Well, Rome and Amalfi. After my post a couple of days ago on one of Rome's many beautiful churches, I heard about the attacks on the embassies in Rome. It's sad and shocking but all the more reason for prayer and shining the light of love into the world.
I have been reading a book about the Renaissance poet Vittoria Colonna. (1490-1547) It's called "Sonnets for Michelangelo" after a book of her poems she had bound for him as a gift.
Below is one of her sonnets with an English Translation.
Santa Maria Maggiore - Rome
Founded in the 4th century
Dedicated to the Virgin Mary
Byzantine and Paleochristian architecture
Fully restored in the 18th century
How much joy brought to the hearts
of the wise kings from the magnificent East,
O sign and burning star, when you fixed your beautiful
living rays upon that happy lowly hut.
Quanta gioia, tu segno e ardente,
Alor che i vivi bei raggi fermaste
Sul tugurio felice, al cor mandaste
De i saggi re del bel ricco oriente.
And you kings, how much more did your love your own great king,
how much higher and more powerful did you consider him,
the more lowly you found him then, swaddle tiny and poor,
and his great humility lifted your souls to heaven.
E voi, quanto piu` basso il re possente
Fasciato, picciolin, pover trovaste,
Pui` grande, alto il vedeste e pui` l'amaste,
Ch'al ciel tanta umilita` v'alzo` la mente.
Duomo di Amalfi - Amalfi
The stable, the animals, the cold, and the hay,
and his poor rags, and his hard bed,
all were a sure sign of his celestial grace;
Il loco, gli animali, il freddo e 'l fieno
Davano, e i panni vili, e il duro letto,
De l'alta sua bonta` sicuro segno;
Then, your hearts filled with joy, you worshiped
that star and the sweet countenance
of our Lord, holding your gifts before you.
E per la stella e per lo chiaro aspetto
De la potenzia, avendo in mano il pegno,
L'adoraste col cor di gaudio pieno
Merry Christmas my dear friends!
Blessings and light to you all!