Why Milan?


I Don’t Know

First let me say, “I don’t know.” But as a student of history and the Bible I’ve seen many times that things happen in certain places for a reason. It seems plain to see that it happens that way, but seldom do we see in the spiritual realm, why?

But this Easter 2020 performance, or prayer, as Andrea Bocelli called it, live on YouTube, has so captured my imagination and spiritual hunger, that I’ve tried to look into it as much as I can. To see its fuller meaning, if the Lord would reveal some of it to me.

I know I can’t linger here too much longer. I need to move on to journaling, listening, writing about the next big thing He’s showing me — Grace. In many ways this Easter 2020 event is a good trumpet or launching point for looking at Grace, and its practical work, mystical work, and spiritual work in our lives. It would seem I’ve been blind to how important it is, but now I (am beginning to) see.

“Amazing Grace,” ended Bocelli’s prayer from Milan, Italy, April 12, 2020 — Easter Sunday, in a city and world silenced by a plague called COVID-19.

Snippets from Wikipedia

“Milan, Italy is an ancient city in northern Italy first settled in about 400 BC by Celts. The settlement was conquered by the Romans in 222 BC. Diocletian divided the Roman Empire, choosing the eastern half for himself, making Milan the seat of the western half of the empire, from which Maximian ruled, in the late 3rd and early 4th century AD. In 313 AD Emperors Constantine and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan, which officially ended the persecution of Christians.

“ In 1450 Milan was conquered by Francesco Sforza, which ushered Milan into becoming one of the leading cities of the Italian Renaissance.

In 1629 The Great Plague of Milan killed about 60,000 people out of a total population of about 130,000. This even is considered one of the last great outbreaks of what was a pandemic that ravaged Europe for several centuries, beginning with the Black Death.

Napoleon invaded Italy in 1796, and later declared Milan the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. After Napoleon’s occupation ended the Congress of Vienna returned Lombardy and Milan to Austrian control in 1815. This is the period when Milan became a center for lyric opera.”

“With the unification of the country Milan became the dominant commercial center of northern Italy. In 1919 Benito Mussolini rallied the Blackshirts for the first time in Milan, and later they began their March on Rome from Milan. During World War II Milan was extensively damaged by Allied bombings. Upon the surrender of Italy in 1943 German forces occupied northern Italy until the end of the war in 1945. Members of the Italian resistance in Milan took control of the city and executed Mussolini, his mistress and other leaders of his Fascist government by hanging in Milan.”

Since the end of World War II Italy experienced an economic boom. From 1951 until 1967 the population of Milan grew from 1.3 million to 1.7 million. The city was reconstructed, but in the late 1960s and early 1970s the city suffered from a huge wave of street violence, labor strikes and political terrorism. During the 1980s Milan became one of the world’s fashion capitals.”

In March 2020 Lombardy had the majority of Italy’s cases of Covid-19 during the 2019-2020 worldwide coronavirus pandemic, with the highest rate of death in the world.”

[Bolding for emphasis is mine.]

Duomo — The Cathedral

“Milan Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Milano) is the cathedral church of Milan, Lombardy, Italy.”’

“The cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete: construction began in 1386, and the final details were completed in 1965. It is the largest church in Italy—the larger St. Peter’s Basilica is in the State of Vatican City, a sovereign nation—and the second largest in Europe and the fourth largest in the world.”

“At the end of the fifteenth century the greatest architects and artists of the time, including Leonardo da Vinci, tried to accomplish the difficult task of designing the tiburium.”

“The 5-manual, 225-rank pipe-organ, built jointly by the Tamburini and Mascioni Italian organbuilding firms on Mussolini’s command, is currently the largest organ in all of Italy.”

“The American writer and journalist Mark Twain visited Milan in the summer of 1867. He dedicated chapter 18 of ‘Innocents Abroad’ to Milan Cathedral, including many physical and historical details, and a visit to the roof. He describes the Duomo as follows:

What a wonder it is! So grand, so solemn, so vast! And yet so delicate, so airy, so graceful! A very world of solid weight, and yet it seems …a delusion of frostwork that might vanish with a breath!… The central one of its five great doors is bordered with a bas-relief of birds and fruits and beasts and insects, which have been so ingeniously carved out of the marble that they seem like living creatures– and the figures are so numerous and the design so complex, that one might study it a week without exhausting its interest…everywhere that a niche or a perch can be found about the enormous building, from summit to base, there is a marble statue, and every statue is a study in itself…Away above, on the lofty roof, rank on rank of carved and fretted spires spring high in the air, and through their rich tracery one sees the sky beyond. … (Up on) the roof…springing from its broad marble flagstones, were the long files of spires, looking very tall close at hand, but diminishing in the distance…We could see, now, that the statue on the top of each was the size of a large man, though they all looked like dolls from the street… They say that the Cathedral of Milan is second only to St. Peter’s at Rome. I cannot understand how it can be second to anything made by human hands.”

I’m struck by many of the Duomo’s features, but especially the very high statue on the spire, and the extremely large crown at the churches center, homage to Christ the reigning and soon coming King. Amen. [Psalm 2]


 “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”

He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” [Revelation 22:17,21-22]

Amazing Grace

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