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Monday, April 18, 2005

Good article about Cardinal Maida in Rome.

Just before the Conclave started, Cardinal Maida visited his "parish" in Rome, St. Vitalis, and got a warm reception:

Applause greeted Maida after he rose at the end of mass to salute the congregation.
"It is especially significant that we come together at this historic church. You've witnessed many conclaves, and today, on the eve of another conclave, we pray together," Maida told them in English. "Pray for me. Pray for my brother cardinals, for the church ... that we be guided by the Holy Spirit."

Mauro Medaglini, who was ordained as a Catholic deacon Saturday night in the church, was gleeful after meeting Maida. "I said to his eminence that it's a good omen for me, a good start, that I meet him now," Medaglini said.

When Pope John Paul II installed Maida as a cardinal in 1994, he also named him the titular leader of the Church of St. Vitalis, named for a martyr whose Second-Century death by being buried alive is portrayed on a recently restored side wall mural in the front of the church. The church's formal name also includes the names of St. Vitalis' wife, Valeris, and children Gervase and Protase.

The church is on a busy Rome street, Via Nazionale, and -- coincidentally -- across the street from the Hotel Michigan. One of the oldest churches in Rome, it is built in the rectangular basilica style and reached by 35 steps.

One of my great-grandfathers was named Vitalis--I wonder if it was a deliberate homage, or just an interesting coincidence. All I need now is about $2500 to get over to Rome for a visit and to start the geneological research...

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