Sunday, April 17, 2016

Day 21: Sunday in Florence

A bit overcast this morning. I got to the church and vested for the 9:00 service at which I preached and celebrated. 

For the 11:00 service I preached and the Rector celebrated. There was a wonderful girl's choir who visited today and offered us beautiful music -- the Oslo Waldorf School's Girls Choir -- 

St. James is a beautiful church and the people are very warm and welcoming. I met a very lovely young Mom who had her three daughters with her at church --two are twins! Turns out she went to school at St. Margaret's in San Juan Capistrano! She and her husband and daughters are now living in Florence!

The rector had this tabernacle made by a local craftsman:

And there is of course the cappuchino machine in the parish hall:

Mark the parish Rector took us to lunch at Trattoria 13 Gobbi:

What a wonderful time we had! Such a lovely man.

We got back to the townhouse and decided to take a walk and try and see the inside of Santo Spirito -- the same man who rudely turned us away was at the door again. He was talking with a group of women. We snuck in behind him. Whew! There were other tourists in the church. It had signs posted that said no Photography. I'm always good about following those rules so I don't have picture from inside -- others were snapping away.

We went into the sacristy where an Augustinian monk was walking around praying on his rosary. In the sacristy is the wooden crucifix of a naked Jesus carved by Michelangelo. From the blog:
Michelangelo Buonarroti self-taught the study of anatomy.  In the wee hours of the night, Michelangelo would sneak in and out of the morgue of the hospital at the church of Santo Spirito in Florence, Italy.  He would carve and dissect corpses and commit to his memory each layer of the body's systems.  The prior of Santo Spirito, Niccolo Bichiellini, was aware of someone entering the morgue, but it took quite a while before he put two and two together and came to the realization that it was indeed Michelangelo sneaking around.  Because the church prior liked Michelangelo and though the two never actually discussed Michelangelo's un-permitted entrance into the morgue and dissection of the corpses, there was an unspoken agreement that he was free to continue his anatomical studies; hence, no more sneaking. 

Out of gratitude for the prior's generosity bestowed upon Michelangelo, when Michelangelo was a mere 18 years of age (1493), he sculpted the wooden crucifix of Jesus as a gift to the prior and the church. The sculpture remained in the high altar of the church until the early 1600s when some structural modifications to the church were made.  The cross was relocated and apparently lost for some time.

More recently, 1964, the sculpture was displayed in Rome and eventually moved to the Casa Buonarroti.  In the past week the sculpture was returned to its original home in the church of Santo Spirito.

I was happy to find this post from September 10, 2010 and the photo. I checked other sources that offered similar insights.

There was a crafts fair in the Santo Spirito square:

We headed back to townhouse and then headed out again to buy some groceries. A simple salad and fresh bread dinner was all we needed tonight. 

A few door pictures:

I didn't know who the person above was so I looked him up on the Internet -- if you are curious you can do the same 😀. Below is where he was born.

We are both a bit tired tonight -- I only walked 12,826 steps or 4.94 miles today, but it felt like a great deal more!

Early to bed tonight -- company is coming tomorrow evening!

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