 cm 
Accademia Carrara, Bergamo

Alexander carved out for Cesare a state of his own in northern Romagna and Marche. In his terms Cesare was successful

According to Machiavelli in Chapter 7, he was a risk taker and example of "criminal virtue." who was a master politician who secured his powerbase and thrived. Again Machiavelli attributes his failure in the end because of one mistake: he was naive to trust a new Pope

Paul VI refuted this directly in his Discourse for Ash Wednesday 1977
"Quid hoc ad aeternitatem? insegna Sant’Ignazio. A cosa serve questo per l’eternità? Il metro della nostra considerazione, del nostro giudizio dovrebbe essere proprio questo. In proposito, il Papa richiama alla memoria la figura del Principe di Machiavelli. Questo famoso personaggio aveva tutto pensato, tutto provveduto, tutto calcolato, eccetto una cosa, che doveva morire. E la sua vita fu, come si sa, rapidamente stroncata, e tutto il grande disegno di creare una forza politica ed una espressione nazionale fuori della storia, fuori del tempo andò in fumo 
Quid hoc aeternitatem? St Ignatius teaches. What is this for eternity? Our judgment, our opinion should be just that. In this regard, the Pope recalled the figure of Machiavelli's Prince. This famous character had thought it all, done it all, calculated it all, except for one thing, which was that he had to die. And his life was, as you know, quickly cut off, and  the great idea to create a political force and a national expression outside of history, outside of time went up in smoke."

Pope Paul VI had again taken this view head on in a Discourse on Time to celebrate the New Year and Decade on 31st December 1969

He called the New Year a  reminder to Man that the progress of Time is remorseless and unstoppable

Citing Dante`s Purgatory, he reminded his audience that the day which they thought would never dawn and did not want to come does eventually arrive

Citing Chapter 7 of The Prince, he said:
"Questa meditazione, sì, è conturbante se si pone mente alla sua oscurità e alla sua fatalità, riferite alla nostra vita personale, al nostro destino, alla nostra sorte, che nel tempo trova la sua fortuna e la sua rovina (cfr. MACHIAVELLI, c. VII, circa il suo Principe, che a tutto aveva pensato, fuorché al caso ch’egli doveva inaspettatamente morire)."
The Prince who made every calculation possible to attain and hold on to power forgot one thing - he would die when he did not expect to

He then went on to refer to Luke 12 and in particular the parable of the Rich Man
"Then he told them a parable. "There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.  
17 He asked himself, 'What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?'  
18 And he said, 'This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods  
19 and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!"  
20 But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?'  
21 Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God."  
22 He said to (his) disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear.  
23 For life is more than food and the body more than clothing.  
24 Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds!  
25 Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your lifespan? "

The Ascension

Vittorio Manini (1888 - 1974)
Ascensione di Gesù Cristo
The Ascension of Jesus Christ
Oil on canvas
49.5 x 38.5 cm
The Archdiocese of Lombardy, Italy

Manini`s work is one of a cycle of the Mysteries of the Rosary. In this case the second Glorious Mystery: The Ascension. (Fruit of the Mystery: Hope and desire for ascension to Heaven)

Outside the Diocese of Bergamo, Manini`s religious work is probably virtually unknown

However he executed many religious works for churches in the archdiocese of Bergamo alongside the brothers Taragni. This is one

In 1902, his mother was widowed with many children. However she always had great faith in his artistic ability and encouraged it. Rather than sending him out to work to support the family, he went to study art at the Accademia Carrara di Bergamo

He thrived there under the tutelage of Ponziano Loverini

In 1910 he won the Piazzoni prize along with Giovanni Marini

The Ascension is certainly a mystery as Pope Francis recently observed in one of his catecheses on the Creed.

"Jesus’ Ascension took place concretely on the Mount of Olives, close to the place where he withdrew in prayer before the Passion to remain in profound union with the Father: once again we see that prayer gives us the grace to live faithful to God’s plan. 
At the end of his Gospel, Saint Luke recounts the event of the Ascension in a very synthetic way. 
Jesus leads his disciples “out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. They worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God” (Luke 24:50-53). So says Saint Luke.  
I would like to note two elements of the account.  
First of all, during the Ascension, Jesus carries out the priestly gesture of blessing and the disciples certainly express their faith with their prostration, kneeling and bowing their head. This is an important first point: Jesus is the one and eternal Priest who, with his Passion, went through death and the sepulchre and rose and ascended to Heaven; he is beside God the Father, where he intercedes forever in our favour (cf. Hebrews 9:24) ... 
A second element: Saint Luke says that the Apostles, after seeing Jesus go up to Heaven, returned to Jerusalem “with great joy.” This seems somewhat strange to us.  
In general, when we are separated from our relatives, our friends, for a definitive departure and above all because of death, there is a natural sadness in us, because we will no longer see their face, we will no longer hear their voice, we will no longer be able to enjoy their affection, their presence. Instead, the evangelist stresses the profound joy of the Apostles. 
But how is this possible? Precisely because, with the look of faith, they understood that, although removed from their eyes, Jesus always stays with them, He does not abandon them and, in the glory of the Father, He sustains them, guides them and intercedes for them"

