Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tues, Nov 13, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Parable, Psalms 42:2, 3, 5, Philippians 1:18-26, Luke 17:7-10, St. Francesca Xavier Cabrini, Lombardy Italy

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog:
Parable, Psalms 42:2, 3, 5, Philippians 1:18-26, Luke 17:7-10, St. Francesca  Xavier Cabrini, Lombardy Italy

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!
Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our Spirit...it's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


November 02, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:

"Dear children, as a mother I implore you to persevere as my apostles. I am praying to my Son to give you Divine wisdom and strength. I am praying that you may discern everything around you according to God’s truth and to strongly resist everything that wants to distance you from my Son. I am praying that you may witness the love of the Heavenly Father according to my Son. My children, great grace has been given to you to be witnesses of God’s love. Do not take the given responsibility lightly. Do not sadden my motherly heart. As a mother I desire to rely on my children, on my apostles. Through fasting and prayer you are opening the way for me to pray to my Son for Him to be beside you and for His name to be holy through you. Pray for the shepherds because none of this would be possible without them. Thank you."

October 25, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:

"Dear children! Today I call you to pray for my intentions. Renew fasting and prayer because Satan is cunning and attracts many hearts to sin and perdition. I call you, little children, to holiness and to live in grace. Adore my Son so that He may fill you with His peace and love for which you yearn. Thank you for having responded to my call." ~ Blessed Virgin Mary

October 02, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:

"Dear children; I am calling you and am coming among you because I need you. I need apostles with a pure heart. I am praying, and you should also pray, that the Holy Spirit may enable and lead you, that He may illuminate you and fill you with love and humility. Pray that He may fill you with grace and mercy. Only then will you understand me, my children. Only then will you understand my pain because of those who have not come to know the love of God. Then you will be able to help me. You will be my light-bearers of God’s love. You will illuminate the way for those who have been given eyes but do not want to see. I desire for all of my children to see my Son. I desire for all of my children to experience His Kingdom. Again I call you and implore you to pray for those whom my Son has called. Thank you."
~ Blessed Virgin Mary


Today's Word:  parable  par·a·ble  [par-uh-buhl]

Origin:  1275–1325; Middle English parabil  < Late Latin parabola  comparison, parable, word < Greek parabolḗ  comparison, equivalent to para- para-1  + bolḗ  a throwing
1. a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.
2. a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 42:2, 3, 5

2 I thirst for God, the living God; when shall I go to see the face of God?
3 I have no food but tears day and night, as all day long I am taunted, 'Where is your God?'
5 Why be so downcast, why all these sighs? Hope in God! I will praise him still, my Saviour,


Today's Epistle -  Philippians 1:18-26

18 But what does it matter? Only that in both ways, whether with false motives or true, Christ is proclaimed, and for that I am happy;
19 and I shall go on being happy, too, because I know that this is what will save me, with your prayers and with the support of the Spirit of Jesus Christ;
20 all in accordance with my most confident hope and trust that I shall never have to admit defeat, but with complete fearlessness I shall go on, so that now, as always, Christ will be glorified in my body, whether by my life or my death.
21 Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would be a positive gain.
22 On the other hand again, if to be alive in the body gives me an opportunity for fruitful work, I do not know which I should choose.
23 I am caught in this dilemma: I want to be gone and to be with Christ, and this is by far the stronger desire-
24 and yet for your sake to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need.
25 This much I know for certain, that I shall stay and stand by you all, to encourage your advance and your joy in the faith,
26 so that my return to be among you may increase to overflowing your pride in Jesus Christ on my account.


Today's Gospel Reading - Luke 17:7-10

Jesus said: 'Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, "Come and have your meal at once"? Would he not be more likely to say, "Get my supper ready; fasten your belt and wait on me while I eat and drink. You yourself can eat and drink afterwards"? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, "We are useless servants: we have done no more than our duty." '

• The Gospel today narrates the parable which is found only in Luke’s Gospel, and has no parallel in the other Gospels. The parable wants to teach that our life has to be characterized by an attitude of service. It begins with three questions and at the end Jesus himself gives the answer.

