December 24, 2013

Christmas wishes, Dante trivia and a bit of Shakespeare




Best holiday wishes to all from the humanoid and other animal inhabitants of Goat Rope Farm. By chance, I discovered some trivia about a Christmas Eve anniversary I'd like to share. A co-worker of mine regularly sends out emails highlighting events in monetary history.

I must confess that I don't always read them but this time I did and found something interesting. On Dec. 24, 1294, Pope Boniface VIII was consecrated. He instituted the first Christian year of Jubilee, which promised forgiveness of sins for those who confessed and made pilgrimages (which by chance or not enriched church coffers).

Boniface is best known today, however, for being the person chiefly responsible for banishing the poet Dante Alighieri from Florence. Dante calls him out in Canto 19 of the Inferno.

In the spirit of Christmas charity, I will, however, put in a good word for Boniface: if he didn't exile Dante, we might not have the Divine Comedy. And if that were the case, what would be the point of living?

SPEAKING OF LITERARY IMMORTALS, I make it a practice every Christmas to include these lines from Hamlet:

"Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time."
So have I heard and do in part believe it. May it be so this year!

2 comments:

Nicholas Temple said...

Christmas blessings to all the creatures of Goat Rope Farm (including humans)from the inhabitants of this apartment (1 old sometimes saintly dude & 3 delightful kitty kids)

Barry said...

I believe it was the year 1300 that Boniface designated as the jubilee year.

Thanks for a great blog this past year.