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review An Irreverent Curiosity In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town 103 David Farley ´ 3 free read characters An Irreverent Curiosity In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town A tour through the centuries and through a bizarre Italian town in search of an unbelievable relic the foreskin of Jesus Christ In December 1983 a priest in the Italian hill town of Calcata shared shocking news with his congregation The pride of their town the foreskin of Jesus had been stolen Some postulated that it had been stolen by Satanists Some said the priest himself was to blame Some even pointed their fingers at the Vatican In 2006 travel writer David Farley moved to Calcata determined to find the missing foreskin or at least find out the truth behind its disappearance Farley recounts how the relic passed from Charlemagne to the papacy to a marauding sixteenth century. This has to be one of the uirkiest and most interesting books I ve read in a long time A food critictravel writer decides he wants to go somewhere exciting and somehow tie it into work So him and his wife pick up and move for a year to Calcata a medieval looking town 30 miles outside Rome The town is infamous because its claim to fame for centuries was that its church contained the Holy Foreskin of Jesus Christ This most holy relic disappears in the 1970 s and the author is determined to find out what happens to it A fascinating and totally irreverent look at the rise of the worship of relics who hasn t been to a church in Europe that has the sacred pinkie bone of St So and So who was matryred by the Romans Europe is filled with such relics and I was usually the person standing by the display case gawking I ve always been fascinated by this seemingly bizarre practice The book is laugh out loud funny yet still very informative The setting is one of the zaniest places on Earth Just as a disclaimer there are maybe 4 or 5 pages in the book sprinkled throughout where the reader is inundated with a non stop barrage of names of Saints and villages just keep reading you don t have to keep it all straight Highly entertaining Starlight relic the foreskin of Jesus Christ In December 1983 a priest in the Italian hill town of Calcata shared shocking news with his congregation The pride of their town the foreskin of Jesus had been stolen Some postulated that it had been stolen by Satanists Some said the priest himself was to blame Some even pointed their fingers at the Vatican In 2006 travel writer David Farley moved to Calcata determined to find the missing foreskin or at least find out the truth behind its disappearance Farley A Kingdom of Dreams recounts how the The gay liberation book relic passed from Charlemagne to the papacy to a marauding sixteenth century. This has to be one of the uirkiest and most interesting books I ve From Hell (Nueva edición) (Trazado) relic disappears in the 1970 s and the author is determined to find out what happens to it A fascinating and totally irreverent look at the Stilling the Mind rise of the worship of La Huitième Couleur: Les Annales du Disque-monde, T1 relics and I was usually the person standing by the display case gawking I ve always been fascinated by this seemingly bizarre practice The book is laugh out loud funny yet still very informative The setting is one of the zaniest places on Earth Just as a disclaimer there are maybe 4 or 5 pages in the book sprinkled throughout where the The Problim Children reader is inundated with a non stop barrage of names of Saints and villages just keep

characters An Irreverent Curiosity In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest TownAn Irreverent Curiosity In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town

review An Irreverent Curiosity In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town 103 David Farley ´ 3 free read characters An Irreverent Curiosity In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town German solider before finally ending up in Calcata where miracles occurred that made the sleepy town a major pilgrimage destination Over the centuries as Catholic theology evolved the relic came to be viewed as something of an embarrassment culminating in a 1900 Church decree that allowed the parish to display it only on New Year’s Day An Irreverent Curiosity interweaves this history with the curious landscape of Calcata a beautiful and untouched medieval village set atop four hundred fifty foot cliffs which now due to the inscrutable machinations of Italian bureaucracy is a veritable counterculture coven Blending history travel and perhaps the oddest story in Christian lore. This book came onto my radar because last month on a vacation to Rome I stumbled uite by accident on the weird wonderful village where most of this book takes place Calcata a medieval cliff top oddity that s now a home to bohemian artists I was enchanted by the place during my visit but had no idea until looking it up later that for 450 years it was the home of one of the weirdest of all Catholic relics the purported foreskin of Christ When I