• Luke 17, 7-9: The three questions of Jesus. It treats of three questions taken from daily life, and therefore, the auditors have to think each one on his own experience to give a response according to that experience. The first question: “Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep would say to him when he returned from the fields, ’Come and have your meal at once?” All will answer: “No!” Second question: “Would he not be more likely to say, ‘Get my supper ready; fasten your belt and wait on me while I eat and drink. You yourself can eat and drink afterwards?” All will answer: “Yes! Certainly!” Third question: “Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told?” All will answer “No!” The way in which Jesus asks the questions, people become aware in which way he wants to orientate our thought. He wants us to be servants to one another.

• Luke 17, 10: The response of Jesus. At the end Jesus himself draws a conclusion which was already implicit in the questions: “So with you, when you have done all you have been told to do, say ‘We are useless servants, we have done no more than our duty”. Jesus himself has given us example when he said: “The Son of Man has not come to be served, but to serve” (Mk 10, 45). Service is a theme which Luke likes. Service represents the form in which the poor in the time of Jesus, the anawim, were waiting for the Messiah: not like a king and glorious Messiah, high priest or judge, but rather as the Servant of Yahweh, announced by Isaiah (Is 42, 1-9). Mary, the Mother of Jesus, says to the Angel: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your word!” (Lk 1, 38). In Nazareth, Jesus presents himself as the Servant described by Isaiah (Lk 4, 18-19 and Is 61, 1-2). In Baptism and in the Transfiguration, he was confirmed by the Father who quotes the words addressed by God to the Servant (Lk 3, 22; 9, 35 e Is 42, 1). Jesus asks his followers: “Anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave” (Mt 20, 27). Useless servants! This is the definition of the Christian. Paul speaks about this to the members of the community of Corinth when he writes: “I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God gave growth. In this neither the planter nor the waterer counts for anything, only God who gave growth” (1Co 3, 6-7). Paul and Apollos are nothing; only simple instruments, “Servants”. The only one who counts is God, He alone! (1Co 3, 7).

To serve and to be served. Here in this text, the servant serves the master and not the master the servant. But in the other text of Jesus the contrary is said: “Blessed those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. In truth, I tell you, he will do up his belt, sit them down at table and wait on them” (Lk 12, 37). In this text, the master serves the servant and not the servant the master. In the first text, Jesus spoke in the present. In the second text, Jesus is speaking in the future. This contrast is another way of saying: the one who is ready to lose his life out of love for Jesus and the Gospel will find it (Mt 10, 39; 16, 25). Anyone who serves God in this present life will be served by God in the future life!

Personal questions
• How do I define my life?
• Do I ask myself the three questions of Jesus? Do I live, perhaps, like a useless servant?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites, www.ocarm.org.


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Francesca Xavier Cabrini

Feast Day:  November 13
Patron Saint immigrants

Saint Francesca Xavier Cabrini
Saint Francesca Xavier Cabrini, M.S.C., (July 15, 1850, Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Lombardy – December 22, 1917, Chicago, Illinois), also called Mother Cabrini, was the first citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

Francesca Cabrini was born in Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Lombardy, Italy, one of eleven children from Agostino Cabrini and Stella Oldini who were rich cherry tree farmers. Sadly only four of the eleven survived beyond adolescence. Small and weak as a child, born two months premature, she remained in delicate health throughout her life. Cabrini took religious vows in 1877 and added Xavier to her name to honor the Jesuit saint, Francis Xavier. She became the Superior of the House of Providence orphanage in Codogno, where she taught, and drew a small community of women to live a religious way of life.

