Joan of Arc Museum in Rouen now permanently closed

On of the Church’s most revered saints, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake here in Rouen, France on May 30, 1431  The trumped-up charges and sham trial were, of course, later proven false and she was proclaimed a saint long after her death.  A museum in her honor was built here with life-size wax figures with scenes depicting the various stages of her life.  Sadly we have received word from the museum that they have closed down and sold off the contents of the museum.  According to the former museum director we have received the following email:

Le musée est Définitivement fermé.
Il sera remplacé par un Piano-Bar
Cordialement
Alain Préaux
Conservateur en retraite 

Translated it means that he museum is closed and going to be replaced with a piano bar.  We don’t know if any of the museum’s contents were purchased for any public displays.

Rouen is a fairly modern city but the old part of the town still has a medieval feel to it and those visiting will be able to visit the Basilica built in her honor which is over the original Church of Saint Sauvieur that was destroyed during the French revolution.

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Pope Francis to visit Bonario, Sardinia

Pope Francis has announced only two trips this first year of his Papacy:  World Youth Day in Brazil in July and to the Mediterranean the island of Sardinia, which is part of Italy, to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria (Our Lady of Good Air) to venerate the statue of Our Blessed Mother that has inspired seafarers for centuries. 

At first I did not realize the relationship between this city and his homeland of Argentina.  But after reading more I now understand why this shrine would have such meaning for him. The Conquistadores who came to South America named the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina after this shrine.  Buenos Aires literally means “Good Air”.  Apparently they argued over whether to name it the “City of the Most Holy Trinity” or “The City of Our Lady of Bonaria”.  The sailors, many of whom were from Sardinia and therefore had a devotion to Our Lady of Bonaria prevailed in the argument. The name was later shortened to simply Buenos Aires.

Of course, since Pope Francis is from Argentina he is quite familiar with history of the shrine so it is no surprise that he wishes to pay a visit as many other Popes have done previously.

For more about this shrine check the page on our main website.

Brothers of the Order of Mercy in Bonaria, ItalyThe Shrine has been under the auspices of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (the Mercedians) since its founding in the 14th Century and are active is several areas throughout the world today.  Note the comment below for a description of the above photo.

 To learn more about the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (the Mercedians) click here for their website.

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Night at the Museum—Vatican style


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For several years now the Vatican Museums have been open to the public on Friday evenings from May through October,  except for the month of August, when most Italians take their vacations.  These nights are different from the usual Vatican Museum tours in that they offer glimpses into areas not necessarily included in regular tours as well as musical performances by some of Italy’s most talented artists.

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Vatican Garden Tours Resume May 6

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Tours of the Vatican Gardens, one of the hidden treasures of Rome, will resume on May 6, 2013 according to the latest report from the Vatican Museums official website.  

Convent in Vatican GardensThe tours were suspended shortly after it was announced that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI would be taking up residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Convent which is located within the Vatican Gardens.  There were certain alterations being made to the building that are now complete and on May 2nd he did indeed leave his temporary residence at the Papal Retreat in Castel Gandolfo and is now residing at the former convent.

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Walking the Camino Santiago–the Way of Saint James

If you have spent even a small amount of time studying the basics of church history, you know that the twelve apostles covered a rather expansive amount of ground following the initial wave of persecution in 62 AD. Before the last of the apostles (John) died in AD 100, the Gospel had been spread through most of the Roman Empire and even beyond into the outlying people groups. The routes taken were numerous and the miles walked incredible. Paul, by himself, covered hundreds of miles during his three primary missionary journeys. Thomas was confirmed to have gone as far as India and rumored to have preached in China. While the lines between what is confirmed and what is rumored tend to blur when looking into the apostles’ journeys, today we have the opportunity to walk some of the paths that our forerunners traveled and experience glimpses of the annointings they carried.

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World Youth Day 2013

World Youth Day 2013

 World Youth Day was one of the accomplishments of Pope John Paul II, although its beginnings did not seem that extraordinary. The first event was in 1985 and the plan was to have meetings in individual diocese.  But that grew to become an every-three-years event held in different countries around the world:  Argentina (1987), Spain (1989) and Poland (1991).  Attendance in the Philippines in 1995 topped 4 million.

 

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