Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Feast of St Dominic of Silos

Santo Domingo de Silos, by Bartolome Bermejo, fifteenth century.

Today is the feast of St. Dominic of Silos -- not to be confused with St. Dominic of Guzman, the founder of the Dominican Order. Dominic was the eleventh-century abbot of the monastery of Silos in the province of Burgos. The monastery is famous for its Romanesque cloister and chart-topping singing monks. There is a connection with the other Dominic, as described by the Franciscans at American Catholic:

Our saint today, Dominic of Silos was born in Spain around the year 1000 into a peasant family. As a young boy he spent time in the fields, where he welcomed the solitude. He became a Benedictine priest and served in numerous leadership positions. Following a dispute with the king over property, Dominic and two other monks were exiled. They established a new monastery in what at first seemed an unpromising location. Under Dominic’s leadership, however, it became one of the most famous houses in Spain. Many healings were reported there.

About 100 years after Dominic’s death, a young woman made a pilgrimage to his tomb. There Dominic of Silos appeared to her and assured her that she would bear another son. The woman was Joan of Aza, and the son she bore grew up to be the "other" Dominic—the one who founded the Dominicans.

For many years thereafter, the staff used by St. Dominic of Silos was brought to the royal palace whenever a queen of Spain was in labor. The practice ended in 1931.

Abbot Dominic was part of the reforming spirit of the eleventh century. He was the subject of an extensive Latin vita written around 1100 by a French monk named Grimaldus and another in Spanish verse by the great thirteenth-century poet Gonzalo de Berceo. The monastery, originally dedicated to St. Sebastian, was renamed for its most famous abbot soon after his death. The monks there have dedicated themselves to the quality of their Gregorian Chant and have become quite famous. You can listen to some samples at their website.

I will leave you with a youtube video with some great footage of the cloister:

Monday, December 10, 2007

eight meme

Alfonso VIII of Castile.

I have been tagged by William and retagged by Talmida, so here is my "eight" meme.

8 Passions in my life

Imperatrix pulcherrima Africae occidentalis
Medieval History

8 Things to do before I die:

Camino de Santiago
Return to Jerusalem
The Silk Road on camelback
See the Aurora borealis
Learn Greek
Roast a whole lamb in my yard
Finish my dissertation
Dine in Lyon and Bologna

8 Things I often say:

I'm so tired.
Hot sauce and white sauce.
I love you (see first entry of first list).
Have you done your homework?
Mishea,* let's take a nap.
Mitt Romney is a d*******g.

8 Books I read (or reread) recently:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis
The Historian
Snow Crash
The Clouds
The Iliad

8 Films that mean something to me:

Caro Diario
The Road Home
Black Cat, White Cat
Galaxy Quest
The Night of the Hunter
Simple Men

8 Songs that mean something to me:

Pale Blue Eyes (The Velvet Underground)
A Love Supreme (John Coltrane) (what Garpu said)
Didi (Khaled)
Pe' Dispietto (Nuova Comagnia di Canto Popolare)
Any one of a number of Nick Cave songs
Any piece by Palestrina
You're Innocent When you Dream (Tom Waits)
It's All Right, Ma (Bob Dylan)

8 Living people I'd like to have as dinner guests:

Nanni Moretti
Nick Cave
Tom Waits
Seamus Heaney
Lauren Bacall
Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini, SJ
Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ
A really good medium, because there are a lot of dead people I want there.

8 People I'm passing this on to:

mi primo
and whoever else wants to play...

*my cat