Thursday, June 09, 2016

Ecclesia supplet

I have been staying in Castel Gandolfo, which is at one end of the Pontifical gardens (Villa Barberini) since I arrived, but today needed to move to Albano (at the other end of those gardens, about 2 miles away where the Observatory is located).

There's a great walking path, and it's downhill, so I thought I'd just put my bags on the trolley and let gravity do the work.  Rain?  It sprinkled a bit, but it didn't look particularly threatening.

As I head out down the street, I run into the rector of the Jesuit community at the Observatory walking up the hill, who offers me a ride back, if I'm willing to wait a bit while he has a short meeting.

It still doesn't look very threatening, but I said, "Yes, thank you!"  My bags and I hung out at the Bar Carosi on the square, while I enjoyed a sweet roll and some reading for the essay I'm working on.  All very pleasant. Then I look up to see the clouds roiling over head. They are low, dark and threatening.  The rain starts. Then it really starts. Then the thunder rolls.

When my ride returns, he notes wryly, "You have chosen wisely."

So I got a ride back with a member of the Roman Curia.  Ecclesia supplet.


Ecclesia supplet means "the Church supplies" and is a technical term having to do with the validity of a sacrament or appointment when an error has been made, and doesn't really apply to this situation at all, as much a blessing as the ride turned out to be.


  1. What a "ride" this whole experience of yours is turning out to be!! I cannot imagine how exciting this is for you and I'm so happy for you.

    1. I've had a couple of crazy rides through the dark through the gardens, with the gnarled ancient olive trees in the headlights looking like something out of the Lord of the Rings. There is a surprising amount of traffic in the garden during the day, it's a working farm, complete with cows and chickens.