New: Dante vivo || White Silence


oseph and Jesus had a carpenter's shop in Nazareth. Peter and his companions ran a fishing business on the Sea of Galilee. Paul was a tentmaker. Mary, in the Infancy Gospels, did sewing and embroidery while in Egypt, Jesus delivering the goods to her customers there- and so did Dorcas do fine sewing in Luke's Acts. Those of us in Christ's ministry need to earn our keep. The early disciples, both men and women, also wrote epistles, Psalters, Gospels, Bibles. They balanced work and study and prayer. And they did not use credit cards or cheques, instead directly exchanged their work. We encourage the same here in a mutual giving, to the One Body of Christ, everyone. We have a workroom, a bottega, next to our library, our biblioteca, with a great table made from the cypresses here in 1860, upon which we restore tomb sculpture, bind and restore books, marble paper, frame paintings.

Monastic communities similarly flourish where they balance work, study and prayer, earning their keep, not living off others' labour. The Egyptian Desert Fathers wove baskets of palm leaves for sale. Ken Lott described Trappist monks in Georgia who make grisaille stained glass, having done so first for their own church. I know of another such monastery in New York State which makes 'Monk's Bread', having a bakery, and of contemplative nuns keeping a herd of milk cows, for the hours of bread-baking and www.ccel.orgmilking coincide well with the Hours of Prayer of the Church. The Carmelite Brother Lawrence in The Practice of the Presence of God described how kitchen work can be God's Presence in prayer. Likewise from the beginning of the Church through these two Millennia, contemplatives have written and produced books, the Beguines often printing and binding also those of others.

In medieval Florence - before the Medici Princes were heard of - Giotto and other artists worked in botteghe, a bottega being a workshop, these artists doing everything, mixing their paints, painting, framing, building. We believe this can also be a model for a library, where books are written, translated, printed, bound, shelved, sold, read, and even their shelves built by the writer scholar librarians. We believe this can be the model for a publishing house, combining bookshop and library, and enabling similar publishing houses' survival by providing free cataloguing on the web. We believe this can also be the model for running a historical cemetery, treating the tombs as like precious pages of a history book written in marble, needing restoration, translating, reading in order to understand their messages from the past to the future. We believe not in working against each other competively, but in working together cooperatively. We invite you to share in this project in Florence.

If you are in a Third World country or elsewhere, living in simplicity, or if others you know do so, having a computer but lacking a modem and access to the Internet, it is possible to order a CD of the umilta website. It is also the greatest wisdom to not have live television but to use videos of excellent films, especially where there are children growing up in a family. We are happiest as active producers, rather than passive consumers. This space is also open to your cottage industries in textiles and texts.

Our Biblioteca Fioretta Mazzei 's brackets
made by Bruno in brass, by our  Settignano
blacksmith in wrought iron, against our
marbled paper. Each takes an hour's work.
Their shape from the Bodleian Library's
lilied crosses.

Clockwise: book on how to do Florentine embroidery on linen, white on white, gold thread embroidery for a priest's chasuble, green and natural handwoven linen towels from Farfa Sabina, near Rome, like those in the Ghirlandaio Last Supper altarcloths, with designs that go back to Byzantine times. To enlarge, click here . For further information contact Julia Bolton Holloway


I should like to open this website to those religious communities needing to sell what they make to support themselves in their lives of prayer, iconographers like Sister Petra Clare in the wilds of Scotland who paints icons and makes Orthodox knotted prayer beads; Father Nathanael Aghiopalamites in the United States; the St John' s Cathedral Icon School in Pskov in Russia, the e-mail to Philip Davydov ; and to lay people, such as the Amish selling mailorder plain clothes, to Shakers still making Shaker artifacts, to Berea College, whose students once earned their way through college while preserving traditional skills and handcrafts, to Foxfire, to all once listed in the Whole Earth Catalogue, to Yorkshire wood carvers, to Italian hand weavers who in Farfa Sabina still make the hand loomed weaving one sees in Ghirlandaio's Last Supper frescoes in Florence and which would be so fine if once again used for altar cloths; to William Morris items still being crafted in England by Arthur Sanderson's & Sons; to Native Americans making 'Eyes of God' and hand-dyed and loomed woven carpets; to Penitentes making bultos and santos, to Native Peoples in Alaska who can send you smoked salmon in hand-crafted wooden boxes; to my third son Jonathan Luke Holloway's widow in Tennessee who made t-shirts, including copies of his own beloved 'Every Person is a Holy Place'; to my first son who was a carpenter in Philadelphia who made libraries for fine booklovers; to my second son who for many years lived in a hand-crafted 'Blue Star' teepee and who is a stone-mason and land surveyor.  Above all, to Alice Waithera , UDP, Nairobi, Kenya , who made rosaries, and who had a family to raise on her own.

Alice Waithera's Rosary

Isabelle Prondzynski writes from Nairobi, Kenya,

this olivewood bowl from Kenya you have sent me, in a package with Irish stamps, bound with green and white string. It reminds me of St Birgitta's bowl of Russian birchwood or maple with Cyrillic letters I held in my hand in Bavaria in a Brigittine convent there! It is now filled with leaves, blessed by our parish priest, the Olivetan monk, don Patrizio. It is so very beautiful, will be so very cherished. I love holding it in my hands, feeling its unevenness, its humanness, its naturalness, its life, not a thing from a machine. Thank you. Buckminster Fuller said all things we make are extensions of our bodies, our minds, our souls, that bowls and cups from which we drink are simply extensions of our hands. So computers are of our minds. This bowl is of God's hands so lovingly creating us. 'Into thy hands [yadika], O Lord, I commend my spirit [ruah]', a Jewish child is taught to say at night, the first prayer a child is taught. God in Hebrew has a very human body! We are in each other's image! And then Isabelle added: Lydia McCauley has recorded Sabbath Day's Journey on CD, which is lovely and which includes 'All Shall be Well', and is available from Brimstone Music, 2405 38th Street, Bellingham, Washington 98226, USA. Carmel in Australia asks what she could give in exchange, like print-outs of the Russian Icon School's icons in Pskov?