In 1880, the orphanage was closed and then opened again by her. She and six other women who had taken religious vows with her founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (M.S.C.) on November 14. Mother Cabrini composed the rules and constitution of the religious institute, and she continued as its Superior General until her death. The congregation established seven homes and a free school and nursery in its first five years. Its good works brought Mother Cabrini to the attention of Giovanni Scalabrini, bishop of Piacenza and of Pope Leo XIII.

Later years

Cabrini went to the Vatican to seek approval of the Pope to establish missions in China. Instead, he instructed her to go to the United States to help the Italian immigrants who were flooding to that nation in that era, mostly in great poverty. "Not to the East but to the West" was his advice.

She followed the Papal mandate and left for the United States, arriving in New York City on March 31, 1889 along with the other six Sisters. There she obtained the permission of Archbishop Michael Corrigan, the Archbishop of New York, to found an orphanage, which is located in West Park, New York, today and is known as Saint Cabrini Home--the first of 67 institutions she founded: in New York, Chicago, Des Plaines, Seattle, New Orleans, Denver, Golden, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and in countries throughout South America and Europe. She became a US citizen in 1909 in Seattle. Long after her death, the Missionary Sisters would achieve Mother Cabrini's goal of being missionaries to China. In only a short time, after much social and religious upheaval there, the Sisters left China and, subsequently, a Siberian placement.

In New York City, she founded Columbus Hospital and Italian Hospital. In the 1980s, they were merged into Cabrini Hospital. This facility was closed in 2002. In Chicago, the Sisters opened Columbus Extension Hospital (later renamed Saint Cabrini Hospital) in the heart of the city’s Italian neighborhood on the Near West Side. Both hospitals eventually closed near the end of the 20th century. Their foundress’ name lives on via Chicago's Cabrini Street. Cabrini was naturalized as a United States citizen in 1909.


Mother Cabrini died of complications from dysentery at age 67 in Columbus Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, on December 22, 1917, while preparing Christmas candy for the local children. By that time, she had founded 67 missionary institutions to serve the sick and poor and train additional nuns to carry on the work. Her body was originally interred at Saint Cabrini Home, an orphanage she founded in West Park, Ulster County, New York.


In 1931, her body was exhumed, found to be partially incorrupt and is now enshrined under glass in the altar at St. Frances Cabrini Shrine, part of Mother Cabrini High School, at 701 Fort Washington Avenue, in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. At that time, her heart was removed and is preserved in the chapel of the congregation's international motherhouse in Rome. The street to the west of the shrine was renamed Cabrini Boulevard in her honor.

Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini was canonized in Rome in 1946. Due to the overwhelming increase of pilgrims to her room at Chicago’s Columbus Hospital, Cardinal Stritch leaved consecrated a National Shrine built in the saint’s honor within the hospital complex.

The National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini was dedicated in 1955, 38 years after her death. Mother Cabrini lived, worked and died in Chicago so she is considered one of Chicago’s “Very Own”. It os located in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago at the former Columbus Hospital. It will be solemnly blessed and dedicated in an Inaugural Liturgy to be celebrated by Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, on Sunday, September 30, 2012, and will open the following day, Monday, October 1, 2012. The Very Reverend Father Theodore Poplis, Coordinator of Spiritual Services at Chicago's St. Joseph Hospital and a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, will also assume duties as the first Rector of the National Shrine, effective Saturday, September 1, 2012.

This new worship space was dedicated with the special mission to foster devotion to the first American citizen-saint. Since that historical moment, the dynamic life of the National Shrine has played an integral role in the mission and ministry of the religious congregation which Mother Cabrini founded: The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Shrine was at the heart of Columbus Hospital, which, as stated above, was located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. It was a popular destination for the faithful seeking personal healing and spiritual comfort. In 2002, the hospital closed and soon after was torn down, but the Shrine and Mother Cabrini’s room were conserved, though closed to the public. It is scheduled to reopen on Monday, October 1, 2012, following a ceremony the previous day.

