The Ordination Card: In Memoriam Sacrae Ordinationis

The ordination card is an item that is customarily handed out to the faithful by altar boys as newly ordained priests give their first blessings in the churchyard. It makes an excellent memento and a perfect keepsake.  It also serves as a reminder to pray for the ordinandi. The above card, which includes a Renaissance era painting, is from my good friend, Fr. Marius Zerafa, O.P. , who was ordained 68 years ago at the Roman Basilica of Sant'Agnese in Agone in Piazza Navona.

Fr. Zerafa was born in 1929 and ordained in 1953.  Today he is 91-years old, still following his dreams and teaching sacred art, a favorite professor at the Angelicum in Rome.  Due to the exactions of Fr. Zerafa's tastes, the card bears an image of the Annunciation by Beato Angelico seen at the Dominican friary of San Marco in Florence.  His favorite painter is his fellow Dominican, Fra Angelico, buried today at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome.

Below is the ordination "memorial" (mnemosynon) card of the future Venerable Pius XII from the year 1899.  Both cards display creative etiquette, inevitably considered merely a synonym for the word "correct" or common sense taste

Hopefully Fr. Zerafa's card done with such good taste will serve as a welcome inspiration to young seminarians printing their own ordination cards in preparation for their big day.

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