The 1574 Pentecost Vestments of the Franciscan Shrine of La Verna

The 1574 Pentecost Vestments of the Franciscan Shrine of La Verna With the subject of the Franciscan shrine at La Verna fresh in mind with our recent considerations of the " tonacella " worn by its novices (seen on the left), I am put to mind of an impressive set of solemn vestments also found at the shrine: The "parato di Pe…

Liturgical Curiosities: The Franciscan Tonacella Per Novizi at La Verna and the Orfroi of the Rite of Lyon

Liturgical Curiosities: The Franciscan Tonacella Per Novizi at La Verna and the Orfroi of the Rite of Lyon The Franciscan Shrine at La Verna, located in Tuscany, is the place where St. Francis of Assisi is said to have received the stigmata.  There are many matters of interest in La Verna, not the least of which a liturgical curiosity known as the "tonacella per novizi"…

The Tree of Life - Living Vine Crucifix

The Tree of Life - Living Vine Crucifix [We are pleased to present the following essay written by Michael Raia of Studio io  detailing a work that was commissioned by that firm from another that our readers will be already quite familiar with,  ALBL Oberammergau . The work in question is a new Italianate style cruci…

Daniel Rock: Nineteenth Century Ecclesiologist and Liturgiologist

Daniel Rock: Nineteenth Century Ecclesiologist and Liturgiologist Many of us are more than familiar with liturgiologists such as Edmund Bishop and Archdale King, to name only a couple, however one individual who is perhaps less familiar for us today is the Rev. Daniel Rock, D.D.. Accordingly, I thought perhaps some introductions might be …

The Presence of Old Testament Righteous in the Liturgical Calendar and Liturgical Art of East and West

The Presence of Old Testament Righteous in the Liturgical Calendar and Liturgical Art of East and West One of the many elements of the Eastern Church which I have always held in fond regard is the prominence that we find there for the Old Testament righteous. Within the Byzantine liturgical calendar for instance, a number of Old Testament prophets and righteous have particul…

Revisiting the Ciborium Magnum

Revisiting the Ciborium Magnum When one thinks of the great basilicas of Rome, while there are many artistic and architectural elements to attract one's eye, invariably one's eye is drawn to the ciborium magnum -- and, thus, to the very altar itself which it covers and enshrines.  The word "…

Fifteenth Century Paraments of the Order of the Golden Fleece

Fifteenth Century Paraments of the Order of the Golden Fleece The following vestments, presently found within the collection of the Imperial Treasury of Vienna, are examples of early to mid fifteenth century works that were commissioned for the Distinguished Order of the Golden Fleece  The chasuble is dated to circa 1430-1440 and depic…

What Sits Beneath S. Agnese in Agone (and Piazza Navona)

What Sits Beneath S. Agnese in Agone (and Piazza Navona) Piazza Navona is surely one of the most popular piazzas in all of Rome with its fountains, Egyptian obelisk, churches and general architectural and atmospheric appeal. What many may or may not realize is the site of the present day piazza is the former site of the Stadium o…

Notre Dame des Victoires in Quebec City

Notre Dame des Victoires in Quebec City One of the books found in my library is titled, The Old Churches of the Province of Qu├ębec: 1647-1800 . It is an interesting title for me as I am quite interested in the early Catholic history of New France. One of the churches found in that book is Notre-Dame-des-Victoires,…

Four Generations of Woodcarvers: A Brief History of Mussner G. Vincenzo Ars Sacra

Four Generations of Woodcarvers: A Brief History of Mussner G. Vincenzo Ars Sacra The “Mussner G. Vincenzo” studio is located in Ortisei, the main village of the Val Gardena, nestled in the Dolomite Mountains of north-eastern Italy. This small valley is known as “the valley of woodcarvers” because for the last four hundred years locals here have earned t…

Cerulean Blue Marian Vestments from Formerly Colonial Peru

Cerulean Blue Marian Vestments from Formerly Colonial Peru Being so close to the Assumption, I thought it apropos to share another vestment set in blue coming from the Spanish tradition. The shape of the chasuble is, of course, Spanish, being a much more truncated form that the more ample Italo-Roman form. The colour is blue, and s…

