Saturday, 26 December 2009

The last days of the year

Well it has been an eventful Christmas in Rome, at home we had 10 people for dinner on Christmas Eve and Will out did himself, he made a 4 kilo meat pie, that's about 9 lbs. With beef,chicken,veal,pork and vegetables, it was delicious. The recipe can be found at, recipe number 134315 Lac Saint-Jean Pie or Cipate, it beats turkey any day in my book. It is a dish that has as much historical significance in French Canada as the Thanksgiving turkey for the American pilgrims. Some photos of the wines and champagne we had and our dining room, a very festive affair and lots of fun.

While we were at home, unbeknownst to us the Pope had been assaulted at the central door of St-Peter's basilica as he surrounded by Cardinals walked down the main aisle to the great Altar. Same crazy women as last year who had tried to pull the same stunt but had failed. She was tackled by a security guard before she could actually get to the Pope but in her fall grabbed his vestments and he fell also. The midnight mass is great State Ceremonial at the Vatican a whole section of the basilica is reserved for special guests and the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. There has been a midnight mass at least since 340 AD if not at St-Peter's Basilica then at the Cathedral of St-John Lateran. One may disagree with the Pope and with the Roman Catholic Church or even not like the whole institution, but the Pope is 82 yrs old, he is elderly and tired, the schedule at this time of the year is hectic for him, he is a Head of State, such an attack is a serious matter and all the more sad on such an occasion. The Pope continued down towards the Altar and then proceeded with the service but he was shaken by this unpleasant experience. Complete security is not possible given his role and given that he is a religious person. There is already a lot of security at the Vatican and it is relatively new, I would say since 1999.
That too is unfortunate, after all it is a place of prayer and a sacred site, but too many forget that or do not understand what Sacred means anymore. What a sad little world we live in, let's hope this does not happen again. Photos by the Associated Press.


  1. funny i also had a meat pie last night! made by a quebecois friend here in toronto! apparently his grandma's recipe and contains turkey, pork, and beef (i think, anyway 3 total)! i had no idea it was french cdn thing until he started explaining to us.

  2. So glad you could try it, next thing you will start speaking French.

  3. i have far too many languages i want to learn before french :) already invested in other languages, so i should try to improve!