Mac Saves San Miniato Mass

San Miniato’s ancient order of Benedictine monks got a 21st century, OS X style update this past Wednesday. In a momentary tech crisis, the basilica’s printer began to malfunction at the worst time possible: right before a mass celebrating the feast day of Saint Benedict.

The prior of San Miniato al Monte in Florence, Father Bernardo Gianni, was scheduled to give a speech introducing the mass and its special guest: Florence flood “Mud Angel” and President of the CEI (Conference of Italian Bishops), Gualtiero Bassetti. The presence of the well-known Bassetti likely only made matters more nerve-grinding for Father Bernardo, who had to think fast, eschewing church taboos to ensure the show would go on.

In a literal case of deus ex machina, he pulled out the trusty Mac he had written the welcome speech on, and prompted the mass. Clutching his computer intently, Father Bernardo read the speech directly off the word processing application, as if it were a religious text. There were a few notable differences from a traditional mass—the glowing white apple logo, emblazoned on the sleek metal exterior, and the Father’s face lit up with the blue light of the screen, glowing amidst the 1000 year-old walls of the basilica’s crypt.

Attendees of the service smiled through Father Bernardo’s warm introduction for Bassetti. Later, in his own speech, Bassetti criticized the closure of Italian ports to migrants, drawing on the welcoming spirit of Christianity and the doctrine of the Pope. He read: “The logic of [our religion] is to welcome, accompany, integrate […] if there is a ship in the sea, you cannot close the ports, and risk the death of other [human beings].”

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.  (tyler bunton)