The Silver Altar Dressings of the Huesca Cathedral

The Silver Altar Dressings of the Huesca Cathedral This spectacular ensemble, collected over several centuries, with pieces dating from the 16th to the 19th century, consists of the frontal for the altar, together with three gradines and a decorative canopied dossal for the exposition of the blessed sacrament, along with ot…

New Traveling Altar Cards by Gammarelli

New Traveling Altar Cards by Gammarelli G ammarelli 's, nestled in the heart of historic Rome, is now offering a special edition of folding altar cards for the usus antiquior by Claritate.  These quality cards are illustrated with images from the Raphael Rooms ( Stanze di Raffaello ) in the Apostolic Palace (seen…

Raised Embroidered Chasuble of the Late Fifteenth Century

Raised Embroidered Chasuble of the Late Fifteenth Century The following chasuble comes from Bohemia and is dated to circa 1480-1500.  The main material of the chasuble is a green velvet that has had a pattern created within it by a process called "voiding." Voided velvet is created when the velvet is woven in such a way …

The San Juan de los Reyes Antependium (Toledo, ca. 1530)

The San Juan de los Reyes Antependium (Toledo, ca. 1530) The antependium, or altar frontal, that we are looking at today is dated to 1530 with its origins being identified as Toledo, Spain, originally made for the Franciscan monastery of San Juan de los Reyes which was founded by King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella of Spain to c…

Canadian Iconographer Frank C. Turner

Canadian Iconographer Frank C. Turner A well-known Canadian Catholic in the Archdiocese of Vancouver is Frank C. Turner , a baby-boomer actor turned iconographer from Holy Family parish in East Vancouver.  Frank was born and raised in Alberta where in his youth he was a dedicated altar boy, serving Mass in Latin…

The Pre-55 Calendar and Inculturation

The Pre-55 Calendar and Inculturation The last half century has seen a great push for inculturation and adaptation of the Roman liturgy to various lands and peoples. Paradoxically, however, this same period also saw a dramatic simplification of the liturgical calendar. I say paradoxically because the calendar h…

Church of St. Joseph: Oldest Catholic Church in North Carolina

Church of St. Joseph: Oldest Catholic Church in North Carolina It was a pleasure to attend Holy Mass at St. Joseph's in Mt. Holly, North Carolina.  This delightfully charming little church is the oldest standing Catholic church in the state.  The original church building is still in existence, made of wood by Irish farmers and gold…

The Camaldolese Abbey Church of the Holy Trinity in Saccargia

The Camaldolese Abbey Church of the Holy Trinity in Saccargia While the churches of Rome and those of the major cities of continental Italy are well enough known, and while we have previously explored some of the churches of the island of Sicily, today I thought I would turn our readers' attention to a medieval Romanesque jewel th…

Book Notice: Sant'Onofrio al Gianicolo by J.P. Sonnen

Book Notice: Sant'Onofrio al Gianicolo by J.P. Sonnen Readers are encouraged to get a copy of my new book, Sant'Onofrio al Gianicolo: Journeying to a Citadel of Faith.   During the COVID-19 epidemic I had some extra time on my hands so I decided to finally finish this project that had long been on my mind.  The book was pub…

Prelatial Dress of the Religious Orders: The Trinitarians

Prelatial Dress of the Religious Orders: The Trinitarians Continuing on with our series on the prelatial dress of the religious orders, today we make a pit stop in with the Trinitarians. The Trinitarians, who are fully named, the Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Captives ( Ordo Sanctissimae Trinitatis et Capitivorum ) were …

From the Treasury of Basel - The Reliquary of St. Dorothy

From the Treasury of Basel - The Reliquary of St. Dorothy The graceful late Gothic Reliquary of St. Dorothy is part of a collection of liturgical implements known as The Treasury of Basel Cathedral which has come down to our time from the 15th century almost entirely intact – a rare and fortuitous occurrence. The reliquary is comp…