By Means of That Flesh We Draw Milk

The feast day of St. Catherine of Siena is April 29th. I consider her my Patron Saint, the woman who helped bring me to the Church.

St. Catherine of Siena, rose

From one of my very favorite books, Caroline Walker Bynum’s Holy Feast and Holy Fast:

“The various accounts of Catherine’s life all stress her Eucharistic devotion. Like other fasting women, Catherine substituted frequent Communion for ordinary eating, although she encountered criticism for this from confessors, family, and her fellow tertiaries. Like Margaret of Cortona, she detected an unconsecrated host, yet also like Margaret she revered priests passionately for their ability to celebrate Mass.”

St. Catherine of Siena, orange profile

“(Biographer) Raymond (of Capua) recounts her ecstasies, trances, frenzies, bleedings, and tears at the Eucharist, and he associates her cravings for Christ’s blood, like her drinking of (a patient’s) pus, with a nursing Christ.”

St. Catherine of Siena, red stripe

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One Hundred in One Thousand

Years ago I came across a website that encouraged people to make a list of 100 things they wanted to accomplish in the next 1000 days. The site also tried to foster a sort of Goodreads-style community around the concept. I wasn’t interested in joining the site itself, but I did make a list. I am not unique in finding list-making to be a helpful way of organizing thoughts and making plans. Unfortunately, at the time, I was in no place to be planning let alone executing the next 1000 days of my life! But that was years ago, and I think it’s about time I give it a more thoughtful and healthy go.

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The Medievalist Wife & The Philosopher Husband Go to New York: A Long-Overdue Update

Hello out there. I’ve been away for quite awhile, and I’m not sorry to say that I haven’t completed my little publication. I’m not sorry, because I’ve been very busy getting up to things such as….

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To Worthily Receive

The month of April is dedicated in a special way to the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Spirit.

eucharist-pray-to-worthily-receive-jesus-christ-morning-and-evening-prayer-dispose-our-heart-to-the-action-of-grace(Vintage prayer card from the sadly defunct website, Holy Card Heaven.)

“Pray to worthily receive Jesus Christ. Morning and evening prayer dispose our heart to the action of Grace.”

Our Parish has a 24-hour Adoration once a week, Friday overnight into Saturday. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to continue during the new school quarter, but I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to attend at very, very early hours throughout Lent.. I hope to continue on a regular basis, even if I have to change to a later schedule. If you’ve ever considered the practice, I highly recommend it.


Citing this page:
Solomon, Alana. “To Worthily Receive..” Ortolana Studio & Press. Ortolana Studio & Press, 8 Apr. 2017.

All Covered with Blood and Wounds

This post is in honor of Our Sorrowful Mother, whose feast is observed both September 15th as well as the Friday before Good Friday.

Left: After the statue of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows in the church of San Miguel.
Right: After the statue of Our Lady of Seven Dolours in the church of Santa Cruz in Madrid, Spain. From the 2016 series.

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“The traditional commonplace scandalizes modern man. The most subversive book in our time would be a compendium of proverbs.”

For the last few days I have been perusing a website dedicated to posting English translations of the aphorisms of Colombian philosopher Nicolás Gómez Dávila (aka “Don Colacho”).

nicolasgomezdavilaold

While we would not see eye-to-eye on all matters, I have very much enjoyed his way with words and the consideration of his views. (His wicked sense of humor helps.) From this piece on his life:

“His work is very quotable, since it consists almost entirely of one-to-four-line sentences, which their author called ‘annotations on the margins of an implicit text,’ an opus magnum that has disintegrated into glosses. Gómez Dávila himself said that he worked half his life an his notes, until only the essence remained: ‘The writer who has not tortured his sentences tortures his reader.'”

The blog linked above has done a great job of posting and categorizing the quotes, and I have included the numbers here so that one can look up the quotes in their original Spanish on that page.  

There are many, many more quotes at the source page, but without further ado, enjoy a few of  my favorites:

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The Song of Bernadette (1943)

The Song of Bernadette (1943) is, of course, the story of St. Bernadette and her visions at Lourdes. Cinematically it is absolutely gorgeous- in fact, this was the film which moved me to include stills as part of this series.

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It should be noted that The Song of Bernadette was adapted from Franz Werfel’s book of the same name, which is itself a dramatized interpretation of the events surrounding the life of St. Bernadette and the Marian apparitions. (You can read a little about the discrepancies in the wikipedia article.) Still, I certainly recommend it. Bonus: A young Vincent Price plays a supporting character.

Here is a link to the full film. As always, if you have access to a local video store which carries such rare gems, please support them. Not only is it the right thing to do, but the image quality will be much better than a youtube video!

And by the way- this post is in honor of the feast day of St. Bernadette, which is April 16th. However, since this year it falls on Easter, I am posting this on one of her alternate feast-days: February 18th, the day her Lady promised to give her happiness- not in this life, but in the next. xo


Citing this page:
Solomon, Alana. “The Song of Bernadette (1943).” Ortolana Studio & Press. Ortolana Studio & Press, 7 May. 2017.

A 1969 Valentine

A Valentine for this day, February 14th:

Milton Glaser for Olivetti, 1969Poster design by Milton Glaser

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You See My Heart

This post is in honor of the Feast Day of St. Agatha. Due to the conditions of her imprisonment and the nature of her tortures- her legend includes the excision of her breasts- she is the patron Saint of rape and sexual assault survivors, as well as bakers, nurses, and those afflicted by breast cancer.

St. Agatha, 2016St. Agatha, after a Renaissance-era painting, original artist unknown.
From the 2016 series.

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