The mantle of Holy Mary

Posted in Holy Mary, Jesus, new by martalorenza on December 8, 2012

To celebrate Immaculate Virgin Mary here is a tale Father Pio used to tell.

unoOne day Jesus realized that someone in Heaven didn’t have what it takes. He headed for St. Peter to warn him, but Peter replied he used to be very careful about it and so, what He said sounded impossible to him. «Alright, but be more careful, anyway», Jesus told him.

duePeter paid more attention, but he thought that everything was working well.

Poco dopo Gesù tornò a lamentarsi: «Pietro, ho visto ancora gente un po’ strana... questo non mi piace, non riesci a fare più attenzione?»

After a while, Jesus went back to complain again: «Peter, I’ve seen further odd people around… How can they pass under your nose?»

Il povero san Pietro introdusse controlli più severi e venne così a scoprire che l’unica persona che entrava ed usciva liberamente era la Madonna. Si guardò bene dal fare domande alla Madre del Signore, ma, tenendola d’occhio, notò che all’uscita il suo bel manto scendeva lineare fino ai piedi…

Poor St. Peter introduced stricter control and so, he discovered that the only person who used to get in and out freely was Holy Mary. He wouldn’t dream of asking questions to our Lord’s Mother, but keeping an eye on her, he noticed that when she left Heaven, her beautiful mantle hung down straight till Her feet…

… mentre al rientro si gonfiava come una vela al vento. Decise comunque di non dir nulla e continuò a controllare gli Angeli custodi e i Santi Patroni.

…while when She got in, it looked swollen, like a sail in the wind. He decided not to say anything, and kept controlling the Archangels and the Patron Saints. But when Jesus had told him off the third time: «Peter, you risk being taken away Heaven keys», Peter decided to show Him his doubts: «Master, I’ve come up with an idea about who lets those people in, but I’m afraid we won’t be able to do anything: either I or Yourself». «Really? – answered Jesus. How is it possible?» «First of all – explained St. Peter – I’ve discovered that your mother has a spare set of my keys, so that she goes out and in whenever she likes it.» «And I have also noticed that when she gets in, her mantle looks swollen: in my opinion, it is at that moment that she lets in whoever she wants, hiding them». As St. Peter had thought, smiling Jesus could only say: «Peter, if it is so, let’s let things be the way they are».


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A “mender” Advent Calendar

Posted in new by martalorenza on December 4, 2012


A friend of mine has told me off because I haven’t drawn anything for long. The fact is that this year all my free time has been devoted to the maps of the VeronicaRoute. Anyway, I feel sorry about that and so I have decided to use the link to my old Advent Calendar, at least (hopefully, it will still work: I made it nearly 10 years ago).


Merry Advent for now!

September 29, Saint Raphael

Posted in Serafino Zardoni, St Raphael by martalorenza on September 29, 2012

Here is a letter my uncle, monsignore Serafino Zardoni, sent me to wish me a Happy Saint’s Day.

Dearest Raffaella,

the reason why I’m writing is simple: I saw you at home, but I forgot to wish you a happy feast Day; after the liturgical reform, the Holy Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, have been gathered into one feast day on September 29th. So: my dearest wishes to you!

That could actually be all. But I opened the fantastic Book of Tobit again, the book of the righteous man, whom God tried and then rewarded; the wedding book, the book of tradition; but above all, the book of the Providence of God through the archangel Raphael, God who heals. If you were to read it again one of these days and slowly savored it, you would be fascinated.

In it you will find an interesting kind of an angel (later elevated to the dignity of an archangel).

You will find that the good angel tells lies (5,5), he knows geography well (5,6ff); he tells loads of lies to Tobit  (5,13) he accepts the allowance and the recruitment (5,15), but he proves faithful to his name, Raphael, showing his medical and pharmaceutical skills  (6,4-8); and he isn’t even afraid of acting as a matchmaker at weddings (6,10-11); and in front of the bridegroom’s perplexity (Sarah had already had seven husbands, all strangled by the Devil) he gives him a certain anti-Devil medicine (6,17); moreover, as a perfect athlete, he runs faster than the Devil (from Ecbàtana to Upper Egypt) and he enchains him (8,3).

And he is also an excellent businessman, managing to get as much money as Tobit’ family was entitled to (9,5), and then he takes Tobit junior and his young wife back home (11,1-6).

But that’s not all: as a good doctor, he gives some medicine to Tobit senior, who gets his sight back (11,8ff); and then he finally tells the truth: “It is good to keep the secret of a king, but that it is more glorious to reveal the works of God… I am Raphael, who presents the prayers of the saints” (12,11; 15)

It is a wonderful speech which preludes Tobit’s canticle of thanksgiving to the Lord.

And they lived happily ever after, rich in virtues and money… and he “blessed God that liveth for ever”.


You can add the rest. But if Raffaella (without telling Raphael’s lies) were to become the one that shows God’s secret, that’s how life would reach its deepest meaning: to reveal to men the great mystery of God, so that they may bless him.

To reveal it to all those who come close to you, with words, or more simply, by living; obviously this means you must know God and, therefore, you must have studied him; but certainly, much more, what it involves is loving God, because in order to really know, you need to love.

And this is a life worth living. Amen!

Goodbye, yours forever,

father Serafino

BO. Sept. 29th, 1982

joy of all creation

Posted in Holy Mary by martalorenza on September 8, 2012

What a surprise it was in Turkey to discover that Bysantine art is full of tenderness! Like in this mosaic with Joachim and Anne cuddling babe Mary.

Instambul, the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora, endonarthex, vault, The Virgin blessed by the priests and cuddled by Joachim and Anne, detail 1315-1321

The reference to the blessing is from the Protoevangelium of James (6,2). When Mary was one, Joachim wanted to celebrate and he invited pontiffs, priests, scribes, the Sanhedrin and all the people of Israel. Joachim introduced Mary to the priests, who blessed her saying: “God of our Fathers, bless this child and give her a renowned everlasting name”.

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clicart notice

Posted in new by martalorenza on June 25, 2012

From June 30th Apple will stop the Mobil Me service; my web site will go back to