Isle of Seven Cities

Detail of c. 1508 map of Johannes Ruysch, showing Gruenlant, Antilia, Cuba, and the coast of South America.
Detail of c. 1508 map of Johannes Ruysch, showing Gruenlant (Greenland), Antilia, Cuba, and the coast of South America.

This island Antilia was once found by the Portuguese, but now when it is searched, cannot be found. People found here speak the Hispanic language, and are believed to have fled here in face of a barbarian invasion of Hispania, in the time of King Roderic, the last to govern Hispania in the era of the Goths. There is one archbishop here and six other bishops, each of whom has his own city; and so it is called the island of seven cities. The people live here in the most Christian manner, replete with all the riches of this century.

— Inscription on 1507/1508 map of Johannes Ruysch.

A New Pair of Beads

I recently commissioned Gayle Murphy of Queen of Peace Rosaries to restring a set of beads and hardware using her excellent — both sturdy and handsome — wire-wrapping technique. The result is magnificent!

The crucifix is a heavy, handmade, sterling silver piece from South America — Peru, I believe. The Pater beads are sterling silver, handmade in Bali; the Ave beads are very fine round amethysts; the accents are a lighter, faceted amethyst. The centre medallion depicts a calla lily (a symbol of Our Lady — and, coincidentally and quite unintentionally, of Irish republicanism and nationalism since 1926 to commemorate the fallen of the 1916 Easter Rising and onwards). The rosary is strung on solid sterling silver wire.

The new rosary.
The new rosary.
Close-up of the Spanish colonial-style crucifix.
Close-up of the Spanish colonial-style crucifix.
Detail of the beads, showing the wire-wrapping technique.
Detail of the beads, showing the wire-wrapping technique.

This is the first sacramental blessed for me by Fr. Doc as a Catholic priest!