Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Romanovs to the Pope: Siberian marble as a gift...

From the Ostian Basilica: ab oriente et occidente! Don’t you just love Russian marble?

This gorgeous green marble comes from Siberia. It’s called “malachite” (a mineral carbonate of copper). Czar Nicholas I donated the marble seen in this altar to Blessed Pope Pius IX for use in the Ostian Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. My two favorite altars in Rome are these two: the one seen in the photo and its twin across the sanctuary.

Of course Russia is the largest country in the world: a sixth of its land mass. There are many faithful Catholics in the Russia of today. Perhaps you might feel inclined to make an act of stewardship toward the Russian faithful? See this site for online donation info with PayPal: www.vladmission.org .

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