Tomorrow is the Year's Mind, as we say in the Patrimony, of our late Sovereign Liege Lord, Henry IX, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Cardinal Bishop of Frascati and later Dean of the College of Cardinals. He took part in several conclaves, most notably the conclave in Venice which followed the death in prison of Pius VI during the darkest period of the Enlightenment.
I seem to remember that, after his election, the next pope, Pius VII, wore a papier mache tiara, to which some Venetian noblewomen had attached precious stones. Now that would be a real sign of a really humble pope, to be crowned with such a tiara.
I wonder if readers can suggest ways of celebrating the reign of Henry IX, our most endearing sovereign. I suppose the obvious thing would be to consume a bottle of Frascati.
I believe my late friend, Fr Michael Melrose, pp of S Giles' Reading, once told me that His Majestic Eminence died of an excess of Melons. It is an enormous shame that Father Melrose didn't live long enough to join the Ordinariate; the items in his capacious and idiosyncratic memory were just the sort of riches that make our Patrimonial community so exuberant and vibrant.
So ... a Canteloupe with crudo, and a toast to His Most Eminent Majesty, drunk in Frascati?