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Veritatis Splendor

"Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith" --Hebrews 12:2

Pope Benedict XVI before our Lord

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.
Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Each of us is willed,
each of us is loved,
each of us is necessary.
There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.
~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily April 24th, 2005

Friday, June 06, 2008

Falling in Love

Today, my parents are coming to the Cities. Tomorrow morning, we'll load up the stuff that my family is storing or wants to take and head back to Wisconsin for the weekend. Monday, we'll start the journey down to Kansas City, by way of Ames, Iowa (where my nephew is living). Wednesday morning, at 10:00 am Central Time, during the celebration of Holy Mass according to the Extrodinary Form, I will enter the community of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.

I am not going to delete the blog, perhaps after years of inaction Blogger will delete it for me but I hope it, and Roamin' Roman, will remain available for more people to discover - especially about roaming in Rome!

It is possible that this blog will continue under the care of a friend of mine, but whether it does or does not, know that all of you whom I have gotten to know through these years of keeping the blogs will be ever in my daily prayers.

Please keep me and the community in your prayers, and if you ever get to Norcia, Italy (scroll to bottom of the page), please pray about sending your Sisters some of that famous monastery milk chocolate from the monks' store! :)

Prayer requests (and chocolate ;) can be sent to me and the community at:

Mary Gibson
Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles
Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus
1400 NE 42nd Terrace
Kansas City, MO 64116

I leave you with this beautiful piece of prayerful advice, which the Lord has placed before me in multiple places and in surprising ways of late, so I am taking it to heart! It sums up exactly what it means for all of us to discover and embrace our vocation, which is truly an embrace of Him, our Beloved, and the fulfillment of our meaning:

Falling in Love

"Nothing is more practical than finding God,
that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings,
what you will do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, who you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything."

~ Servant of God Pedro Arrupe, S.J.

I pray that you, too, will fall in love with Love, and stay in Love eternally! Dio ti benedica!

~Mary Gibson

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Our Lady, Queen of Apostles - My Entrance Holy Card!

Behold, a beautiful image of Our Lady as Queen of Apostles, drawn by Matthew Alderman of the Shrine of the Holy Whapping blog, per my request!

For a larger version of the image, go to Matthew's original post, here.

I wanted to post this gorgeous image earlier, but decided to wait and only do so if Matthew did first - we must respect our artists! As he has now posted it, I will let him describe the image himself (and be sure to check out his other works, many available on the Shrine's blog):

Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, with an Attendant Angel (version I). Commissioned for the announcement of the entry of a young lady into the convent of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles. 4" x 6", Ink on Vellum, pieced together in Photoshop. April-May 2008. Artist's Collection.

There is not much of a fixed iconography built up around the Virgin as Queen of Apostles, besides an association with Pentecost. One seventeenth-century treatise cataloging her various titles and emblems shows a curious image in which she is shown twice--first on clouds, above, encircled by an enormous hoop marked with the signs of the Zodiac, and accompanied by an angel bearing a crown, and below, with the apostles at Pentecost. Another, more modern emblem consisted of a large closed royal crown surrounded by twelve tongues of flame.

Originally, I had intended to show Our Lady richly dressed, and crowned with an enormous diadem, surrounded by the twelve shields of the Apostles. It then occurred to me that while in images of her as Queen of Heaven and Empress of the Universe she should be shown dressed as splendidly as possible, the beatific poverty of the Apostles suggested she should be far more simply dressed, with the elaborate falling folds of drapery being all she needed to manifest her simple beauty in this particular instance.

Her hair modestly covered by her plain hood, and the only touches of ornament at her throat and wrists. The Virgin's hair is not, as it might appear at first glance, bobbed, but pinned up behind her head in the manner of Abbot Thayer's numerous allegorical females. Likewise, she does not wear her crown, but is accompanied by an angel bearing it; the diadem is topped by a cross holding a very small image of Christ enthroned in its center, and one of the four plaques on the rim contains one of the four zoomorphic emblems of the Evangelists. The flame of the Holy Ghost, her eternal spouse, hovers over her head, and appears again enclosed within her brooch. The arrangement of the Apostles' emblems is in itself symbolic, with Peter and Paul--who frequently replaces Matthias--on Our Lady's right, and the other ten on the other side, with John singled out as the only non-martyr. The "P" in APOSTOLORUM below also does double-duty as a Chi-Rho, the combined monogram of the first two letters of "Christ" in Greek.

This drawing was pieced together on Photoshop from two other drawings, after I discovered the dark reddish-brown backdrop for the Apostles' shields did not register very well in a JPG; but all the drawing is done by hand, and is original.

FYI - per Matthew, the "key" for the Apostles' shields is as follows:

(columns from left to right, from the top down)

Keys - Peter
Scripture & Sword - Paul
Cockleshells - James the Greater
Cross - Philip
Ship - Simon
Face of Christ - Jude
Moneybags - Matthew
Flaying Knives - Bartholomew
X Cross - Andrew
Carpenter's Square & Spear - Thomas
Chalice & Serpent - John
Saw - James the Lesser

Fra Angelico's Annunciation