Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Years thoughts, Museum, WWI, Pope Francis and the Maria Dolens

History is a mystifying seductress to some of us.  Everywhere we look we find a piece of history that we are curious about.  Myself  I am continually looking into the history of everything and many times finding that I know very little of the history of things at all..

For New Years we all set goals for the new year and tonight we had a museum dinner meeting to celebrate New Year and also to talk about what to do about the museum for 2015.  This little band of helpers and myself have struggled, poured much energy and money into keeping the museum open. The question that came to my mind was, ”should I continue after 20 years?” 

After all left I thought about the New Year as most of us do and I tried to find something that would guide me.  I asked myself if you didn’t work on the museum what would you do?  The answers were pretty simple since I try to do them now… 1. Help wipe out poverty!  2. Work to end all Wars.

I am adamant that we are in a terrible time of class separation, I remember a line from a song…”The hands of the have not’s have fallen out of reach!”  They have and are becoming more so everyday. We are also in a time of world wars and skirmishes that are killing thousands of innocent people...and for what?

So I went on line and tried to find out what that great guy Pope Francis...who signs everything just Francis…said in his New Year message.  His message fittingly came on January 1st and the 48th anniversary of the Day of World Peace, and the Maria Dolens bell was shown ringing in the background.  The Maria Dolens? And so I was off on my newest history quest.

The Maria Dolens is the name of a bell that was cast from the bronze of many of the cannons - 19, one from each countries that participated in WWI.  It sits in Roverto, in today’s northern Italy and it rings 100 times each day in the evening to honor the fallen and to many to act  as a symbol for peace and an end to war.

The Bell was the idea of Don Antonio Rossaro,  called the Bell of the Fallen.  It was given the name Maria Dolens and placed on the Malipiero tower of Castello di Rovereto.  It has been recast many times because of fractures from ringing 100 times a day no doubt... but it has always been recast and returned to the tower where is nightly reminds the world of the price of war.  The latest recast was blessed by Pope Paul VI and on November 4th, 1965 was placed on the Colle di Miravalle where it today rest above the city of Roverto.

On the bell, which is the second largest swinging bell in the world, were added at its recasting the statements of the Pontiff Pius XII "With peace nothing is lost. Everything is to be lost through war." John XXIII: "In pace hominum ordinata concordia et tranquilla libertas."

Today it rang 100 times at midday and was shown on the large screen in St. Peter’s square.

It is said that it tolls in the hope that Man, in the memory of the Fallen of every war and every nation in the world, may find the path that leads to Peace….

I say AMEN to that… Happy New Year!

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