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San Procolo by Michelangelo - Basilica di San domenico

Angel by Michelangelo--Basilica San Domenico, Bologna

Front page, Vasari's LIVES OF THE ARTISTS

Peter Luger Steak

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

Two Towers--Bologna

Santa Maria Maggiore

dish of pasta cinghiale (boar sauce. recipe in blog post)

cover E-edition BART: a Life of A. Bartlett Giamatti

Shel Silverstein, from JOHN DANTE'S INFERNO

John Dante's Polaroids (2)

John Dante's Polaroids

Coming soon--Dante in Love

Feast of the Immaculate Conception (2)

December 8, 2013

Tags: Santa Maria Maggiore. THE LITTLE SAILOR. Anthony Valerio's blog

The second item on the papal itinerary today was a visit to St. Mary Major Basilica (Santa Maria Maggiore) to venerate the image of Mary known as the "Salus Populi Romani," which is an icon depicting Mary and the Christ child, over the altar of the Pauline Chapel (Cappella Paolina).
I have written about this miracle in a bOok close to my heart entitled THE LITTLE SAILOR.

In August 352, Italy’s First Woman, the Madonna, worked one of her miracles.
The month began as it always had, sizzling hot, and, on the eve of the fourth, with hardly a soul left in Rome for the communal walk, Giovanni the Patrician struggled up the Esquiline Hill for a breeze. There was none, and he sat on a rock and watched droplets of his sweat fall to the scorched ground.
But then a cool wind rushed onto his face and played all around like a rippling ocean wave. At the same time, he heard a rustling of cloth very near. Giovanni raised his ears in order to hear better and, at eye level, he saw, suspended, three feet off the ground, the most perfect little pair of feet. The Madonna’s veil extending down to her ankles was of natural vellum, like a sail’s, and it was flapping. She spoke in a clear, firm voice:
“Build a chapel on the spot where snow will fall tomorrow morning.”
It would take a miracle for snow to fall on Rome in August, the temperature and humidity soaring, the joints swelling, the brain afire, Romans by the thousands except the blind beggars fleeing to the seashore and the mountains. Then Giovanni fell asleep.
A long serene time seemed to have passed before he felt a gentle cool drop onto his lip, then one onto his closed eyelids, and another onto his cheek. Cool, moist fingertips bouncing and spreading and melting. He was afraid to open his eyes.
It was snowing. Flakes pure white as the Madonna’s toes, soft as the vellum of her veil, dandled and floated and finally fell onto him and onto the hill. Giovanni’s eyes fluttered and he laughed with the exhilaration of a child.
The Madonna seemed to be saying:
“Accept the mercilessness of Nature. Remember the sacredness of Home Ground.”
Giovanni the Patrician and Pope Liberio sketched the plan for the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore atop the Esquiline Hill. At one point, his eyes down on the parchment, Liberio felt tapping on his gilt, tri-cornered hat. Rose petals. Giovanni, smiling, was dropping rose petals.
Every year since, on August 5, soft, red, aromatic rose petals fall onto mass goers who enter

New Work - Dante in Love - a modern literary translation of Dante's classic A New Life

Fiction. Translation
a haunting beautiful eternal story of unrequited love--
Italian and Italian American Studies. Biography
Illiterate and poor, the daughter of a herdsman in 19th century Brazil, Anita Ribeiro was lifted from a life of obscurity to one that is the stuff of romance and adventure. When she and a young Italian exile by the name of Captain Garibaldi met in 1839, they joined in the cause of founding a Brazilian republic. Later they went on to lead the defense of Montevideo from an Argentine siege—just one episode among many in their idealistic, nationalistic crusade in a time of immense revolutionary upheaval. It was Anita who taught Garibaldi the guerrilla ways of the gauchoS≪/i>, and they lived as man and wife through a series of adventure and wars. Returning to Italy in 1848 to fight for a united republican Italy, as revolution swept throughout Europe, Anita and Garibaldi were tragically separated by her untimely death the following year. Garibaldi went on to ultimate fame as the father of modern Italy—while Anita's story drifted into the mists of legend. This book, the first full biography of the remarkable life of Anita Garibaldi, tells the true story of a fascinating and important woman.
Italian History, Biography, Women's Studies
John Dante, Champ - and his great friends Shel Silverstein & Hugh Hefner, and many others
"The substance of this memoir is what makes us human when we come home from struggling in the world." --Afaa Michael Weaver
Biography. New Print Edition.
"A Wonderful Read."
–Larry King, Newsday
"The Little Sailor is a literary gem from one of our foremost writers. Anthony Valerio's evocative prose woos the characters onto the page and into the hearts of its readers. His charming, eccentric, deeply moving women emerge from a world of distant memories with extraordinary force and passion–sensual, enticing, unforgettable–and the reader is mesmerized."
–Edvige Giunta

IMMIGRANTS, according to Anthony Valerio