Resurrection of Christ (Fra Angelico, 1440-41) (PD-art)
Throughout the past week, one procession after another paraded through the city. Each one dramatized one of the final days before Jesus’ crucifixion. The doge always played the role of Jesus, but our city’s leader somehow escaped beatings and execution.
On Good Friday, the city went into mourning. Black was everywhere—-in San Marco church as well as everyone’s clothing.
But what a celebration I saw this morning! When the doors of San Marco opened, someone called out: “Jesus isn’t here, for he has risen, just as he said.” Singers sang “Alleluia” and the doge’s procession entered the church. Inside, elegant brocades had replaced black mourning cloth, and the city’s leaders wore gold silk.
What an unforgettable week—-I never saw anything like it in Verona!
I’m so excited! Papa promised he’ll take me to Piazza San Marco next Sunday—Palm Sunday—to attend Mass and see the festivities. My friend Valeria tells me the doge and other officials of our city will march around the square carrying palm branches leafed with gold, commemorating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem so many years ago.
After these long, solemn weeks, I can hardly wait for Holy Week, and especially the joyful celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Strolling along Venice’s walkways with my father, I noticed this emblem above several doorways. Too great a coincidence that so many families would have the same initials, I thought.
Papa told me it’s the emblem of Scuola di San Rocco, a religious brotherhood in Venice. Because generous Venetians leave houses or money to the Scuola in their wills, the brotherhood offers houses every year to needy members. They mark each donated house with this emblem.
Now whenever I see the emblem in the front of a home, I’m happy that a sick or injured weaver, shoemaker, dyer, or barrel maker can live there with his family, paying little or no rent. Good deeds, and not just for Lent!