The National Shrine will now function as a stand-alone center for prayer, worship, spiritual care and pilgrimage. Today, it is an architectural gem of gold mosaics, Carrara marble, frescoes and Florentine stained glass. As part of its restoration plan, it will be surrounded by a large condominium development on North Lakeview, the former site of Columbus Hospital. Another Mother Cabrini Shrine can be found in Golden, Colorado


Cabrini was beatified on November 13, 1938, and canonized on July 7, 1946, by Pope Pius XII. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini is the patron saint of immigrants. Her beatification miracle involved the restoration of sight to a child who had been blinded by excess silver nitrate in the child's eyes. Her canonization miracle involved the healing of a terminally-ill member of her congregation. The date fixed on the Universal Calendar of Saints for Mother Cabrini's feast day is November 13, the day of her beatification. In the pre-1970 calendar, still used by some, the date was December 22, the day of her birth to heaven, and so the day normally chosen for a saint's feast day.


Chicago's Cabrini–Green housing project, which has since been mostly torn down, was named after her, due to her work with Italian immigrants in the location. It has since become a haven for underprivileged and poor people and the M.S.C. Sisters still work there. Cabrini College, in Radnor, Pennsylvania, also bears her name, as does Cabrini High School in New Orleans, and Cabrini Medical Center and Mother Cabrini High School in Manhattan, New York City.

Cabrini Catholic High School in Allen Park, Michigan is named in her honor. The Santa-Cabrini hospital in the east end of Montréal, Canada, is named in her honor and is very popular amongst Canadians of Italian descent. The Scalabrini Fathers run St Francesca Cabrini Italian Church in Bedford UK, which is named in her honour.

CHRISTUS Saint Frances Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria, LA, bears her name because the Most Reverend Charles Greco was Bishop of Alexandria at the time of its founding, which was shortly after her canonization and he had met her when she came to visit the grade school he attended in New Orleans.

The Cabrini Mission Foundation is an organization committed to advancing St. Frances Xavier Cabrini's mission and legacy of healing, teaching, and caring around the world. The Central Station of Milan is now named Stazione Francesca Cabrini. There is also a Mother Cabrini School in Caparra Heights in Puerto Rico. Frances Xavier Cabrini is the Patron Saint of the school.


  1. ^ SF Cabrini in California Youngest of eleven children
  2. ^ Mothers Cabrini's Life Story on the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus website
  3. ^ "Mother Cabrini's Life Story". Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Stella Maris Province. http://www.mothercabrini.org/legacy/life1.asp. Retrieved 2010-12-02., page 4
  4. ^ http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2012/0923/cardinal.aspx
  5. ^ Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)
  6. ^ "The Cabrini–Green Issue", The Paw Print, February 2009. Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, Chicago, Ill. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  7. ^ http://www.eimagesite.net/s4/gst/run.cgi?page=s4_gb_0001_228
  8. ^ Galeazzi, Giacomo (November 13, 2010). "Bertone: Noi ex migrantii". lastampa.it. http://www.lastampa.it/_web/cmstp/tmplrubriche/giornalisti/grubrica.asp?ID_blog=242&ID_articolo=3031&ID_sezione=524&sezione=. (Italian)


    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's  Snippet  I:  Region of Lombardy, Italy

    Region of Lombardy Italy
    Lombardy (Italian: Lombardia Italian pronunciation: [lombarˈdiːa], Western Lombard: Lumbardìa, Eastern Lombard: Lombardia) is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The capital is Milan. One-sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest in the whole of Europe. Major tourist destinations in the region include the historic, cultural and artistic cities of Milan (which is Italy's second top tourist destination), Brescia, Mantua, Pavia, Como, Cremona, Bergamo, Sondrio, Lecco, Lodi, Varese, Monza, and the lakes of Garda, Como, Maggiore, and Iseo.

    The official language, as in the rest of Italy, is Italian. The traditional local languages are the various dialects of Lombard (Western Lombard and Eastern Lombard), as well as some dialects of Emilian, spoken in some parts of the provinces of Mantua, Pavia, and Cremona. According to Istat, almost 27% of Lombards are bilingual with Lombard and Italian languages; 9.1% are monolingual in Lombard and 57.6% are monolingual in Italian.


