In the autumn of A.D. 60, Portius Festus arrived from Italy to begin his assignment as Roman governor of Judea. He inherited a number of problems. One of them was that St. Paul was languishing in his jail.
King Herod Agrippa II came to the seaport city of Caesarea to greet the new governor. The king’s great-grandfather had built the city to curry favor with the waxing Roman empire.
Festus knew little of Judaism and nothing of Christianity. Nonetheless, in his conversation with Herod Agrippa, the new Roman governor unwittingly distilled the life of St. Paul into one single, perfect sentence.
T.S. Eliot wrote a complex, difficult, breathtaking poem for Ash Wednesday.
The Holy Father keeps Ash Wednesday in the Dominican church of Santa Sabina, on the Aventine Hill in Rome. He approaches the church in a solemn procession down Via Santa Sabina from the church of San Anselmo, which is about a quarter mile away.