Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In Padova I

We took a day trip to Padova (Padua) today. Left Venezia by train about 1030 and arrived there at 11. We toured the Scrovegni Chapel--a chapel of some reknown and controversy. Enrico Scrovengi, a business man and son of a money lender in the 14th Century, constructed a chapel next to his palace, perhaps to redeem his father and likely to buy his way into heaven. He commissioned Giotto to decorate the walls of the chapel, which he and his assistants did in a short 2 years (maybe 1303-05). He painted a series of panels on the walls depicting the life of Christ starting with the childhood of Mary and continuing through the Last Supper, Crucifixion, Ascension, and Pentecost. The Disciples don't have their golden Annunciations during the last supper or kiss of Judas, but do at the Pentecost.

The building was neglected for some time and damaged in the war. The restoration is amazing and you now enter through an airlock after acclimating to the humidity for 15 minutes (you get to watch a video). Visits in the chapel are limited to 15 minutes.

Then we went to what may well be the high point of the trip--St. Anthony's Basilica. What's the draw you ask? Pictured to the left is a photo of a photo of the chief relic: St. Anthony's tongue! In the 1800s he was exhumed and his tongue and larynx were found to be in such great shape that they were removed and placed in the Reliquary. There it is, a tiny shriveled tongue complete with taste buds sticking up. The larynx is unremarkable in my opinion. Molly, I think this out does the Giant Cheeto and to think, you were only 20 miles from this!

Click on the photo to see a larger version...


Ronna said...

Okay, that takes the cake! I've seen Brother Andre's heart at St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal but never have I heard of a relic that can speak for itself.

Molly Laurence said...

I can't believe I was so close and didn't see that! It definitely rivals the cheeto, but I licked the cheeto--hopefully you cannot say the same about St. Anthony's tongue.