August 15, 2016

Venice, Italy. October, 2012

She is risen. Today is the Feast of the Assumption. And here is a view to my favorite painting in the world, Titian's Assumption, as seen hanging in the spot for which it was painted in the Franciscan church, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice. (When I brought Dr. Blake to the Frari in 2012 to show him the painting, sadly it was obscured by some nasty scaffolding. Click here for an unobstructed view.) Here are some things I've always heard about this feast day that honors the physical assumption of the Blessed Virgin into heaven (Google for accuracy): That it was a bodily-related feast, established by Pope Pius XII after World War II to commemorate the vast amount of war-related human carnage. That many Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans believe there is a miraculous cure in the seas on this day, causing thousands to flock to the waters and dunk themselves in the allegedly healing brine. When I was a Catholic a long time ago, even I used to do this. But then again, I love ritual of any kind, especially those that are beach-related.

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