POPE FRANCIS MEETS 'MINI-ME'

Daniele De Sanctis, 19 months, made a star turn Wednesday as he showed off this year’s must-have Carnival costume at the pope’s general audience: white cassock and cape, white skullcap and even a miniature pectoral cross. Daniele wailed as he was hoisted up to receive a papal kiss as Francis drove by. But he seemed perfectly happy romping through the closed-off sections of St. Peter’s Square, with his papal outfit getting him VIP treatment from the Swiss Guards. His mother, Paola Ciabattini, said one of Daniele’s grandmothers had made the costume, inspired after the boy used a hand towel as a cape after washing his hands. “It was a gesture of love toward the Holy Father,” Ciabattini told The Associated Press. “We certainly didn’t intend to make fun of him or the church in any way.” During Carnival in Italy, children often go out after school and spend their weekends dressed up in pirate, princess – and now pope – costumes. Carnival, also known as mardi gras, marks the period before the church’s solemn Lenten season begins.

ALSO: Italy's Carnival or Mardi Gras

Carnevale in Italy is a huge winter festival celebrated with parades, masquerade balls, entertainment, music, and parties. Children throw confetti at each other. Mischief and pranks are also common during Carnevale, hence the saying A Carnevale Ogni Scherzo Vale, anything goes at carnival. Carnevale has roots in pagan festivals and traditions and as is often the case with traditional festivals was adapted to fit into the Catholic rituals. Although carnival is actually one date, in Venice and some other places in Italy the carnival celebrations and parties may begin a couple weeks before. Masks, maschere, are an important part of the carnevale festival and Venice is the best city for traditional carnival masks.

ALSO: Manila- Preparing for Ash Wednesday

Catholic churches across the country are now accepting old palm fronds (palaspas) from last year’s Palm Sunday celebration in preparation for the solemn observance of Ash Wednesday on March 5, the first day of the 40-day Season of Lent. Several churches have been accepting palm fronds since early this month and have actually collected dozens of the blessed palm leaves, a parish official said. The faithful have until March 4 to bring their palm fronds to their local parish office. Some Catholic schools have also started to collect palm fronds from students and parents. The burning of palms is traditionally done in churches on Tuesday afternoon. PHOTO-LAST YEAR'S ASH WEDNESDAY AT VATICAN

ALSO: Catholic Activity: Palm Burning Procession for Ash Wednesday

In countries with pronounced Catholic traditions and culture these three days before Ash Wednesday are carnival days, a time of plenty in food and fun and pleasure. Something like that should also take place in a Catholic home, as it is good psychology to experience and enjoy what we intend to "give up" (think of the Alleluia farewell!) and helps much in a right start for Lent. That does not prevent our having a solemn and silent procession through the house, to gather the old palm from pictures and crucifixes. Carefully — because it is a sacramental — we burn it as a lesson on the "dust" we are and to which we must return.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS:

Pope Francis meets mini-Pope


VATICAN CITY, Pope Francis has a 'mini-me'.

MANILA, MARCH 3, 2014 (PHILSTAR) Daniele De Sanctis, 19 months, made a star turn Wednesday as he showed off this year’s must-have Carnival costume at the pope’s general audience: white cassock and cape, white skullcap and even a miniature pectoral cross.

Daniele wailed as he was hoisted up to receive a papal kiss as Francis drove by. But he seemed perfectly happy romping through the closed-off sections of St. Peter’s Square, with his papal outfit getting him VIP treatment from the Swiss Guards.

His mother, Paola Ciabattini, said one of Daniele’s grandmothers had made the costume, inspired after the boy used a hand towel as a cape after washing his hands.

“It was a gesture of love toward the Holy Father,” Ciabattini told The Associated Press. “We certainly didn’t intend to make fun of him or the church in any way.”

During Carnival in Italy, children often go out after school and spend their weekends dressed up in pirate, princess – and now pope – costumes. Carnival, also known as mardi gras, marks the period before the church’s solemn Lenten season begins.