The account in Luke is repeated by Luke at the beginning of Acts to stress the importance of the event

But there are differences

He records His last words on earth. His last recorded words are:
"It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. 
But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

The Catechism Part I, Section 2, Article 6 (paras 659-664) in its commentary shows how an artist`s depiction of this mysterious event must be one of the most difficult in religious art

"Jesus Christ, the one priest of the new and eternal Covenant, "entered, not into a sanctuary made by human hands. . . but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf."  
There Christ permanently exercises his priesthood, for he "always lives to make intercession" for "those who draw near to God through him".  
As "high priest of the good things to come" he is the centre and the principal actor of the liturgy that honours the Father in heaven. 
663 Henceforth Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father: "By 'the Father's right hand' we understand the glory and honour of divinity, where he who exists as Son of God before all ages, indeed as God, of one being with the Father, is seated bodily after he became incarnate and his flesh was glorified." 
664 Being seated at the Father's right hand signifies the inauguration of the Messiah's kingdom, the fulfilment of the prophet Daniel's vision concerning the Son of man: "To him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." 
After this event the apostles became witnesses of the "kingdom [that] will have no end"
It presupposes we know what Heaven, eternal life, eternity, God, the Kingdom of God are

It is perhaps not surprising that the iconography for The Ascension  has overlap and similarities with iconography for The Transfiguration, the Resurrection, the post Resurrection appearances, Pentecost and The Assumption

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Good Shepherd

Giovanni Battista Galizzi 1882 - 1963
The Good Shepherd
From the Monumental tomb of Monsignor Noli
190 x 115 cm
Chiesa di S. Anna, Bergamo 

Galizzi was born, bred and died in Bergamo

He studied art at the Carrara and won prizes at the Brera

A symbolist, he executed many religious art works which are in many churches in the Bergamo area and further afield in Italy

An accomplished draughtsman he was also commissioned to do illustrations for books such as The life and death of John Falstaff for Dent and Sons, and more importantly later on the illustrations for a special centenary edition of I promessi sposi 

The Church of Sant`Anna, a beautiful church in Bergamo, contains a number of other religious works by him such as the Via Crucis

Mons Alessandro Noli  was the first provost of the church. He was the pastor there for more than 50 years. It had been thought that to commemorate Mons Noli, a priest of dedication and sanctity, that there should be a Pietà but the then Bishop of Bergamo, decided on the Parable of the Good Shepherd. 

There is of course no higher praise that a bishop can give one of his priests

Incidentally the remains of Mons Noli are not in the tomb. They still remain in the cemetery of Caravaggio

The image is of course Christ and the soul which He has saved. An ancient image which goes back to early Christian times

Galizzi`s Shepherd looks a bit of a simple plain straight forward sort of guy. What you see is what you get. Dependable. Direct. No side. If you were lost on the moors that is who you would want to see striding towards you to rescue you. Not stupid by any means. He knows the territory, waste ground where no cattle graze or people live. Just him and his sheep. (Now of course they are surrounded by windfarms)  

Sheep is his business and his life. If you ever have met real shepherds, you know what I mean.

However the sheep are stupid and rather helpless. Just like sheep. They need constant attention and vigilance. A solitary sheep can not survive for long.

The theme of the painting is based on  John 10, 1 - 21.

We are more used to shortened versions at Mass. 

The full version of Christ`s words are perhaps not so well known.

The reaction of the first listeners of Christ`s words was total incredulity and disbelief. They thought he was mad and/or bad

The Good Shepherd.  
1 “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.  
2 But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.  
3 The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  
4 When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,because they recognize his voice.  
5 But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”  
6 Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.  
7 So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep.  
8 All who came [before me] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  
9 I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.  
10 A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.  
11 I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 
12 A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. 
13 This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.  
14 I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me,  
15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. 
16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. 
17 This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.This command I have received from my Father.” 
19 Again there was a division among the Jews because of these words. 
20 Many of them said, “He is possessed and out of his mind; why listen to him?” 
21 Others said, “These are not the words of one possessed; surely a demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”
Later Christ repeats the figure of speech that he is the Good Shepherd - in Jerusalem at the Feast of the Dedication (John 10, 22 - 42). It becomes his statement of who he is and what his mission is.It is literally a revelation, revealed truth
Feast of the Dedication.  
22 The feast of the Dedication was then taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter. 
23 And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.  
24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”  
25 Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.  
26 But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. 
27 My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  
28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.  
29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. 
30 The Father and I are one.” 
31 The Jews again picked up rocks to stone him.  
32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?”  
33 The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.”

