Edit: did Brian Wilson compose the Credo?
(Rome) Since the liturgical reform there have been two forms of Communion reception: the orderly form of the kneeling Communion on the tongue and the exception of the standing hand communion. It is well-known that the exception has long since been promoted by the majority of bishops and the clergy, at least in the German-speaking world, almost the sole form. But that does not exhaust the repertoire. Lately, there is also the floating bikini communion.
Mass at the quay with miniature altar
Last Sunday, the Feast of St. John the Baptist, a Holy Mass was celebrated on the beach in Portonovo in the Marche. Portonovo is a district of Ancona and officially has only one inhabitant, but several hotels and holiday homes. On the beautiful Adriatic beaches at the foot of Monte Cornero, hundreds of holidaymakers arrive in summer.
Obviously, in order to reach them, a priest celebrated Mass on the wharf beside the main beach. A small table served as an improvised altar from the guest garden of the adjoining bar. Some of the bathers attended the Mass in the water or on surfboards. Communion was also given by the priest to those in the water. Of course he had to squat down on the edge of the quay. Comfort must be - for the faithful.
Just one kilometer from the quay stands on a small hill directly above the beach, the church of Santa Maria di Portonovo, a jewel of church architecture. It is considered a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture in Italy and is even mentioned by Dante in Cantus XXI of his Divine Comedy.
Santa Maria di Pontenovo on Monte Cornero
A thousand years ago Benedictines, probably of Norman origin, settled in this once isolated place. They built the church, first mentioned in 1034, and a monastery.
In the monastery, St. Gaudentius (1018-1042), Bishop of Osor on the Croatian island of Cres, found refuge, who had to flee from local potentates for his defense of the marriage Sacrament. Osor, today a small village with only 73 inhabitants, was an important city in the Middle Ages before malaria forced its decline. The former diocese is now part of the diocese of Krk. Gaudentius was received into the Benedictine Order by the great Doctor of the Church, Peter Damiani and entered the monastery on Monte Cornero.
After an earthquake and the risk of falling rocks, the Benedictines gave up the monastery in 1320, which was subsequently inhabited by hermits. A bloody raid by Muslim pirates in 1518 gave this place of religious life the coup de grace.
Santa Maria di Portonovo seen from the mountain
The remains of the ruined monastery buildings were used by the French in 1811 as building material for the construction of a coastal fort against the Royal Navy.
In 1837, the monk and later founder of the Benedictine Congregation of Subiaco, Pietro Francesco Casaretto, took over the still existing church. He retired for some time as a hermit to Santa Maria di Pontenovo. He had renovations carried out, which ensured the existence of the church. At the same time the tomb of St. Gaudentius was found.
Is it too much to ask that the faithful to come to Church for three quarters of an hour, or is the beach more important to them on Sunday?
New form of communion reception: swimming bikini communion.
Masterpiece of Romanesque church architecture
Inside of Santa Maria di Pontenovo
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Corriere Adriatico / Wikicommons (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org