venerdì 17 marzo 2017

In the bliss of Filippo

bennibag the colour of a spring Roman sky, to buy it (15 euros) send me a mail!
On march the 16th, every year that God sends to us in this strange world in its topsy turvy ways, in rain or shine, the beautiful Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne, masterpiece of Baldassarre Peruzzi, that looks on the savoiard street of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, opens its doors, with valets dressed up, to the Romans who want to visit the baroque chapel dedicated to the great Roman Saint Filippo Neri. He, Filippo (Pippo for us Romans…) was the darlingest and loveliest of saints, simple, beloved, loving, he lived in the XVI century and dedicated his whole life to the young children that roamed the Sacred Eternal City in dire poverty. But all the little ones, abandoned and unloved, found in Pippo a friend and a father. Also Paolo Massimo, the little prince who lived in the beautiful Palazzo alle Colonne…

One sad day, one very sad day, on the 16th of march of 1584, the little prince laid in his deathbed. Pippo was summoned, but could not come in time. The child, a fourteen year old, died and when the dear priest arrived, it was too late… Yes, but not too late for a man of God. Pippo sat beside the little dead boy and asked him to come back to him. And Paolo did! He talked to the priest, received his Sacraments and eventually said that he rather be in Paradise with his dead mother and went away again. So the story goes. The room where this wondrous facts took place is now a beautiful baroque chapel. And this year, walking through the dark rooms of the Palace and up the stairs to reach the second floor and the chapel, I was there too, to remember the miracle of a great Saint, to pray where it took place and to live an ancient Roman tradition that I brought back home tied to my heart, together with Filippo's bliss.

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