On Vocations Sunday, preaching on this section of the Gospel,  Pope Francis said that this chapter of John contained "Jesus’ entire message, the core of His Gospel". It is perhaps a pity that the first part of the chapter was omitted on the Sunday

He said:
"Fourth Sunday of Easter is characterized by the Gospel of the Good Shepherd - in the tenth chapter of St. John – which we read every year.  
Today’s passage contains these words of Jesus: 
" My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one"(10.27 to 30).
These four verses contain Jesus’ entire message, the core of His Gospel: He calls us to participate in His relationship with the Father, and this is eternal life. 
Jesus wants to establish a relationship with his friends that is a reflection of His relationship with the Father, a relationship of mutual belonging in full trust, in intimate communion.  
To express this deep understanding, this relationship of friendship Jesus uses the image of the shepherd with his sheep: he calls them, and they know his voice, they respond to his call and follow him.  
How beautiful this parable is! The mystery of the voice is suggestive: from our mother's womb we learn to recognize her voice and that of our father, from the tone of a voice we perceive love or disdain, affection or coldness.  
The voice of Jesus is unique! If we learn to distinguish it, He guides us on the path of life, a path that goes beyond the abyss of death. 
But at a certain point Jesus, referring to his sheep, says: "My Father, who has given them to me..." (Jn 10,29). This is very important, it is a profound mystery, that is not easy to understand: 
 If I feel attracted to Jesus, if his voice warms my heart, it is thanks to God the Father, who has put in me the desire of love, of truth, life, beauty ... and Jesus is all this to the full! This helps us to understand the mystery of vocation, particularly the call to a special consecration."

And in today`s homily at in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta with staff and journalists from the Vatican Press Office the Pope continued the theme of the Good Shepherd. Instead of the latter section of the Chapter used in Sunday`s Mass, the emphasis was on the first half of the Chapter. Christ is the gatekeeper of the sheep fold and we are his flock

Here is the report from Vatican Radio. He did not mince his words even at the risk of being called "a fundamentalist" 

He spoke against the thieves and robbers who try to enter the sheep fold. The message is simple not complex, perhaps deceptively simple and easy to not totally comprehend or to become distracted by other things. 

Christianity is not an intellectual sport or discipline. Any perceived complexity derives from self-delusion or self aggrandisement, the exaltation of the Self over God. Pride. The archetypal wolf in sheep`s clothing. Easy to spot in others but less in ourselves.
"In Monday’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that whoever does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, is not a shepherd, but a thief and a robber.  
In short, said Pope Francis, someone who seeks to profit for themselves, who only wants to climb the social ladder. The only gate to the Kingdom of God, to the Church - the Pope said - is Jesus Himself:
"These social climbers exist even in the Christian communities, no? those people who are looking for their own... and consciously or unconsciously pretend to enter but are thieves and robbers.  
Why? Why steal the glory from Jesus? They want glory for themselves and this is what [Jesus] said to the Pharisees: You seek for each other's approval...'. That’s something of a ‘commercial’ religion, don’t you think? I give glory to you and you give glory to me. But these people did not enter through the true gate.  
The [true] gate is Jesus and those who do not enter by this gate are mistaken. 
How do I know that Jesus is the true gate? How do I know that this gate is Jesus’s gate? It’s enough to take the Beatitudes and do what the Beatitudes say. Be humble, poor, gentle, just ... ".

Pope Francis continued, noting that Jesus is not only the gate, he is also the way, the path to follow on our journey. He said there are many paths that we can follow, some perhaps more advantageous than others in getting ahead, but they are “misleading, they are not real: they are false. The only path is Jesus ": 
"Some of you may say: 'Father, you're a fundamentalist!'. No, simply put, this is what Jesus said : 'I am the gate', 'I am the path’ [He] gives life to us. Simple. It is a beautiful gate, a gate of love, it is a gate that does not deceive, it is not false. It always tells the truth. But with tenderness and love.  
However, we still have […] the source of original sin within us, is not it so? We still desire to possess the key to interpreting everything, the key and the power to find our own path, whatever it is, to find our own gate, whatever it is. "
"Sometimes - the Pope said - we are tempted to be too much our own bosses and not humble children and servants of the Lord": 
"And this is the temptation to look for other gates or other windows to enter the Kingdom of God.  
We can only enter by the gate whose name is Jesus.  
We can only enter by that gate which leads to a path and that path is called Jesus and brings to a life whose name is Jesus.  
All those who do something else - says the Lord – who try to enter through the window, are 'thieves and robbers'. He is simple, the Lord. His words are not complex: He is simple”. 
The Pope concluded by inviting all those present to ask for "the grace to always knock on that gate":
"Sometimes it's closed: we are sad, we feel desolation, we have problems with knocking, with knocking at that gate.  
Do not go looking for other gates that seem easier, more comfortable, more at hand. Always the same one: Jesus.  
Jesus never disappoints, Jesus does not deceive, Jesus is not a thief, not a robber. He gave his life for me: each of us must say this: 'And you who gave your life for me, please, open, that I may enter.' " 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Mystical Embrace or Caress

