Did I witness a miracle?: San Gennaro 19/09/2010

•19/09/2010 • Leave a Comment

September 18th: my father, cameraman Mark Brewer, Italian fixer Lorella Muzi and I headed down to Naples to shoot a TV report on the miracle of San Gennaro (or Januarius), the city’s patron saint.

I’d only been to Naples once, on an excursion with school, and I’d never visited its historical centre. It was utter chaos; cars everywhere doing impossible things in tiny streets, boisterous Neapolitans shouting and beeping their horns at each other, but fortunately we had wisely decided to take the train. We arrived at our Bed and Breakfast’s supposed address but there was no sign of any kind of accommodation. After rudely calling and interrupting the manager’s dinner, he arrived and we were led into a courtyard, then up four or five flights of rickety stairs (carrying all our camera gear). We finally got to our rooms needing a long shower. We finished the evening with a typical Neapolitan seafood dinner, savouring the warm southern air.

Legend has it that around 300 A.D. Gennaro was the Bishop of Naples. During the one and a half year-long persecution of Christians by Emperor Diocletian, Gennaro hid his fellow Christians to prevent them from being caught. Unfortunately he was finally arrested and condemned to death by being thrown to the wild bears in the Flavian Amphitheater at Pozzuoli. Allegedly the wild beasts refused to eat him, so instead he was beheaded. A woman named Eusebia saved some of his blood in a vial.

We went to Naples to witness the ‘miraculous’ liquefaction of San Gennaro’s blood that happens in Naples’ main cathedral every year.

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The first Australian saint: St. Mary of the Cross 16/09/2010 – 17/10/2010

•17/09/2010 • Leave a Comment

17th of October 2010: Australia gets its first Saint. Her name is Mary MacKillop; she lived from 1842 to 1909, and founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart. My father and I worked with the Seven Network Australia which was extensively covering this historic event.

We began preparing for this television coverage a month before the canonization; scouting out locations for hosts and shooting short pieces for Seven’s News broadcast and the “Sunday Night” program.

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My first job: Franco Zeffirelli 15/09/2010

•15/09/2010 • Leave a Comment

Monday 13/09/2010, my first day of work, looking forward to a year of new and interesting experiences. Well, let’s just say that my first one was pretty interesting. My dad tells me that I will be going with cameraman Mark Brewer to be soundo for an interview with Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli. Initially I didn’t know who he was, but I quickly corrected my ignorance by researching him and finding out just how much of a bigshot he is. I was very nervous because it was my first “assignment” and I was very afraid of screwing up.

On the 15/09/2010 we picked up the journalist who was doing the story and drove to Zeffirelli’s villa in the Appia Antica, in the outskirts of Rome.

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