found out there was a book about the town and the relic I dropped everything to read it So let me say the fourth star here is due to my own particular passion for the source material having been to Calcata I was able to imbue the sections about the village with the passion that Farley obviously feels for them If I was coming to the book cold I think it would have been tougher going Farley sure did his homework on the relic and on relics in general and the historical sections of the book are great sweeping fun The chapters about Farley s own life and adventures in the village however wear after a while they help create context and they introduce a few indelible characters but I think the book would have been a lot stronger with much less of them Still the whole thing felt like it was tailor made for my interests so I was grateful to read it Best Womens Erotica of the Year Volume 4 relic came to be viewed as something of an embarrassment culminating in a 1900 Church decree that allowed the parish to display it only on New Year’s Day An Irreverent Curiosity interweaves this history with the curious landscape of Calcata a beautiful and untouched medieval village set atop four hundred fifty foot cliffs which now due to the inscrutable machinations of Italian bureaucracy is a veritable counterculture coven Blending history travel and perhaps the oddest story in Christian lore. This book came onto my Wild Woods radar because last month on a vacation to Rome I stumbled uite by accident on the weird wonderful village where most of this book takes place Calcata a medieval cliff top oddity that s now a home to bohemian artists I was enchanted by the place during my visit but had no idea until looking it up later that for 450 years it was the home of one of the weirdest of all Catholic Ark of Fire Caedmon Aisuith #1 relics the purported foreskin of Christ When I found out there was a book about the town and the Starlight relic I dropped everything to A Kingdom of Dreams read it So let me say the fourth star here is due to my own particular passion for the source material having been to Calcata I was able to imbue the sections about the village with the passion that Farley obviously feels for them If I was coming to the book cold I think it would have been tougher going Farley sure did his homework on the The gay liberation book relic and on From Hell (Nueva edición) (Trazado) read it

characters ☆ eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ David Farley

review An Irreverent Curiosity In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town 103 David Farley ´ 3 free read characters An Irreverent Curiosity In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town An Irreverent Curiosity is a weird and wonderful tale of conspiracy and misadventureWinner of the 2010 Lowell Thomas Tavel Journalism Award for best book Listed One of the Best Travel Books of 2009 The Los Angeles Times WorldHumcomOne of the Best Books of the Decade The Dubuue Telegraph HeraldFarley's ribald detective story is like a cross between 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Life of Brian' a charming yarn The New York TimesTold with gusto good humor and a healthy respect for eccentricity Farley's uixotic account is an elouent testament to the power of travel and travail to entertain and illuminate National Geographic Traveler Genre bending at its best Kirkus Reviews Starred review. I think someone said it on the back of the book in a blurb but it really is true if you re going to only read one single book about the foreskin of Jesus Christ then you really want to read this oneYesYou read that rightJoin me will you in this particularly weird history of the Catholic Church as we discover the silliness that is the world of relics For the uninitiated relics were bits from the lives of various saints and others deemed holy by Rome These bits had a hierarchy and differing statuses For instance there were bits of saints bodies St Valentine s head for instance and these were primo relics Then there were just a little bit lower on the totem pole bits touched by the saints such as the ax that beheaded St Valentine Finally at the lowest level were relics that were relics by their proximity to actual relics such as the bag that held the ax that beheaded St ValentineOf course though there were hierarchies within those hierarchies bigger named saints having better relics St Paul being better than St Valentine Mary Magdalene better than St Paul Mary mother of Jesus better than Mary Magdalene and of course the big magilla Jesus Anything that could be claimed to be something connected with the life of a saint the bigger the saint the better was venerated and placed in an honored spot in churches throughout EuropeOf course with the relics market being a hot property through the Middle Ages and during and post Crusades it wasn t long before tons of folks were jumping on the bandwagon Relics like splinters of the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified were uite the thing so revered and accepted without reservation that John Calvin once uipped that if all the pieces of the