Francisco Ribalta (1565 – 1628)
Abrazo de San Francisco de Asís al crucificado
The Embrace of St Francis of Assisi of The Crucified
Oil on canvas
208 x 167 cm
Museo de Bellas Artes, Valencia

The work was commissioned for the Capuchin convent de la Sangre de Cristo in Valencia

St Francis has approached the Crucified Christ and is embracing him in a mystical vision. 

From the Cross Christ raises one arm. He has taken off his Crown of Thorns to place on the head of the saint

An angel stands ready to place a floral garland on Christ

At the foot of the cross lies a prone leopard, conquered by Christ. St Francis crushes the leopard under his foot

The image of the Leopard summons the image of the Leopard in literature especially The Divine Comedy. We recall the beginning of The Inferno

In the confusion of middle age, Dante on the day before Good Friday 1300 discovers himself in a dark wood.  Upon arriving at the foot of a mountain and encountering a clear path to continue his journey, three beasts—a leopard, lion, and she-wolf—confront him. He has to return to the dark wood to escape the beasts.

The leopard simply blocks his path, without advancing toward him. 
…and it did not depart from before my face 
but rather so impeded my way 
that I was at several turns turned to go back. (1.34–36)

Virgil has to take him on a detour past the beasts through Good Friday to eventually come again to the foot of the mountain, to the road of salvation

The commentators have disputed the meaning of the three beasts. 

They represent vices: concupiscence (immoderate desires), violence, and fraud (though some equate the leopard with fraud and the she-wolf with concupiscence). Others associate them with envy, pride, and avarice.

In the Malebolge (Hell for the Sins of Fraud, the deepest pit of Hell) Dante and Virgil encounter Geryon

The triple hydra bears a strong likeness to a leopard:
..con essa pensai alcuna volta 
prender la lonza a la pelle dipinta

Pope Francis in his homily in The Lateran said:
God’s patience has to call forth in us the courage to return to him, however many mistakes and sins there may be in our life. Jesus tells Thomas to put his hand in the wounds of his hands and his feet, and in his side.  
We too can enter into the wounds of Jesus, we can actually touch him. This happens every time that we receive the sacraments with faith.  
Saint Bernard, in a fine homily, says: "Through the wounds of Jesus I can suck honey from the rock and oil from the flinty rock (cf. Deut 32:13), I can taste and see the goodness of the Lord" (On the Song of Songs, 61:4).  
It is there, in the wounds of Jesus, that we are truly secure; there we encounter the boundless love of his heart. Thomas understood this. Saint Bernard goes on to ask: 
But what can I count on? My own merits? 
No, "My merit is God’s mercy. I am by no means lacking merits as long as he is rich in mercy. If the mercies of the Lord are manifold, I too will abound in merits" (ibid., 5). This is important: the courage to trust in Jesus’ mercy, to trust in his patience, to seek refuge always in the wounds of his love.  
Saint Bernard even states: "So what if my conscience gnaws at me for my many sins? ‘Where sin has abounded, there grace has abounded all the more’ (Rom 5:20)" (ibid.). 
Maybe someone among us here is thinking: my sin is so great, I am as far from God as the younger son in the parable, my unbelief is like that of Thomas; I don’t have the courage to go back, to believe that God can welcome me and that he is waiting for me, of all people. But God is indeed waiting for you; he asks of you only the courage to go to him.  
How many times in my pastoral ministry have I heard it said: "Father, I have many sins"; and I have always pleaded: "Don’t be afraid, go to him, he is waiting for you, he will take care of everything".  
We hear many offers from the world around us; but let us take up God’s offer instead: his is a caress of love. For God, we are not numbers, we are important, indeed we are the most important thing to him; even if we are sinners, we are what is closest to his heart

It is through the embrace or caress of Christ, the Cross that we vanquish the Beast

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Victor Marais Milton (1872-1948) 
The Gossips 
Oil on canvas 
15 x 18¼ in. (38.2 x 46.4 cm.) 
Private collection

Philip Hook and Mark Poltimore in their book Popular 19th Century Painting wrote:
"The domestic antics of members of the higher echelons of the Roman Catholic Church exercised a powerful fascination for a number of popular painters and their patrons in the second half of the nineteenth century. 
These intimate scenes, set behind closed doors of the private quarters of a cardinal’s palace, constitute a clearly-defined genre of painting in their own right. …  
But to understand the original motivation behind this choice of subject, one must not overlook the element, present in varying degrees in most such works, of anti-clericalism.  
There is no doubt that contemporary collectors and spectators took great pleasure in the sight of noble figureheads of the church reduced to banal, even undignified proportions. 
The comedy was appealing, and the anti-clerical message suited the prevailing political mood of the buying public."

