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A guide to Dante’s Walk, a 235-mile route from Ravenna to Florence in Italy. / Terre di Mezzo.
Ravenna, Italy, Nov 11, 2021 / 04:20 am (CNA).
The poet Dante famously traveled through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise in his masterpiece the “Divine Comedy.” Now, Catholics have a chance to follow in his footsteps — his earthly ones, that is.
Dante’s Walk is a 235-mile route that takes pilgrims from the Byzantine splendor of the city of Ravenna, northern Italy, to the Renaissance magnificence of Florence — and back again.
The pilgrim path’s 20 stages are set out in detail in a new Italian guidebook, written by Marcello Bezzi, Silvia Rossetti, and Massimiliano Venturelli, coinciding with the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death.
“Ravenna and Florence are, in fact, the two symbolic cities of Dante, of his youth, his formation, his political life, and his death,” Venturelli told ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian-language news partner.
“It is precisely in these two cities that the deep soul of the poet is contained. We can still breathe it in some alleys and places that have remained intact over the centuries.”
“And it is in these two cities that we wanted to build two city itineraries, thanks to which it is possible to visit and admire the places that characterized the life and formation of Dante Alighieri.”
Pilgrims begin at Dante’s tomb in Ravenna, where the poet died in 1321. They then set out on foot, mountain bike, or even horseback for the next stop in Pontevico, a municipality in the province of Lombardy.
In the following days, they pass through countryside teeming with medieval villages and castles, before arriving at Dante’s House Museum in Florence, the city where the poet was born in around 1265.
The house is close to the church of Santa Margherita de’ Cerchi, where Dante first saw Beatrice Portinari, widely identified as the muse who inspired his 1294 work “La Vita Nuova” and guided the poet through Paradise in the third and final part of the “Divine Comedy.”
Pilgrims then turn back towards Ravenna, taking a different country route.
The association Il Cammino di Dante recommends that travelers prepare carefully for the journey. It encourages pilgrims to book accommodation three weeks before departure and two months ahead in the peak months of July and August.
It advises hikers to carry a backpack weighing no more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds), including a sleeping bag, camping mat, utility knife, sunscreen, water, and energy bars.
A “Year of Dante,” which lasts throughout 2021, was launched in Ravenna on Sept. 5, 2020, in the presence of Italian President Sergio Mattarella. The year is being marked by events throughout Italy.
Pope Francis said on Oct. 10, 2020, that the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death should inspire people to rediscover the “Divine Comedy.”
Speaking to a delegation from the Archdiocese of Ravenna-Cervia, the pope announced that he was preparing “a more extensive reflection” on the leading poet of the late Middle Ages to be released in 2021.
The pope said he hoped that teenagers, in particular, would engage with the “Divine Comedy,” widely regarded as the greatest poem in the Italian language.
He said: “It may seem, at times, as if these seven centuries have opened up an unbridgeable distance between us, men and women of the postmodern and secularized age, and him, the extraordinary exponent of a golden age of European civilization. And yet something tells us that it is not the case.”
“Teenagers, for instance — even those of today — if they have the opportunity to encounter Dante’s poetry in a way that is accessible to them, find, on the one hand, inevitably, a great distance from the author and his world, and yet, not the other, they perceive a surprising resonance.”
The Vatican City State Mint issued a color collector coin featuring Dante last month.
Asked to name the highlights of Dante’s Walk, Venturelli said: “Certainly not to be missed are the stages passing through the Casentino [valley], and I refer to Campaldino, Poppi, Porciano, Romena and the Hermitage of Camaldoli, inextricably linked to Dante’s life from 1289 onwards.”
Glasgow’s COP26 United Nations climate change summit was years in the making. Yet, as the two-weeks of negotiations end, the leader of the largest Catholic coalition protecting what Pope Francis’ calls “our common home,” sees the outcome as “mostly negative.”
Raymond Arroyo Christmas tour 2021 / Sophia Institute Press
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 8, 2021 / 18:09 pm (CNA).
EWTN host Raymond Arroyo is scheduled to begin a book-signing tour in Tampa, Florida, Nov. 13 to promote his new children’s book, “The Spider Who Saved Christmas.”
A New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Barnes & Noble bestseller, the book, illustrated by Randy Gallego, tells the forgotten legend of how Christmas tinsel was first spun. According to the book’s publisher, Sophia Institute Press, “This endearing retelling of the Nativity and flight into Egypt provides readers with an intimate and suspenseful look at the Holy Family and invites them to enter into the narrative like never before.”
Arroyo, host of EWTN’s “The World Over” news program since 1996 and a frequent contributor to Fox News, will appear at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at 11802 North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa at 5 p.m. EST.
NEW TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT: I am hitting the road over the next few weeks for The Spider Who Saved Christmas book tour. I hope you’ll join me in Tampa, Mesa, The Villages, Dallas, New Orleans or Houston. Can’t wait to see you and sign your books🕷Details are at https://t.co/QbpQNcEB3F pic.twitter.com/mKDoMYskOu
— Raymond Arroyo (@RaymondArroyo) November 1, 2021
His book tour also includes stops in Mesa, Arizona (Nov. 22); The Villages, Florida (Dec. 4); Dallas (Dec. 5); New Orleans (Dec. 11), and Houston (Dec. 18.)
Arroyo’s previous books include his bestselling biography of EWTN founder Mother Angelica, “Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles,” and the Will Wilder adventure series.
In this episode: Pope appoints first female Secretary General of Vatican City, Palestinian president meets with Pope, Biden’s Build Back Better blackballs religious facilities. Also, is the Vatican financial trial the Pope’s Watergate?
null / Carl Ballou / Shutterstock
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 7, 2021 / 17:22 pm (CNA).
A child’s tip led police to arrest a Catholic youth leader in McLean, Virginia, on nine counts of aggravated sexual battery on Nov. 1.
Antonio Pérez-Alcalá, 75, is accused of sexually assaulting minors while serving as a local leader for Secular Institute Stabat Mater, a program dedicated to the “formation of young people toward integrating the spiritual with the secular” through Ignatian spiritual exercises with Marian devotion. Authorities say Pérez-Alcalá ran the group from his home until a child revealed to an adult that he was sexually assaulted by a leader there.
Since the investigation began, police say they have identified at least one other victim, authorities said.
“Juveniles attended private mentoring sessions, often in Perez-Alcala’s bedroom,” according to Fairfax County Police. “The victim was sexually assaulted during the private sessions.”
While executing a search warrant Monday evening, officials seized items including tech devices, photographs, and a crucifix.
According to police, Pérez-Alcalá has held positions in the local community with access to youth since the mid-1990s. He also worked with the Catholic Diocese of Arlington from 1994 to 2008.
“This is the first time the Diocese has been made aware of complaints or allegations against Mr. Pérez-Alcalá,” the diocese said in a statement.
In addition to volunteering at Good Shepherd Parish, All Saints Parish, and St. Veronica Parish, Pérez-Alcalá also served as the diocesan Hispanic youth director before retiring in 2008, the diocese said.
As an employee and volunteer, Pérez-Alcalá agreed to routine criminal background checks and received training on the prevention and reporting of abuse, the diocese added.
The diocese said Secular Institute Stabat Mater is a “non-diocesan Catholic entity that serves the Hispanic community throughout the Diocese.”
Both the diocese and police detectives request that anyone with further information contact officials, either at the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3, or the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131.
Every sister at the Abbey of Our Lady of Ephesus learns to sing. It is an integral part of life for the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, a cloistered order of nuns living by the ancient Rule of St. Benedict in Gower in rural Missouri.