Of a Roman Church, An Anti-Catholic and a Silver Bullet

I was going through the pictures I took in Rome earlier in the month and I was inspired to post one last photograph. Click on the picture for a larger version.

This is San Andrea delle Frate (St. Andrew of the Bush). It is just down the street from the Spanish Steps in old Rome. In 1990, I lived for three months very near the church while studying at the Angelicum and had the opportunity to serve the noon Mass almost every day at this altar, which is a side altar originally dedicated to St. Michael, but now is known as the Altar of Our Lady of the Miracle.

The miracle in question was the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne, a rabid anti-Catholic agnostic and gentleman of influence, who received a vision of our Blessed Lady at this altar after having been given a Miraculous Medal. Those who are familiar with St. Maximilian Kolbe will remember that during his stay in Rome, while he was studying for the priesthood, the rector of the college, Father Stefano Ignudi, told the seminarians the story of Ratisbonne’s conversion. The Pontifical Theological University of the Seraphicum, the theological faculty of the Conventual Franciscans, the order to which St. Maximilian belonged, is about a fifteen minute walk from the Church of San Andrea delle Frate. St. Maximilian used to visit the Church quite often during his free time. I made a very similar walk during my weeks at school from where I lived to the Angelicum.

Continue reading