Victor Marais Milton was one of a number of French painters who catered for this taste

They are small vignettes which make a point. Effectively, pointedly through the use of humour

Blaise Pascal, the renowned 17th century philosopher and mathematician in his Pensées said of gossip:
“101. I set it down as a fact that if all men knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world. This is apparent from the quarrels which arise from the indiscreet tales told from time to time.”

The Holy Father in his succinct way made a number of points about gossip, a pastime which we all love to do

He noted that today, for example, the aspect of "meekness in the community," is a somewhat ‘forgotten virtue’. 

Meekness is stigmatized, it has "many enemies”, the first of which is gossip. 

Pope Francis further developed this reflection. 
“When we prefer to gossip, gossip about others, criticise others- these are everyday things that happen to everyone, including me – these are the temptations of the evil one who does not want the Spirit to come to us and bring about peace and meekness in the Christian community". 
"These struggles always exist" in the parish, in the family, in the neighborhood, among friends”. Instead through the Spirit we are born into a new life, he makes us “meek, charitable."

The Holy Father then outlined the correct behaviour for a Christian. 

First, "do not judge anyone" because "the only Judge is the Lord." 

Then "keep quiet" and if you have something to say, say it to the interested parties, to those "who can remedy the situation," but "not to the entire neighbourhood." 

"If, by the grace of the Holy Spirit – concluded Pope Francis - we succeed in never gossiping, it will be a great step forward" and "will do us all good".

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Protoevangelium

John Martin 1789–1854
Adam Listening to the Voice of God the Almighty 
Oil on canvas
47.5 x 68.5 cm 
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Martin  caught the public imagination with spectacular paintings. In 1821 Lawrence referred to him as ‘the most popular painter of the day’.

This is one of his famous oil sketch illustrations to John Milton's Paradise Lost (1825–7) of  Genesis 3 ("The Protoevangelium")

This is the passage in Book 10, beginning with line 108 on which the painting is based: 
Come forth
He came, and with him Eve, more loath, though first 
To offend discount'nanc'd both, and discompos'd; 
Love was not in their looks, either to God 
Or to each other, but apparent guilt, 
And shame, and perturbation, and despair, 
Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile. 
Whence Adam faltring long, thus answer'd brief. 
I heard thee in the gard'n, and of thy voice 
Afraid, being naked, hid myself. 

Of this scene, the Catechism simply says:
410 After his fall, man was not abandoned by God. On the contrary, God calls him and in a mysterious way heralds the coming victory over evil and his restoration from his fall. (Cf. Gen 3:9,15)

This passage in Genesis is called the Protoevangelium ("first gospel"): the first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a descendant of hers.

Recently at the installation at St John Lateran, Pope Francis had this to say of this scene:
Adam, after his sin, experiences shame, he feels naked, he senses the weight of what he has done; and yet God does not abandon him: if that moment of sin marks the beginning of his exile from God, there is already a promise of return, a possibility of return. 
God immediately asks: "Adam, where are you?" He seeks him out. 
Jesus took on our nakedness, he took upon himself the shame of Adam, the nakedness of his sin, in order to wash away our sin: by his wounds we have been healed. 
Remember what Saint Paul says: "What shall I boast of, if not my weakness, my poverty? Precisely in feeling my sinfulness, in looking at my sins, I can see and encounter God’s mercy, his love, and go to him to receive forgiveness. ... 
[L]et us be enveloped by the mercy of God; let us trust in his patience, which always gives us more time. Let us find the courage to return to his house, to dwell in his loving wounds, allowing ourselves be loved by him and to encounter his mercy in the sacraments.  
We will feel his wonderful tenderness, we will feel his embrace, and we too will become more capable of mercy, patience, forgiveness and love.

Monday, April 08, 2013


Claude Bonnefond (1796–1860) 
Pilgrims Arriving at Rome during the Jubilee
Oil on canvas
18 1/4 x 14 3/8 in. (46.3 x 36.5 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum, New York

Inscription commemorating the opening and closing of the Holy Door by Pope Leo XII for the Jubilee of 1825. 
Cloister of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Rome
Source: Wikipedia

Horace Vernet (1789-1863) 
Le Pape Léon XII porté dans la Basilique de St Pierre 
Pope Leo XII being carried by members of the Swiss Guard into the Basilica of St Peter
Oil on canvas
3.85 x 3.29 m
Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles

1825 was a special year for the Catholic world. It was a Holy Year. 

