The National Catholic Review

Were I a friar of Convento San Marco
In Florence of the Quattrocento
With Fra Angelico and students
Working on some fifty frescos
And every tiny cell a shrine

I would ask for myself
“An Annunciation or Nativity please!”
An image luminous enough to brighten
The darkness of the pre-dawn call
From grand silence to matins

Greeting me from the foot of my cot
The serene figures the muted colors
Catching the early eastern glow
Would make every morning Christmas

John P. McNamee, pastor emeritus of Saint Malachy Church in Philadelphia, is the author of five books, including Diary of a City Priest (made into a film) and a book of poems, Derrybeg and Back.

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