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If you are looking for miracles, and other funny things in Rome

Popped into San Lorenzo in Damaso today (on the Corso Vittorio), thinking there was a Mass on. I had got the time wrong so went out again; but as I was leaving, I spotted two intriguing angels above the door with an invitation not to be missed: Si quaeris miracula ... "if you are looking for miracles". So I went back inside and asked for several.

There is, it seems, a 13th century prayer to St Anthony, especially enjoined for those trying to find something lost.

in Latin, it runs:

Si quaeris miracula/Mors, error calamitas/Daemon, lepra fugiunt/Aegri surgunt sani. 

Here is an English translation: 


If, then, thou seekest miracles,
Death, error, all calamities,
The leprosy and demons flee,
The sick, by him made whole, arise.

The sea withdraws and fetters break,
And withered limbs he doth restore,
While treasures lost are found again,
When young or old his help implore.

All dangers vanish from our path,
Our direst needs do quickly flee:
Let those who know repeat the theme:
Let Paduans praise St. Anthony.

The sea withdraws...

Glory be ...

The sea withdraws...

V. Pray for us, O blessed Anthony,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
Let Thy Church, O God, be gladdened by the solemn commemoration of blessed Anthony Thy Confessor: that she may be evermore defended by Thy spiritual assistance and merit to possess everlasting joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

***

I also had a coffee in a little bar/café whose only sign was a picture of an ice-cream and some large red letters proclaiming "YOGURT, CREEPS"

It turned out to be an advert for frozen yogurt and CREPES.

 ***

Then I came across about a dozen cardinals, all in red, hanging around waiting for something to happen in the entrance of the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo di Venezia. They looked very cheerful. There was a colourful Swiss guard too, sitting down, with his legs stretched out, having a rest. I wondered what the guard was doing outside of Vatican territory, in full dress uniform. I guess he was guarding the cardinals; although I've never seen a Swiss guard having a little nap before.

After my diatribe against Italian men yesterday, I am feeling a bit guilty. Perhaps the colourful renaissance heritage of Italians is something the Church really needs. Imagine if the papacy were based in Paris, London or Dublin ...  If we are created in the image and likeness of God, then perhaps there is a kind of moral imperative for us to look nice and smart, and even colourful.

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