so called True Cross were collected in one place they would form a whole ship s cargoThese big ticket items were obvious draws as were pieces of the table from the Last Supper the spear that pierced Jesus side and so on But with the bodily ascension of Jesus as the story goes there was no tomb and no chance of nailing a sweet chunk of his body to tout around as a sign of how special you were Nothing like some random skull could be toted around and claimed as Jesus head To be sure there were relics of Jesus hair and fingernails but those were pale substitutes Besides even though one could logically extrapolate divine haircuts and nail clippings there was nothing specifically Biblical to back that upWell cue up your Luke 221 because we have straight from the horse s mouth confirmation that Jesus was circumcised which means yes Holy Foreskin left behind We can never be sure exactly who figured out this crackerjack scheme but times being what they were it went over big All that was needed was the story of Charlemagne being vouchsafed this particular bit of flesh from an angel and him handing it over to Pope Leo III though there is a competing story that Charlemagne actually received it as a wedding present from the Byzantine Empress IrenePope Leo III did what anyone else would do when handed what was reputedly an 800 year old piece of baby cock he put it in the Vatican s most inner sanctum And there it reputedly remained for seven hundred years until Rome was sacked by the Germans in 1527 Apparently a soldier found the prepuce which was little than a couple chickpeas in size thought it worth keeping and took it with him He was later apprehended in the nearby town of Calcata where he was locked in a cave jail cell He hid the foreskin there was released and thirty years later miracle of miracles the foreskin was discovered and became a centerpiece of the small town s churchCelebrated by official church dogma pilgrims who made the journey to the town to view the Holy Foreskin were granted ten years off their stay in Purgatory And there the foreskin stayed for the next few hundred yearsThis bit of dainty old flesh was deified practically though it wasn t without competition In the 12th century an abbey in Charoux France decided to horn in on the action claiming they had the real Holy Foreskin They claimed to also have received it from Charlemagne though they apparently lost it for an odd century or two Theirs disappeared again after Pope Innocent III declined to rule on its authenticity only to be rediscovered in 1856 Ultimately there were something like seventeen other competing foreskin claims Yes once one town had themselves a claim to some mystical Jesus dick other towns wanted in on the actionWith a little prepucial sword fighting going on following the Charoux rediscovery Rome had to step in and it did so deciding in 1900 that anyone who even mentioned the Holy Foreskin would be excommunicated They modified their approach in 1954 by deciding that plain old excommunication was too soft a decree and pronounced mentioning it would be punished with a harsher degree of excommunication that included shunning by all Catholics This for even mentioning a relic they d spent the last several hundred years talking up as grand and greatThe small town of Calcata was allowed to keep their relic They were even allowed to conduct an annual parade through the town featuring the relic but only once a year and never discussed any of the remaining 364 calendar days The going consensus was that relic veneration had pretty much died out Calcata was a fairly small town what was the harm in leaving it as it was after setting up their penaltiesThen in 1983 the priest of Calcata made a shocking announcement to his parishioners The foreskin had apparently been stolen It was gone once again this tiny little bit of flesh supposedly from the end of Jesus penis which the priest Dario Magnoni had kept of all places in a shoebox in the closet of his homeWell as you can see this is uite a story And this history is entertainingly told by travel writer David Farley in his very amusing highly enlightening An Irreverent Curiosity In Search of the Church s Strangest Relic in Italy s Oddest Town The title takes its first three words from a papal condemnation of the relic and interest in it It s hard not to see the church s point What else could provoke a twenty first century person to want to learn about what was clearly a faked bit of church lore especially one so preposterous as this oneTo learn about it to study the Vatican records and try to piece together the lore and the current whereabouts of the relic Farley moved his wife and his dog and himself to Calcata Italy where he lived for several months digging into the history as well as plenty of Italian food The book when not discussing ancient bits of revered dong comes off as a kind of slightly whacked love letter to the strange town of Calcata a refuge for outcasts from the country itself but also from other placesFarley describes the village as commonly referred to as a paese di fricchettoni which is to say village of freaks With two actual Calcatas