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The Aesthetics of Spirituality

Clock, texts and cruets in the sacristy of the church of Sant’ Antonio di Padova. As an acolyte in my youth my task after each of four Sunday masses was to clean these vessels so Monsignor could refill them. I tossed the water, but eagerly drank what was left of the wine. My very first “spiritual” experience.

Vittoria Colonna and her aunt by marriage, Costanza d’Avalos, appear in the altarpiece
fresco by an anonymous Neapolitan artist, first decade of sixteenth century.


Artifacts arranged near ancient lava flow in the basement of the convent.

Padre and Maestro.

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Vittoria Colonna was born in Marino on 1490. The father was Fabrizio Colonna, one of the biggest captains of his century. The mother, Agnese from Montefeltro, was belonging to one of the most ancient princely Italy's family. When she was five she was promised in marriage to Francesco Ferrante d'Avalos, the son of the marquis of Pescare. When she was 16 she married the marquis and saw for the first time her husband, but the love for him, who died soon, was the background of her life and the principal artificer of her poetry. The marriage was very sumptuous in the Castle of Ischia on 1509. 12. 27. Ferrante and Vittoria, after the wedding, leaved the Castle and went to Naples, at the "Villa Pietralba" (Castle St. Elmo). There they spent three years of their life. Then Vittoria came back at Ischia after the death of Ferrante during a cruel war on 1525. 11. 30.
Vittoria was very famous by her culture and virtue. Ludovico Ariosto, in the "Orlando Furioso", wrote that she was the most celebrated woman of the mythology and antiquity. Today she is remembered for her collection of poetry and for her exemplar behaviour during the Italian Renaissance, dominated by power struggles and treasons.

(#2: I was not logged in)

The conversation between me and the "Padre" let me astonished. When you was photographing, half hour, the monk just told me about sevent centuries of Church's history, criticizing that and that and that (I didn't think he was so old!). When we were out, in the court, I said you that I was confused: that's the reason...

Now that is truly amusing! Perhaps you could be more specific about his complaints. Do you think that in his solitary, contemplative life he has had more than enough time to think of all that has gone wrong? Did he offer any solutions?

Another thing. Remember when you introduced me to the padre? He looked at me very closely, and reached over and tugged at the knot of the red bandana under my black Navy watch cap, and he smiled and said, "Cowboy!" Did I hear this accurately? Is this what he meant? Of course if he did, he was absolutely correct.

I replayed to you as anonymous, because the explanation was censurable...

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