There had not been a Holy Year for 50 years. 1800 was cancelled due to the fact that Napoleon prevented Pius VII from proclaiming the Jubilee of 1800. 

After 1825 there was not to be another Holy Year or Jubilee until 1875 and then it was a cleric only affair. 

1850 was cancelled due to Pope Pius IX going into exile. 1875 was very subdued by the losses caused by Italian Unification

The Vatican website on the Holy Year of 2000 explains what a Holy Year of Jubilee was or meant to be:
"In the Roman Catholic tradition, a Holy Year, or Jubilee is a great religious event. 
It is a year of forgiveness of sins and also the punishment due to sin, it is a year of reconciliation between adversaries, of conversion and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and consequently of solidarity, hope, justice, commitment to serve God with joy and in peace with our brothers and sisters. 
A Jubilee year is above all the year of Christ, who brings life and grace to humanity"

One of the attendees at the Holy Year of 1825 was a fifteen year old student at the Collegio Romano, a Joachim Pecci, later known as Pope Leo XIII who proclaimed a full Holy Year in 1900

Later in the Bull of 1899 setting up the Holy Year of 1900, the aged Pope Leo XIII said of that occasion of 75 years previously:
 " We Ourselves were witness in Our youth how helpful to  salvation was the last Jubilee decreed in solemn form during the  pontificate of Leo XII., at a time when Rome was the greatest  and safest theatre for public acts of religion. 
We remember and We ever seem to see in Our mind's eye the crowds of pilgrims, the multitudes who in processional order went from church to  church — the holiest in Christendom ; the apostolic men who preached in the public streets, the most sacred places in the city resounding with the praises of God, and the Pontiff' with his College of Cardinals setting an example of piety and charity before the eyes of all. 
From the memory of those times the mind is recalled with some bitterness to the sad reality of the present day." 

It must have been a profound and memorable experience. He also called three extraordinary Jubilees: 1879, 1881, and 1886

In the Bull proclaiming the Holy Year of 1825 Pope Leo XII wrote:
"11. Furthermore, you must see that those of your flock who have decided to make the pilgrimage may do so religiously, avoiding all the things on their journey which could disturb their pious determination and lead them to abandon their holy resolve. 
Rather may they follow eagerly and constantly those things which kindle and inspire religion. 
If you are free to come to this citadel of religion, you will add much splendour to this celebration. 
You will obtain the greatest blessings of divine mercies and, bringing them back as a rich reward, you will share them to the pleasure and profit of the rest of your people.  
Leo XII Quod Hoc Ineunte (Proclaiming a Universal Jubilee) May 24, 1824"

The theme of the pilgrimage was Penance

In 1825, Leo XII reviewed what had been accomplished in the Holy Year and extended it to all of Europe. In the Encyclical Charitate Christi  Pope Leo XII wrote
"During the universal jubilee, both the inhabitants of this city and the many pilgrims who have come here have shown faith, piety and every other virtue. We therefore conceived the great hope that the same zeal for the profit of their souls, for the glory of God, and for His Church might be kindled in the faithful everywhere"
Austria was cold to the Jubilee. The German states were down right hostile. But still the pilgrims came. 

Estimates of the number of pilgrims vary from 100,000 to 500,000
Considering that there were no railways in the Papal States and most of Europe the number of attendees is quite remarkable

For the French community in Rome, the year 1825 took on added, related significance. The coronation of Charles X at the cathedral of Rheims on May 29 was celebrated with grand festivities held on June 20 at the Villa Medici, the seat of the French Academy in Rome, which afforded the first opportunity in decades for the French to unabashedly flourish their national pride in a truly international context. 

Vernet`s patrons were Napoleon, then Charles X and then later again Louis-Philippe. 

He received the Légion d’honneur at aged 26. From 1828 until 1833 he was installed as Director of the French Academy at Rome in the Villa Médicis. 

In addition while in Rome he undertook for the King secret diplomatic missions to the Pope and to the Tsar. Accordingly his depiction of the Pope is likely to be extremely accurate. 

The work by Vernet is political. That is why after being exhibited at the Salon of 1831 (where it was greatly praised and was one of the highlights), it was then brought to Versailles

But Bonnefond`s work is more than propaganda. 

It reflects the French Romanticism of the age which was the reaction to the comprehensive defeat of 1815. It swept through the French culture of the time and suffused it entirely. One of its features was the increasing interest in history (especially medieval history) and religion. 

This was the time of Lamennais' attack on religious indifference (before he went off the rails). 