FROM gOiTaly.COM

Italy's Carnival or Mardi Gras (GOiTALY.COM) By Martha Bakerjian - Carnevale Festivals in Italy (Italy's Carnival or Mardi Gras)

What is Carnevale?


MINI-POPE AT CARNIVALE FESTIVAL IN ITALY

Carnevale, also known as carnival or mardi gras, is celebrated in Italy and many places around the world 40 days before Easter, a final party before Ash Wednesday and the restrictions of Lent. How is Carnival Celebrated in Italy?

Carnevale in Italy is a huge winter festival celebrated with parades, masquerade balls, entertainment, music, and parties. Children throw confetti at each other.

Mischief and pranks are also common during Carnevale, hence the saying A Carnevale Ogni Scherzo Vale, anything goes at carnival. Carnevale has roots in pagan festivals and traditions and as is often the case with traditional festivals was adapted to fit into the Catholic rituals.

Although carnival is actually one date, in Venice and some other places in Italy the carnival celebrations and parties may begin a couple weeks before.

Masks, maschere, are an important part of the carnevale festival and Venice is the best city for traditional carnival masks.

Carnival masks are sold year round and can be found in many shops in Venice, ranging from cheap masks to elaborate and expensive masks. Walking through the streets of Venice, it's a pleasure to view the variety of masks on display in shop windows.

People also wear elaborate costumes for the festival and there are costume or masquerade balls, both private and public.

Carnevale date

The 2014 date for carnevale is March 4 but celebrations in Venice and many parts of Italy start several weeks earlier.

FROM MANILA BULLETIN

PREPARING FOR ASH WEDNESDAY


LAST YEAR: Pope Benedict Receives Ashes Cardinal Angelo Comastri puts ash on Pope Benedict XVI's head during the celebration of Ash Wednesday mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful Wednesday that he was resigning for "the good of the church", an extraordinary scene of a pope explaining himself to his flock that unfolded in his first appearance since dropping the bombshell announcement. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

MANILA- Catholic churches across the country are now accepting old palm fronds (palaspas) from last year’s Palm Sunday celebration in preparation for the solemn observance of Ash Wednesday on March 5, the first day of the 40-day Season of Lent.

Several churches have been accepting palm fronds since early this month and have actually collected dozens of the blessed palm leaves, a parish official said.

The faithful have until March 4 to bring their palm fronds to their local parish office. Some Catholic schools have also started to collect palm fronds from students and parents.

The burning of palms is traditionally done in churches on Tuesday afternoon. (Christina I. Hermoso)

FROM CATHOLIC CULTURE.ORG

Catholic Activity: Palm Burning Procession for Ash Wednesday


Mardi Gras – burning the palms for Ash Wednesday. Dom Daniel instructed the children on the tradition of burning the palms from the previous year to make the new ashes. Here the children contribute palms collected from St. Patrick’s & St. Rocco’s parishioners. PHOTO FROM ST. AUGUSTINE CANONS ONLINE

In countries with pronounced Catholic traditions and culture these three days before Ash Wednesday are carnival days, a time of plenty in food and fun and pleasure.

Something like that should also take place in a Catholic home, as it is good psychology to experience and enjoy what we intend to "give up" (think of the Alleluia farewell!) and helps much in a right start for Lent.

That does not prevent our having a solemn and silent procession through the house, to gather the old palm from pictures and crucifixes.

Carefully — because it is a sacramental — we burn it as a lesson on the "dust" we are and to which we must return.

It means much to the children if they can burn their own piece of palm as an expression and confirmation of a Lenten resolution they made. However let us take care that their resolutions (and ours) are not just negative "give-ups," and "do-aways," but positive "build-ups," overflowing from a new abundant charity and love requiring outward expression.

So is fasting only one factor of Lent, needing the compensation of prayer and good deeds — both of which rank even higher, since there is no dispensation for these.

Activity Source: Our Children's Year of Grace by Therese Mueller, Pio Decimo Press, St. Louis, Missouri, 1955


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