Greetings from My Patron’s Home

Rialto Bridge view
View from the Rialto Bridge on a moonlit might

Now, what news on the Rialto? (Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Act III, scene 1)

I accidentally got on a water-bus going in the wrong direction. Wound up on the finger of land that separates the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic sea. And I saw something I hadn’t seen in days. An automobile.

…Today I had the opportunity to go to confession and celebrate Mass at the tomb of my baptismal patron. (Photography strictly prohibited inside.)

Saint Mark's Venice

They keep some magnificent paintings in the old palace of the doge, right next door.

Palazzo ducale deposition Christ cross

Palazzo ducale penitent Magdalen
penitent Magdalen
Venice and Pope Alexander VII offering isle of Lefkada to St. Peter
Venice and Pope Alexander VII offering the Greek isle of Lefkada to St. Peter, after a victory over the Turks

I visited the ancient church which held the cathedra of the Patriarch of Venice until just a couple centuries ago. (St. Mark’s basilica had served simply as the doge’s chapel for a millennia, before becoming the cathedral.) Found this inspiring sculpture of the triumph of the cross.

Triumph of the Cross San Pietro di Castello Venice

In the church of Saints John and Paul, martyrs, this stunning sculpture of St. Jerome.

St Jerome Venice

And the foot of St. Catherine of Siena.

foot of St Catharine of Sienna, Saints John and Paul Venice

I had mentioned that Fra Paolo Sarpi, and the Venetian controversy with Pope Paul V, preoccupied me. I found the memorial of Father Sarpi.

Paolo Sarpi

Paolo Sarpi statue close

And his grave, on the isle of the Cimeterio.

Cimiterio Paolo Sarpi Venice

I have a million more things to tell you, dear reader, about this most-perplexing of places–where they developed a government like ours, a thousand years before we Americans even amounted to glimmers in our daddy’s eyes. Where, at 2am, all you hear is the light lapping of water in the canals. Visiting Venice makes me feel like I have not understood the world anywhere near as well as I thought I did.

The smell of the sea air has done me a lot of good. Say a prayer for my safe flight home tomorrow, if you please.

7 thoughts on “Greetings from My Patron’s Home

  1. Safe travels… must say… of all the posted pics… sinnce day one of this trip…. this one day has my favorites… sea air is truly a wonderful thing…. i am sure your pilgrimage has been quite thought provoking in many ways…. God bless… be safe..

  2. If I understand time zones correctly, it is Friday morning where you are and you will soon be in the air on the way home (or perhaps already are). Prayer offered even as I write this for your safe flight and return home. Thank you again for all the photographs and history that you have taken time to share with us during this journey. But we are anxious to have you back among us.

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