‘When in Rome’

Posted January 19, 2018 at 12:00 am

One of the more ubiquitous and let’s face it, annoying phrases that has taken on several delineations through the years is, “When in Rome, do as the Romans.”

The phrase “When in Rome” actually has Catholic origins, dating to 387 with St. Ambrose. According to a proverb attributed to St. Ambrose, he vocalized the phrase in a recommendation to follow the cultures and ways of a region where one is either living or visiting.

As tradition tells it, St. Monica and her son, St. Augustine, learned that Saturday was observed as a fast day in Rome, where they were planning a visit. However, in Milan, where the future saints lived, it was not a fast day.

So they consulted St. Ambrose, who said,

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    Did You Know?

    The zaniness of the holidays is silenced, normalcy just around the corner, and gifts unwrapped although January’s reality that comes with the credit card bill might dim the sparkle a of the Christmas glow.

    One might also think it’s time to address that pesky, burgeoning waistline, fueled by the past month of a steady diet of over indulgence of fine dining and spirits. But as we in south Louisiana are blissfully aware, the culmination of the Christmas season is merely a segue into another culinary feast.

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    Baptism of bells

    Church bells are commonplace today, but for the first 400 years of the church there was only silence. Paulinus of Nola first introduced the bells at a church in the year 400. In 604 Pope Sabinianus officially sanctioned the usage of bells, and by early in the Middle Ages ringing could be heard throughout northern Europe.

    Although the primary purpose of the bells has traditionally been to alert Catholics in a particular area that Mass time is nearing, they can be heard throughout the day at many

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    Incorruptible bodies

    Science tries but fails.

    Theories abound but fall short.

    The incorruptible bodies of saints remain one of the mysteries, and treasures, of the Catholic Church.

    By definition an incorruptible body is one, traditionally a saint but not always, that has miraculously preserved after death, defying the normal process of decomposition. Incorruptible bodies were initially discovered in the centuries after the death of Christ, with St. Cecilia believed to be the first known saint to be incorrupt.

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    Burning question

    Throughout the liturgical year, the church’s most solemn Masses feature insightful Scripture readings and breathtaking music, along with the use of incense, a longtime Catholic tradition.

    Save for a few sneezes and an occasional cough from the congregation, depending on the celebrant’s own usage, incense provides an aromatic sidebar to an already beautiful ceremony.

    So what exactly is incense, loved by so many but a fragrance that also sends others scrambling for tissue? Basically, is it a granulated or powdered

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    A Catholic tradition

    Amid the zaniness so often associated with Mardi Gras, it’s easy to forget that the Carnival season is deeply rooted in the Catholic faith.

    The roots of Mardi Gras run as deep as the pagan Roman celebration of Lupercalia, a February holiday that honored the Roman god of fertility and included feasting and drinking (two Mardi Gras staples).

    As the Catholic Church began its rise in ancient Rome, Christian morality and teachings began to spread, creating a need to blend ancient

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    Vessels with a purpose

    The Mass itself is a beautiful celebration, one of sacrifice and celebration. It’s also a sum of many components, including the vessels, each of which serves a significant role in what is a beautiful celebration.

    Perhaps the most sacred is the chalice, which will hold the consecrated body and blood of Christ. The presiding priest might use his own personal chalice, or one provided by the parish. A priest’s personal chalice typically holds some type of significance.

    A member of a religious

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