Thursday, 9 July 2009
When we went up to London this week we took a peek at the Live Statues on the plinth in Trafalgar Square.
I think this was a man, it seems to be an English male habit to dress as women at the first opportunity. Each volunteer [chosen from a lottery] gets an hour on the plinth to do as they like. The previous art work was a young woman, she spent most of her time on her mobile phone, which seemed fairly representative.
In the national Portrait gallery I was very taken with this collection of 300 Fabiolas. The artist, Francis Alys, has allegedly spent his time collecting portraits of her from flea markets and where ever. They covered the walls of two rooms, on the beautifully coloured walls of two rooms. Strange and weird and somehow fascinating.
Fabiola belonged to the patrician Roman family of the gens Fabia. She had been married to a man who led so vicious a life that to live with him was impossible. She obtained a divorce from him according to Roman law and, contrary to the ordinances of the Church, she entered upon a second union before the death of her first husband.
Upon the death of her second consort, she decided to enter upon a life of renunciation and labour for others. On the day before Easter, following the death of her second consort, she appeared before the gates of the Lateran basilica, dressed in penitential garb, and did public penance for her sin, which made a great impression upon the Christian population of Rome. The pope received her formally again into full communion with the Church.
Fabiola now renounced all that the world had to offer her, and devoted her immense wealth to the needs of the poor and the sick. She erected a fine hospital at Rome, and waited on the inmates herself, not even shunning those afflicted with repulsive wounds and sores. Besides this she gave large sums to the churches and religious communities at Rome and other places in Italy. All her interests were centered on the needs of the Church and the care of the poor and suffering.
Maybe she could be the patron saint also of second wives...........