More Monumentale…

The entrance to Monumentale Cemetery in Milan is as grand as the rest of the grounds. This cemetery is filled with both contemporary and classical sculptures. We were struck with how massive many of the sculptures are.

This monument reminded me so much of a story from the Old Testament. Anyone out there want to guess which one?

This cemetery would need several hours to fully take in. I will soon share the last part of the cemetery we visited including the Hall of Fame.

Hope your week is going well. So far so good here. I was happy that the constant rain from the weekend has seemed to cease. The exciting news this week is that our new cookbook, Celebrations, is in the hands of some at Menno Press. The 10 of us are excitedly and anxiously waiting for our copy to arrive!

Blessings…

Over the Top…

Monumentale Cemetery in Milan, Italy is hands down the most over the top cemetery I’ve been to yet. I’m breaking down the photos I show into categories. I’ve already shown you a few like the last supper sculpture. This post will be all about angels…

In general I feel angels are depicted too mellow and sweet. I like this one for it’s more rugged style and many more of the sculptures we saw at this cemetery.

Looking at all these statues reminds me of the Amy Grant Song from a few years ago, Angels Watching Over Me.

Got his angels watching over me, every move I make,

Angels watching over me!

Angels watching over me, every step I take,

Angels watching over me!

Now from the past to the present…

Lovella from Mennonite Girls Can Cook and What Matters Most along with her dear husband were camping for one night in our neck of the woods on their way home from Cannon Beach so we were able to get together for breakfast at this old house on Sunday morning. What a fun treat to have them in our home for the first time. I did not take one photo. Can you believe that!? I guess I was just too excited. We had blintzes with fruit topping, bacon, sausages, coffee, and fresh orange juice with maybe some champagne in it. I’m not telling.  Here’s a photo of what the table looked like after the fact…

I have a couple of weeks of quiet on my calendar. The end of April really heats up into May. Hope your week ahead is a good one. Blessings.

Oh and while I’m thinking of it head over to our MGCC blog on Monday to get the recipe for Aebleskivers!

The Other Side…

I wanted to finish sharing my photos from the Duomo (Milan Cathedral). These shots are taken of the back and some from the sides.

This shot captures the lift that is used by construction crew to get to the top of the Duomo where restoration work is being done.

There are 2245 statues on the exterior of the Duomo, 96 gargoyles, and 135 Spires.

This is the one figure that I recognized on the outside of the Duomo. Have you read the account of David and Goliath from the Bible? Here are excerpts from 1 Samuel 17…

The Philistine army had a hero named Goliath who was from the town of Gath and was over nine feet tall. 5-6 He wore a bronze helmet and had bronze armor to protect his chest and legs. The chest armor alone weighed about one hundred twenty-five pounds. He carried a bronze sword strapped on his back, and his spear was so big that the iron spearhead alone weighed more than fifteen pounds. A soldier always walked in front of Goliath to carry his shield.

Goliath went out and shouted to the army of Israel:

Why are you lining up for battle? I’m the best soldier in our army, and all of you are in Saul’s army. Choose your best soldier to come out and fight me! If he can kill me, our people will be your slaves. But if I kill him, your people will be our slaves. 10 Here and now I challenge Israel’s whole army! Choose someone to fight me!…

…11 Saul and his men heard what Goliath said, but they were so frightened of Goliath that they couldn’t do a thing…

16 Goliath came out and gave his challenge every morning and every evening for forty days…

…26 David asked some soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and stopping him from insulting our people? Who does that worthless Philistine think he is? He’s making fun of the army of the living God!”…

…31 Some soldiers overheard David talking, so they told Saul what David had said. Saul sent for David, and David came. 32 “Your Majesty,” he said, “this Philistine shouldn’t turn us into cowards. I’ll go out and fight him myself!”

33 “You don’t have a chance against him,” Saul replied. “You’re only a boy, and he’s been a soldier all his life.”

34 But David told him:

Your Majesty, I take care of my father’s sheep. And when one of them is dragged off by a lion or a bear, 35 I go after it and beat the wild animal until it lets the sheep go. If the wild animal turns and attacks me, I grab it by the throat and kill it.

36 Sir, I have killed lions and bears that way, and I can kill this worthless Philistine. He shouldn’t have made fun of the army of the living God! 37 The Lord has rescued me from the claws of lions and bears, and he will keep me safe from the hands of this Philistine.

“All right,” Saul answered, “go ahead and fight him. And I hope the Lord will help you.”…

…David took off the armor 40 and picked up his shepherd’s stick. He went out to a stream and picked up five smooth rocks and put them in his leather bag. Then with his sling in his hand, he went straight toward Goliath.

41 Goliath came toward David, walking behind the soldier who was carrying his shield. 42 When Goliath saw that David was just a healthy, good-looking boy, he made fun of him. 43 “Do you think I’m a dog?” Goliath asked. “Is that why you’ve come after me with a stick?” He cursed David in the name of the Philistine gods 44 and shouted, “Come on! When I’m finished with you, I’ll feed you to the birds and wild animals!”