    Lombardy is bordered by Switzerland (north: Canton Ticino and Canton Graubünden) and by the Italian regions of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Veneto (east), Emilia-Romagna (south), and Piedmont (west). Three distinct natural zones can be fairly easily distinguished in the Lombardy region: mountains, hills and plains – the latter being divided in Alta (high plains) and Bassa (low plains).

    The most important mountainous area is an Alpine zone including the Lepontine and Rhaetian Alps, (Piz Bernina – La Spedla, 4,020 m), the Bergamo Alps, the Ortler Alps and the Adamello massif; it is followed by an Alpine foothills zone Prealpi, which include the main peaks are the Grigna Group (2,410 m), Resegone (1,875 m) and Presolana (2,521 m). The great Lombard lakes, all of glacial origin lie in this zone. From west to east these are Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano (shared with Switzerland), Lake Como, Lake Iseo, Lake Idro, then Lake Garda, the largest in Italy. South of the Alps lie the hills characterized by a succession of low heights of morainic origin, formed during the last Ice Age and small barely fertile plateaux, with typical heaths and conifer woods. A minor mountainous area lies south of the Po, in the Appennines range.

    The flat countryside around Lake Garda.
    The plains of Lombardy, formed from alluvial deposits, can be divided into the Alta – an upper, permeable ground zone in the north and a lower zone characterized – the Bassa – by the so-called line of fontanili (the spring waters rising on impermeable ground). Anomalous compared with the three distinctions already made is the small region of the Oltrepò Pavese, formed by the Apennine foothills beyond the Po River. A large number of rivers, all direct or indirect tributaries of the Po, cross the plains of Lombardy. Major rivers, flowing NW to SE, are the Ticino, the outlet of Lake Maggiore, the Olona, the Lambro, the Adda, outlet of Lake Como, the Mincio, outlet of Lake Garda, and the Oglio, the Lake Iseo outflow. There is a wide network of canals for irrigation purposes. In the plains, intensively cultivated for centuries, little of the original environment remains. The rare elm, alder, sycamore, poplar, willow and hornbeam woods and heaths are covered now by several protected areas. In the area of the great Alpine foothills lakes, however, grow olive trees, cypresses and larches, as well as varieties of subtropical flora such as magnolias, azaleas, acacias, etc. The mountains area is characterized by the typical vegetation of the whole range of the Italian Alps. At a lower levels (up to approximately 1,100 m) oak woods or broadleafed trees grow; on the mountain slopes (up to 2,000–2,200 m) beech trees grow at the lowest limits, with conifer woods higher up. Shrubs such as rhododendron, dwarf pine and juniper are native to the summital zone (beyond 2,200 m).

    Panorama view: Lake Maggiore
    The climate of this region is continental, though with variations depending on altitude or the presence of inland waters. The continental nature of the climate is more accentuated on the plains, with high annual temperature changes (at Milan an average January temperature is 1.5 °C (35 °F) and 24 °C (75 °F) in July), and thick fog between October and February. The Alpine foothills lakes exercise a mitigating influence, permitting the cultivation of typically Mediterranean produce (olives, citrus fruit). In the Alpine zone, the valley floor is relatively mild in contrast with the colder higher areas (Bormio, 1,225 m, −1.4 °C (29 °F) average in January, 17.3 °C (63 °F) in July). Precipitations are more frequent in the Prealpine zone (up to 1,500–2,000 mm annually) than on the plains and Alpine zones (600 mm to 850 mm annually). The numerous species of endemic flora (the Lombard native species), typical mainly of the Lake Como area, include some kinds of saxifrage, the Lombard garlic, groundsels bellflowers and the cottony bellflowers. Lombardy counts many protected areas: the most important are the Stelvio National Park (the largest Italian natural park), with typically alpine wildlife: red deer, roe-deer, ibex, chamois, foxes, ermine and also golden eagles; and the Ticino Valley Natural Park, instituted in 1974 on the Lombard side of the Ticino River to protect and conserve one of the last major examples of fluvial forest in Northern Italy.


