An Indian Palm Sunday from the Corriere.
Some parrots from Columbia - the Church there has been urging the faithful not to leave the parrots homeless in their enthusiasm for palms.
Okay... why would anyone want such an ugly/scary pet?
Finally, I was puzzled to hear of the devotion of some Italians to an Irishman called 'San Cataldo' - a little reseach reveals the following astonishing story:
Born in Munster, Ireland, 7th century. Saint Cataldus was a pupil, then the headmaster of the monastic school of Lismore in Waterford after the death of its founder, Saint Carthage. Upon his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he was shipwrecked at Taranto in southern Italy and chosen by the people as their bishop. He is the titular of Taranto's cathedral and the principal patron of the diocese. This epitaph if given under an image of Saint Catald in Rome:
Me tulit Hiberne, Solyme traxere, Tarentum Nunc tenet: huic ritus, dogmata, jura dedi.Which has been loosely translated as:
Hibernia gave me birth: thence wafted over, I sought the sacred Solymean shore. To thee Tarentum, holy rites I gave, Precept divine; and thou to me a grave.It is odd that an Irishman, should be so honored throughout Italy, Malta, and France, but have almost no recognition in his homeland. His Irish origins were discovered only two or three centuries after his death, when his relic were recovered during the renovation of the cathedral of Taranto. A small golden cross, of 7th- or 8th- century Irish workmanship, was with the relics. Further investigations identified him with Cathal, the teacher of Lismore.
Veneration to Catald spread, especially in southern Italy, after the May 10, 1017, translation of his relics when the cathedral was being rebuilt following its destruction at the hands of Saracens in 927. Four remarkable cures occurred as the relics were moved to the new cathedral. When his coffin was open at that time, a pastoral staff of Irish workmanship was found with the inscription Cathaldus Rachau. There is a town of San Cataldo in Sicily and another on the southeast coast of Italy (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Farmer, Husenbeth, Kenney, Montague, Neeson, Tommasini).
Saint Catald is depicted in art as an early Christian bishop with a miter and pallium in a 12th century mosaic at Palermo (Roeder). He is the subject of a painting on the 8th pillar of the nave on the left in the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem (D'Arcy, Montague). There are also 12th-century mosaics in Palermo and Monreale depicting the saint (Farmer). Catald is invoked against plagues, drought, and storms (Farmer).