45 David answered:

You’ve come out to fight me with a sword and a spear and a dagger. But I’ve come out to fight you in the name of the Lord All-Powerful. He is the God of Israel’s army, and you have insulted him too!

46 Today the Lord will help me defeat you. I’ll knock you down and cut off your head, and I’ll feed the bodies of the other Philistine soldiers to the birds and wild animals. Then the whole world will know that Israel has a real God. 47 Everybody here will see that the Lord doesn’t need swords or spears to save his people. The Lord always wins his battles, and he will help us defeat you.

48 When Goliath started forward, David ran toward him. 49 He put a rock in his sling and swung the sling around by its straps. When he let go of one strap, the rock flew out and hit Goliath on the forehead. It cracked his skull, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50 David defeated Goliath with a sling and a rock. He killed him without even using a sword.

51 David ran over and pulled out Goliath’s sword. Then he used it to cut off Goliath’s head.

Hope you made it through my longer than usual post. There’s more and you can read the whole account in the Old Testament in the book of First Samuel. Reading this again makes me want to sing “Only a Boy Named David”. Did you ever sing that song?

Tuesday got away from me. Now I’m doing some scrambling today to get reconnected to my brain. Our glorious sunshine from the weekend is hiding away for now and hopefully will return soon. What are you enjoying this week?

Maundy Thursday

I took this photo just 9 days ago at the Monumentale Cemetery in Milan. Today and this whole week Christians around the world remember the events that led up to the crucifixion and Christ’s resurrection over 2000 years ago. I always look forward to celebrating our risen Lord who is alive today. The Last Supper and the Washing of the Disciples Feet are both remarkable events. While in Milan I was also able to see Leonardo da Vinci’s mural of the Last Supper. The original mural is on a wall of the refectory (dining hall) in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. No photos allowed. This next sculpture of Jesus washing Peter’s feet is at the Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, California.

GOTW-practice035

 

Excerpts from John chapter 13…

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

On Top of Old Duomo…

…all covered with marble.

For 7 euros you can climb to the roof of the Duomo. For 12 euros you can ride an elevator up. I believe there were just over 200 steps total to get to the roof.

On a clear day you can see as far as the Alps and Apennines.

Dear was intrigued with the design of this building that we could see from the rooftop of the Duomo.

The Duomo is decorated with an amazing number of beautifully sculpted statues and spires. There are more statues on this building than any other in the world, 3159 in total. 2245 Of these are on the exterior together with 96 gargoyles and 135 spires.

The most famous of all these statues on the Duomo is the Madonnina (Little Madonna), a copper statue of the virgin Mary covered with 3900 pieces of gold leaf. It was cast in 1774 by goldsmith Giuseppe Bini and sculptor Giuseppe Perego. The statue, almost 14 feet high, was placed on top of the cathedral’s tallest spire and until 1959 marked the highest point in the city at 108.5 meter.

As with many old structures like this there are ongoing restoration projects. You can see the scaffolding surrounding the spire of the gold statue.

The views of all the architecture from the roof was worth the trip up those stairs. This post is a photo overload but after all the effort to get to the top I didn’t want to stop clicking away.

Within the Duomo

With a cathedral as old and magnificent as this one the history connected is too much to share in a blog post. One of the interesting side notes we heard is that the sanctuary was designed to be able to hold 40,000 parishioners at one time. It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world.

The inside of Milan’s Cathedral is expansive but rather dark. There are five large naves divided by 52 pillars – one for each week of the year – that support the cross vaulted ceiling.

We arrived too late to the Duomo to investigate the Crypt and Treasury.

How are your plans for Easter shaping up? Although I’m feeling better I’m still not at a productive state.  I’ll be taking it easy for a few more days.

Duomo Milan

Milan Cathedral is the cathedral church of Milan, Italy. Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Cardinal Angelo Scola. The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. I’ll be sharing several posts on the Duomo. My first photos will be of the front of the Duomo. My future posts on the Duomo will be from the interior, the roof and the rear.

The cathedral of Milan holds over six centuries of history and the entire building is made of pink-hued, white marble that comes from the quarries of Candoglia. Its construction began in 1386 on the area where the basilicas Santa Tecla and Santa Maria Maggiore stood and later became “encompassed” in the new cathedral. Architects, sculptors, artists and thousands of specialized workers became involved in the Fabbrica del Duomo (the construction of the cathedral) which, it can easily be said, has never stopped operating. Even today, in fact, work still continues on this extraordinary piece that is the symbol and heart of the city.

This was one of the highlights of Milan but it also has it’s downside. Tourists are bombarded by pickpockets here that work in tag teams trying to distract you while they try to steal your valuables or just con you out of your money. We enjoyed the views of the Duomo away from the crowds.

I am finally feeling well enough to get things done around here and to go out and about again. It was so good to be back in church this morning and to reconnect with friends. After our morning Palm Sunday service Josh and Laura picked us up for a belated birthday meal in Seattle. We had a great time together catching up and planning some future events together. Hope you had a good day!