    The area of current Lombardy was settled at least since the 2nd millennium BC, as shown by the archaeological findings of ceramics, arrows, axes and carved stones. In the following centuries it was inhabited by different peoples amongst whom the Etruscans, who founded the city of Mantua and spread the use of writing; later, starting from the 5th century BC, the area was invaded by Celtic – Gallic tribes. These people settled in several cities (including Milan) and extended their rule to the Adriatic Sea. Their development was halted by the Roman expansion in the Po Valley from the 3rd century BC onwards: after centuries of struggle, in 194 BC the entire area of what is now Lombardy became a Roman province with the name of Gallia Cisalpina ("Gaul on the nearer side of the Alps"). The Roman culture and language overwhelmed the former civilization in the following years, and Lombardy became one of the most developed and rich areas of Italy with the construction of a wide array of roads and the development of agriculture and trade. Important figures like Pliny the Elder (in Como) and Virgil (in Mantua) were born here. In late antiquity the strategic role of Lombardy was emphasized by the temporary moving of the capital of the Western Empire to Mediolanum (Milan). Here, in 313 AD, emperor Constantine issued the famous edict that gave freedom of confession to all religions within the Empire.

    Middle Ages

    King Alboin led the Lombard migration into the Po Valley and made Pavia the capital
    During and after the fall of the Western Empire, Lombardy suffered heavily from destruction brought about by a series of invasions by tribal peoples. The last and most effective was that of the Lombards, or Longobardi, who came around 570s and whose long-lasting reign (whose capital was set in Pavia) gave the current name to the region. There was a close relationship between the Frankish, Bavarian and Lombard nobility for many centuries. After the initial struggles, relationships between the Lombard people and the Latin-speaking people improved. In the end, the Lombard language and culture assimilated with the Latin culture, leaving evidence in many names, the legal code and laws among other things. The end of Lombard rule came in 774, when the Frankish king Charlemagne conquered Pavia and annexed the Kingdom of Italy (mostly northern and central Italy) to his empire. The former Lombard dukes and nobles were replaced by other German vassals, prince-bishops or marquises. The 11th century marked a significant boom in the region's economy, due to improved trading and, mostly, agricultural conditions. In a similar way to other areas of Italy, this led to a growing self-acknowledgement of the cities, whose increasing richness made them able to defy the traditional feudal supreme power, represented by the German emperors and their local legates. This process reached its apex in the 12th and 13th centuries, when different Lombard Leagues formed by allied cities of Lombardy, usually led by Milan, managed to defeat the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick I, at Legnano, and his grandson Frederick II, at Parma.

    The Coronation ceremony of
    Gian Galeazzo Visconti in the
    Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio
    This did not prevent other important Lombard centres, like Cremona (then rivalling Milan for size and wealth) and others, from supporting the imperial power if this could grant them an immediate advantage. Taking advantage of the flourishing agriculture, the area around the Po River, together with Venice and Tuscany, continued to expand its industry and commerce until it became the economic centre of the whole of Europe. The enterprising class of the communes extended its trade and banking activities well into northern Europe: "Lombard" designated the merchant or banker coming from northern Italy (see, for instance, Lombard Street in London). The name "Lombardy" came to designate the whole of Northern Italy until the 15th century and sometimes later. From the 14th century onwards, the instability created by the unceasing internal and external struggles ended in the creation of noble seignories, the most significant of which were those of the Viscontis (later Sforzas) in Milan and of the Gonzagas in Mantua. In the 15th century the Duchy of Milan was a major political, economical and military force at the European level. Milan and Mantua became two centres of the Renaissance whose culture, with men like Leonardo da Vinci and Mantegna, and pieces of art were highly regarded (for example, Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper). This richness, however, attracted the now more organized armies of national powers like France and Austria, which waged a lengthy battle for Lombardy in the late 15th-early 16th century.