It was a  time of religious enthusiasm in France, in the gospel of a "New Christianity" revealed by Saint Simon and preached and developed by Bazard and Enfantin

Politics and religion became fatally intertwined as can be see from the passing of the  Anti-Sacrilege Act against blasphemy and sacrilege passed in January 1825 under King Charles X

But behind the politics there was reality. It was this reality which outlasted the bubbles of French intellectualism and which was so fondly recalled by Pope Leo XIII almost seventy five years later.

Here is Nicholas Wiseman`s account of the Jubilee Year of 1825 in his work Recollections of the last four popes and of Rome in their times

It is quite instructive in view of the recent criticism of Pope Francis and his decision to reside not in The Apostolic Palace but in the Vatican hotel and have his meals with the ordinary guests. 

Such a lifestyle as can be seen below is not from Vatican II but is from a far older tradition of the Papacy and can be seen as being practised by Pope Leo XII. 

It is also rather ironic that Pope Leo XII is now generally portrayed as one of the most reactionary and retrogessive Pontiffs of the nineteenth century
"Some reader may perhaps ask in what, after all, consists the Jubilee, what are its duties, and what its occupations ? A Catholic easily understands it. 
It is a year in which the Holy See does all it can to make Rome spiritually attractive,  and spiritually only. The theatres are closed, public amusements suspended; even private recreation pressed within the bounds of Lenten regulations. 
But all that can help the sinner to amendment, or assist the devout to feed his faith and nourish his piety, is freely and lavishly ministered.  
The pulpit is occupied by the most eloquent preachers, awakening the conscience or instructing ignorance ; the confessionals are held in constant possession by priests who speak every language ; pious associations or confraternities receive, entertain, and conduct
from sanctuary to sanctuary the successive trains of pilgrims ; the altars are crowded by fervent communicants ; while, above all, the spiritual remission of temporal punishment for sin, known familiarly to Catholics under the name of an Indulgence, is more copiously imparted, on conditions by no means over easy.  
Rome, during that year, becomes the attracting centre of Catholic devotion, the magnet which draws it from every side. But it does not exhaust it, or absorb it ; for multitudes go back full of gratitude to heaven and to the Holy See for the blessings which they feel they have received, and the edifying scenes in which they have been allowed to partake. ...
But more serious still were the preparations necessary to lodge and feed the crowds of pilgrims who were expected. To prevent any alarm on this head, on the part of foreign princes, the Pope sent word to the embassies that he did not wish them to make any provision for their poor countrymen, as he took upon himself this duty of hospitality. He observed that he would rather pawn the church plate of Rome, than be wanting in its discharge. 
There is in Rome a large house, attached to a Church of the Holy Trinity, expressly established for the charitable entertainment of pilgrims. Hence it is called La Trinita dei pellegrini.   
It is divided into two sides, one for men and the other for women. The ground floor is laid out in immense refectories, above which are dormitories equally vast. 
During Holy Week there is a certain amount of activity in the house; as a considerable number of pilgrims then arrive, perhaps half a refectory, and as much dormitory, may be occupied. 
During the rest of the year, the establishment sends a huge carriage, now rather modernised, to the hospitals, to bring away all discharged patients ; to whom, under the title of convalescents, it gives three days' hospitality, and leisure often to look out for some occupation. 
The revenues of the house, the fruit of charity, are tolerably abundant ; so that it used to be said, that, in the interval between two jubilees, they were employed, the first half of the time in paying off the liabilities incurred, and the second in accumulating for the coming celebration. But, in addition to the accommodation permanently secured at home, the charity provided immense lodgings in  the wide and airy corridors of religious houses. 
In the month of November, our confraternity of the Holy Trinity, to which many English belong, lodged and fed for three days, 23,090 men and 15,754 women, in all 38,844 persons besides 350 members of branch confraternities. From this some idea may be formed of the scale on which hospitality was exercised during the entire year. 
The order observed was the following. 
The pilgrim, on his arrival at the house, had his papers of pilgrimage examined, and received his ticket of hospitality. In the evening the newcomers were brought into a hall surrounded by raised seats, and supplied with an abundant flow of hot and cold water. 
Then, after a short prayer, the brothers of the confraternity, or the sisters in their part of the house, washed their feet wayworn and sore by days or weeks of travel ; and the ointments of the apothecary-, or the skill of the surgeon was at hand, to dress wounds and bandage sores. 
This was no mere ceremony, no symbolical rite ; but one saw and felt how in olden times " to wash the feet of the saints," when 'they asked for a night's harbour, was a real act of charity worthy of the Christian widow. It was evidently an exquisite relief to the jaded wayfarer. 
Thus refreshed, the pilgrims joined the long procession to supper. A bench along the wall, and a table before it, railed off to prevent the pressure of curious multitudes, were simple arrangements enough, but the endless length of these, occupied by men of every hue, and many languages, formed a striking spectacle. 
