Holy Family & Gnomon Vaticano

The Lord delivers many graces on a Christmas Sunday.

But, alas, we do lose Holy Family Sunday in such years. If you yearn for a Holy Family sermon from the archive, you may click a link…

Fr. M.D.W. Holy Family homily 2008 and 2009.

…Speaking of talks from December ’08:

Did you know that the Vatican obelisk in St. Peter’s Square functions as the gnomon of an annual sundial?

At noon, the shadow of the obelisk falls on a granite meridian. Discs mark points along the stone line. The shadow falls on the disc farthest from the obelisk on the winter solstice; it falls on a disc near the base on the summer solstice. Discs in between mark the points at which the sun enters the various signs of the zodiac.

One thought on “Holy Family & Gnomon Vaticano

  1. Father Mark,

    Once again, I learn: “The Gnomon of Saint-Sulpice inside the church of Saint Sulpice in Paris, France, built to assist in determining the date of Easter, was fictionalized as a “Rose Line” in the novel The Da Vinci Code.[3]” [Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnomon%5D; the fact that the sundial wan’t Greek, but Babylonian in origin. But, the etymology is even more interesting: “Gnomon (γνώμων) is an ancient Greek word meaning “indicator”, “one who discerns,” or “that which reveals.” [Ibid] And, it’s this last meaning which really entranced, with it’s use in literature (e.g., Joyce in “Dubliners”).

    I believe my gnomon is “Yes!”, which I interpret as openness to possibilities and experiences. What’s the one characteristic which “reveals” you? Better yet, what do we see in each other [both the latter are rhetorical]?



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