    Modern era

    Historical image of Villa Reale di Monza, official summer residence of the Austrian viceroys of Lombardy-Venetia, at the time of Austrian domination.
    After the decisive Battle of Pavia, the Duchy of Milan became a possession of the Habsburgs of Spain: the new rulers did little to improve the economy of Lombardy, instead imposing a growing series of taxes needed to support their unending series of European wars. The eastern part of modern Lombardy, with cities like Bergamo and Brescia, was under the Republic of Venice, which had begun to extend its influence in the area from the 14th century onwards (see also Italian Wars). Pestilences (like that of 1628/1630, described by Alessandro Manzoni in his I Promessi Sposi) and the generally declining conditions of Italy's economy in the 17th and 18th centuries halted the further development of Lombardy. In 1706 the Austrians came to power and introduced some economical and social measures which granted a certain recovery. Their rule was smashed in the late 18th century by the French armies, however, and with the formation of the Napoleonic Empire, Lombardy became one of the semi-independent province of Napoleonic France. The restoration of Austrian rule in 1815, in the form of the puppet state called Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, had however to contend with new social ideals introduced by the Napoleonic era. Lombardy became one of the intellectual centres leading to Italian unification. The popular republic of 1848 was short-lived, its suppression leading to renewed Austrian rule. This came to a decisive end when Lombardy was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy 1859 as a result of the Second Italian Independence War. When annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1859 Lombardy achieved its present-day territorial shape by adding the Oltrepò Pavese (formerly the southern part of Novara's Province) to the province of Pavia. Starting from the late 19th century, and with a boom after World War II, Lombardy sharpened its status of richest and most industrialized region of Italy.

    Although Lombardy as a region is often identified as merely an economic and industrial powerhouse, it has interesting examples  even from the standpoint of cultural and artistic. The many examples range from prehistory to the present day, through the Roman period and the Renaissance and can be found both in museums and churches that enrich cities and towns around the region.


    Rock engraves, Nadro.
    The rock carvings (some 300,000) left by the ancient Camuni in the Valcamonica depicting animals, people and symbols date back to the period from Neolithic to Middle Ages. The many artifacts (pottery, personal items and weapons) found in the necropolis near the Lake Maggiore, and Ticino demonstrate the presence of civilization Golasecca who lived in Western Lombardy between the ninth and the fourth century BC.


    Lombardy contains numerous museums (over 330) of different types: ethnographic, historical, technical-scientific, artistic and naturalistic which testify to the historical-cultural and artistic development of the region. Among the most famous are the National Museum of Science and Technology "Leonardo da Vinci" (Milan), the The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci (Milan), the Accademia Carrara (Bergamo), the Museum of Santa Giulia (Brescia), the Volta Temple (Como), the Stradivari Museum (Cremona), the Palazzo Te (Mantua), the Museum Sacred Art of the Nativity and the basilica of Santa Maria Assunta at Gandino, the Royal Villa of Monza and many others.

    Main sights

    • Cathedral of Milan
    • Castello Sforzesco
    • Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio
    • Convent of Sta. Maria delle Grazie
    • The Last Supper
    • Teatro alla Scala
    • Basilica of San Lorenzo
    • Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio
    • Portinari Chapel
    • Brera Gallery
    • Certosa di Pavia
    • Petroglyphs of Valcamonica
    • Bellagio
    • Lake of Como
    • Lake of Garda
    • Industrial village of Crespi d'Adda
    • Duomo and Torrazzo in Cremona
    • Royal Villa of Monza
    • Tempio Civico della Beata Vergine Incoronata in Lodi
    • Palazzo Te, Castello di San Giorgio, Basilica di Sant'Andrea and Cathedral in Mantua