Before each guest was his plate, knife, fork, and spoon, bread, wine, and dessert. A door in each refectory communicated with a roomy hall, in which huge cauldrons smoked with a supply of savoury soup sufficient for an army. 
This was the post of honour ; a cardinal or nobleman, in the red coarse gown and badge of the brotherhood, with a white apron over it, armed with a ladle, dispensed the steaming fluid into plates held ready; and a string of brothers, at arm's length from one another all round the refectory, handed forward the plates with the alacrity of bricklayers' labourers, and soon furnished each hungry expectant with his reeking portion. 
Two additional rations were served out in the same manner. The guests fell to with hearty goodwill, and generally showed themselves right good trencher-men. Opposite each stood a serving man, who poured out his wine, cut his bread, changed his portions, and chatted and talked with him. Now these servitors were not hired, but all brethren of the confraternity ; sometimes a royal prince, generally some cardinals, always bishops, prelates, noblemen, priests, gentry, and artificers. 
Then, occasionally, a sudden commotion, a wavy movement through the crowd -would reach from the outer door, along the passage to the lavatory, just as prayers were beginning. 
All understood what it meant. 
The Holy Father was coming without notice. Indeed none was required ; he came simply to do what every one else was going to do, only he had the first place. He knelt before the first in the line of pilgrims, taking his chance of who it might be. If any priest were in the number, he was naturally placed first; and he would probably feel more sensitively than a dull uneducated peasant, the honour, not unmixed with humiliation, of having so lowly an office discharged, in his person, by the highest of men on earth. 
And then, he would find himself waited on at table, by that master who coming suddenly in the night upon his servants, and finding them  watching, knows how to gird himself, and passing along, ministers to them. 
It was said that among the poor pilgrims came in disguise persons of high rank, who, after they had passed their triduum of charity among the poorest, faring as they, and receiving the cup of water as disciples in Christ's name, resumed their place in society, and remained in Rome as visitors, without any indelicate recognition. 
It was whispered that one couple, a German and his wife, were of even higher blood. Indeed, I remember one used often to remark, that the elegant language, the polished manners, and the half-easy, half-embarrassed air of some pilgrims, bespoke a different class from that of the general run. 
But one thing is very noticeable on all such occasions —the naturalness, and absence of embarrassment (so well expressed by the Italian word disinvoltura), with which these poor people received the attentions of persons whom they knew to be of such superior station, civil or ecclesiastical. 
While they allowed all menial service to be performed by them, without awkward bashfulness, or any attempts to prevent it, they accepted them with an humble thankfulness and a natural grace that showed how clearly they appreciated the motive which prompted their being rendered. 
They manifestly understood, that not merely to them, but to Him also whom the poor represent, were they offered. 
Supper ended, and its baskets of fragments for the morrow's breakfast put by, the long file proceeded up-stairs to bed, singing one of the short religious strains in which all Italians can join, a sort of simultaneous, yet successive, chorus winding along, stunning to your ears at the spot where you chanced to stand, alternately swelling and fading away, as it came from one or other side of the stairs, then dying away in the deep recesses of the dormitory above, yet seeming to be born again and grow at the beginning of the line, still unemerged from the supper-hall.
During the day, the pilgrims were conducted in bands from sanctuary to sanctuary ; were instructed at stated times; were directed to the performance of their higher religious duties, by frequenting the Sacraments ; and at the close of the three days were dismissed in peace, and returned home, or remained in the city at their own charge. 
The Holy Father was the soul of all this work. 
To see him, and carry back his blessing, was of course one of the most highly coveted privileges of a pilgrimage to Rome. Hence he had repeatedly to show himself to the crowds, and bless them. They were instructed to hold up whatever they wished to have blessed ; and certainly scarcely ever did Rome present a more motley crowd, arrayed in every variety of costume, from the sober, and almost clerical, dress of German peasants, to the rainbow hues of the Abruzzi or Campania. 
But the Pope manifested his hearty sympathy in his Jubilee by a more remarkable proof than these. He daily served in his own palace twelve pilgrims at table, and his biographer tells us that he continued this practice throughout his reign. 
To his accompanying them I well remember being an eye-witness. For one of such delicate health and feeble frame it was no slight undertaking to walk from the Vatican to the Chiesa Nuova ; but to perform this pilgrimage barefoot, with only sandals on his feet, was more than any one was prepared for. 
He was preceded by the poor, surrounded and followed by them. Tears flowed on every side, and blessings were uttered deep and warm. His look was calm and devout, and abstracted from all around. It reminded every one forcibly of St. Charles at Milan, humbling himself by a similar act of public devotion, to appease the Divine wrath manifested in the plague.

For more about Jubilees and in particular the Holy Year of 1900 see Father Herbert Thurston SJ The holy year of jubilee : an account of the history and ceremonial of the Roman jubilee (1900)