Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers

Thought for the Day – Passion or Palm Sunday – 9 April 2017

Thought for the Day – Passion or Palm Sunday – 9 April 2017 – The Legend of the Vatican Palms

The obelisk in St. Peter’s Square was originally erected in Heliopolis, Egypt sometime between 2494 and 2345 BC. After 63 BC it was moved to Alexandria, then Caligula moved it to Rome in 37 AD.    It moved to its current location in 1586.    It’s the only obelisk in Rome that hasn’t fallen since antiquity.    It used to be topped with a globe that was rumoured to contain Caesar’s ashes.    That turned out to be wrong and today it’s topped with a reliquary that contains a piece of the True Cross.


That much is true… this a legend I heard in Rome about what allegedly happened when the architect/engineer Domenico Fontana was re-erecting the obelisk for the last time in 1586.    Fontana gathered 900 men and 140 horses (as shown in the engraving above). Pope Sixtus V forbid anyone to speak while the obelisk was raised, so no one would break their concentration.    In silence, the massive team began to lift it.    But one sailor noticed that the ropes were smoking from the friction.    Against the pope’s orders he yelled, “Water on the ropes!”

Fortunately, they heeded his advice.    The water cooled down the ropes and the obelisk went up successfully.    However the sailor was still hauled in front of the pope for breaking his decree.    But instead of punishing him, the pope thanked him and offered him a reward.    The sailor asked that his family’s farm in Bordighera supply the palms for Palm Sunday every year, as long as they owned the land.


To this day, the Vatican sources their Palm Sunday fronds from Bordighera.    That much is true too.

The thought is this – “speak out when you know the truth be not afraid!”


Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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