on the map the old medieval town and the newer Calcata Nuova the history doesn t make it difficult for a reader to understand those who call the residents freaks New Agers old hippies from across the continent and wanderers from all around flocked to the old town This sets Calcata apart as something like 70% of Italians live within 1 mile of their childhood homesThe older part of town had once been condemned by the Italian government after earthuakes earlier in the century destroyed a village elsewhere in Italy All the old residents moved to the new government built Calcata Nuova selling off their homes in the sixties to a bunch of hippies and artist types In a place filled with Belgians Americans Italians from all over Dutch Spaniards etc Farley can only find freaks to befriend including an old actor who appeared in Italian soft core porn and who gives the author a book of nude photography of himself sometimes in a state of arousal fascists still dedicated to Il Duce an old Contessa with bad gas who has been writing a history of the Holy Foreskin for ten years and other assorted uirky charactersThe book generally trades back and forth being about the historical accounts of the foreskin and Farley s day to day life trying to research it and get answers while living in Calcata traveling to Rome and Turin and finding himself stymied at nearly every turn He acts as a beard for the local foreskin expert Patrizia who claims the Vatican is blocking her research asking for reference works they ve denied her while being fed the basic lore by her in return for his services The lore itself proves almost as bizarrely entertaining as Farley s misadventures in Italy a kind of slapstick antidote to the tendentious sturm und drang of Dan BrownFor example what will seem beyond absurd into a kind of grotesuerie was how much debate centered around this particular relic Theologians through the ages spent much candlepower and brain juice formulating statements such as this head scratcher from Saint Anastasius Sinaita in the seventh century And as Christ s immaculate blood mixed with water trickled on and purified the earth during the Passion the cut and lost foreskin bestowed holiness on the same earth In any case He who let it be cut off freely saved the foreskin so that He could assume it again at his resurrection and He uncorrupted and whole could possess every sin of every body Because our bodies will be complete at the resurrection and stand by his sideSo did you get all that Jesus at the age of eight days saved his own foreskin which he kept with him all his life so he could have it after his body ascended into heaven and was resurrected millennia later Let us further note that the author of this particular piece of nonsense ran an abbeyFurther in the sixteenth century at least one Spanish theologian Francesco de Suarez argued that Jesus body could easily after his resurrection have regrown his foreskin Unfortunately neither Farley or de Suarez fail to go into any detail as to how specifically this is supposed to have taken place One imagines that Jesus could have likewise as easily have healed the holes in his hands and side rendering the story of Thomas and his doubt a moot one but alas the record does not touch on this bit of supernatural healingSo ideas and hypotheses about Jesus foreskin percolated throughout the centuries and were hashed over at later points including by the seventeenth century Greek theologian Leo Allatius This learned scholar s fantastical contribution to the argument about this Holy Foreskin was not only did it ascend into heaven with Jesus but that it also traveled through space to become the rings of Saturn Keeping that in mind how much will it surprise you when I tell you that Allatius also wrote the first medical treatise on vampiresFarley is of course by no means exhaustive in his accounts We are spared the dull parts of the history and given just what the papacy feared irreverence And honestly what should a sensible person s reaction be when learning that certain bishops argue for the foreskin s authenticity by citing the message delivered by Saint Catherine in the fourteenth century that the Popes should move back to Rome from Avignon France and that Jesus himself put his foreskin on her finger as a wedding band Or how can you react with anything but irreverence when you read the story of Saint Agnes of Vienna who claimed that every time she took communion the wafer was transformed in her mouth into the sweet meat of Jesus foreskinLet me remind you I m not making any of this upFarley s book is too good for you not to read Irreverent Absolutely Entertaining Just as much so Fascinating Your mileage may very but such hidden nooks and crannies of the past can t help but draw me in Farley paces everything wonderfully and delivers a gently funny travelogue and history that is both laugh out loud hysterical and stranger than just about any book of fiction you could find

  • Hardcover
  • 304
  • An Irreverent Curiosity In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town
  • David Farley
  • English
  • 17 October 2018
  • 9781592404544