    Rice is popular in the region, often found in soups as well as risotti, such as "risotto alla Milanese", with saffron. In the city of Monza a popular recipe also adds pieces of sausages to the risotto. Regional cheeses include robiola, crescenza, taleggio, gorgonzola and grana padano (the plains of central and southern Lombardy allow intensive cattle-raising). Butter and cream are used. Single pot dishes, which take less work to prepare, are popular. In Bergamo, Brescia, and Valtellina, polenta is common. In Valtellina, Pizzoccheri too. In Mantua festivals feature tortelli di zucca (ravioli with pumpkin filling) accompanied by melted butter and followed by turkey stuffed with chicken or other stewed meats.

    Typical dishes

    A traditional "Cotoletta alla Milanese (Milanese-style cutlet)" served with potatoes.
    • Polenta (Asino e Polenta, Polenta e Osei, Vunscia Polenta, Polenta e Gorgonzola)
    • Pizzoccheri (short tagliatelle made out of buckwheat flour and wheat, laced with butter, green vegetables, garlic, sage, potatoes and onions, all topped with Casera cheese)
    • Quartirolo lombardo
    • Risotto (alla Milanese)
    • Osso buco
    • Cotoletta (Cutlet) ("alla Milanese")
    • Cassoeula
    • Gorgonzola cheese
    • Bitto cheese
    • Grana Padano cheese
    • Panettone
    • Lo Spiedo Bresciano – a traditional spit roast consisting of different cuts of meat, butter and sage
    • Tortelli di Zucca (Pumpkins filled pasta)
    • Sbrisolona cake



    • Nebbiolo red
    • Bellavista
    • Santi
    • Nino Negri
    • Bonarda Lombardy
    • Inferno (Valtellina)
    • Grumello (Valtellina)
    • Sassella (Valtellina)



    The magnificent auditorium of the Teatro Grande in Brescia.
    Besides Milan, the region of Lombardy has 11 other provinces, most of them with equally great musical traditions. Bergamo is famous for being the birthplace of Gaetano Donizetti and home of the Teatro Donizetti; Brescia is hosts the impressive 1709 Teatro Grande; Cremona is regarded as the birthplace of the commonly used violin, and is home to several of the most prestigious luthiers in the world, and Mantua was one of the founding and most important cities in 16th and 17th opera and classical music. Other cities such as Lecco, Lodi, Varese and Pavia also have rich musical traditions, but Milan is the hub and centre of the Lombard musical scene. It was the workplace of Giuseppe Verdi, one of the most famous and influential opera composers of the 19th century, and boasts a variety of acclaimed theatres, such as the Piccolo Teatro and the Teatro Arcimboldi; however, the most famous is the 1778 Teatro alla Scala, one of the most important and prestigious operahouses in the world.


    Apart from standardized Italian, Lombard is the local language of Lombardy. Lombard is a member of the Gallo-Italic group within the Romance languages. It is spoken natively in Northern Italy (most of Lombardy and some areas of neighbouring regions, notably the eastern side of Piedmont) and Southern Switzerland (Ticino and Graubünden).

    The two main varieties (Western Lombard language and Eastern Lombard language) show differences and are often, but not always, mutually comprehensible. The union of Western Lombard or Insubric, Eastern Lombard and intermediate varieties under the denomination of "Lombard" is a matter of debate, and it has been argued that the two might potentially form separate languages.


    Lombardy has always been an important centre for silk and textile production, notably the cities of Pavia, Vigevano and Cremona, but Milan is the region's most important centre for clothing and high fashion. In 2009, Milan was regarded as the world fashion capital, even surpassing New York, Paris, Rome and London. Most of the major Italian fashion brands, such as Valentino, Versace, Prada, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana (to name a few), are currently headquartered in the city.

    UNESCO World Heritage Sites

    • Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci
    • Crespi d'Adda
    • Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
    • Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy
    • Cathedral and Torrazzo in Cremona
    • Mantua and Sabbioneta