Julia adds: I can assemble kits in Florence for making linen drawn-thread work corporals or gold-thread embroidered chasubles. Nothing is more therapeutic or more fulfilling than such embroidery, using one's needle to praise God, a prayer to each stitch. Indeed, I found when renouncing a personal internal combustion engine, while waiting for shared public transportation, such embroidery calmed me and gave me the means for praising God with all my being. Though I did keep the possession of a personal computer for such ends!

Design for a chasuble based on a Sussex font, such fonts also existing in Sweden.

We help artists in Florence obtain commissions. See the websites we have created for Bruno Vivoli and James Rotherham.

James Rotherham, Detail, Prodigal Son

Godfriends are willing to serve as consultants for crafting and weaving Websites for non-profit communities. Our Godfriends includedan iconographer and a pornographer with whom we consulted, while praying the second becomes likewise the first. We can also give advice on software for hard copy publications of booklets and books. We can advise on library cataloguing, book repair, binding and preservation, and church and other furniture restoration.

Let us know what you would like to see here. The only requirement is that they be beautiful and useful to the soul, the mind, the body (my Mother Foundress saying a sin against beauty is a sin against God, and that beauty is what is simple and useful and made for the love of God and one's neighbour).


I should like to open this Juliansite to people such as Brody Neuenschwander who does calligraphy, as in Peter Greenaway's Prospero's Books, who has calligraphed a scroll in Van Eycks' Bruges of Gerald Manley Hopkins' 'Wreck of the Deutschland', and who teaches calligraphy in convents and monasteries. I should like to open this Juliansite to those who want to order in bulk for their convents, their abbeys, their churches and for themselves, the postcards of reproductions of the great Florentine works of art, such as the Simone Martini diptych, the Fra Angelico and Della Robbia scenes which go with the Rosary, the Ghirlandaio and Andrea dal Castagno 'Last Suppers', the Massacio 'Trinity', which I can obtain for you from my Australian neighbour who happens to live here in Montebeni above Florence. Or black and white Alinari photographs for reproduction in scholarly books. Or Florentine book-binding papers. Including marbled papers. I can make the card below into diptychs to keep by your prayer table, your computer.

Simone Martini (? -1344). 'Madonna con il Bambino e Pietà' (diptych).
Museo Horne, Florence, Italy. Copyright Editrice Giusti de Becocci S.R.L., Florence, Italy.

This can be an outlet for those needing contemplative libraries for anchorholds or monasteries. A way of saying how to acquire the Paulist Press books most readily and inexpensively, by becoming a charter subscriber to their Classics of Western Spirituality series: http://www.paulistpress.com . A way of saying how to order the finely bound and edited Early English Text Society volumes, each stamped in gold with the Alfred Jewel: best to become a Subscribing Member of the Early English Text Society, by writing to the Membership Secretary, Mrs Jane Watkinson, 12 North End, Durham DH1 4NJ (janemwatkinson@hotmail.com) (annual subscription £15.00/$30): otherwise order those volumes which are over five years old from Boydell and Brewer , those which are more recent from Oxford University Press. A way of saying how to find Margot King's Peregrina Publishing books: http://www.peregrina.com . And an outstanding publishing scholar, English, in Austria, who had no computer, no e-mail, but whose list includes major studies on medieval contemplative literature, was Professor James Hogg, of the Analecta Cartusiana, whose University of Salzburg publications, relating to Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love , included:

While the books of mystic theology in Italian written by don Divo Barsotti, C.F.D., 'Ascolta o figlio', Nello Spirito Santo, La fede nell'amore, Itinerario dell'anima a Dio, Pensieri per ogni giorno, La legge e` l'amore, Trinita` vissuta, Poesie, Verso la visione , etc., may be ordered from the Fondazione Divo Barsotti, Casa San Sergio, Settignano, Firenze.

A way of ordering Julia Bolton Holloway 's books:

Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love: Extant Texts and Translation, ed. Sister Anna Maria Reynolds, C.P. and Julia Bolton Holloway (ISBN  88-8450-095-8) from University of Florence, SISMEL Edizioni del Galluzzo, order@sismel.it
so their royalties can purchase books and materials for the the Biblioteca and Bottega Fioretta Mazzei.

I should like to open this Shop (Julia Bolton Holloway ), also, to those who want to order the Julian Library Portfolios , giving the starred* titles in the Julian of Norwich Website and the Mirror of Saints Website , and which are crammed full with booklets of many of the essays on the Website, but in the Hebrew and Greek and Old English and Middle English the Internet cannot manage, and also with the coloured reproductions I cannot afford to place on the Internet. APortfolio costs $25.00 plus postage to make, which includes the postage, and which are hand-bound in Florentine hand-marbled paper. Or you may order individual booklets. If a web essay is unstarred and you would like one or several booklets made of it, ask me (Julia Bolton Holloway ). We are a cottage publishing company on demand, as were the medieval beguines. What profits that might ensue will be used to purchase more books for our library on Florence, theology and women, the Biblioteca Fioretta Mazzei.

I have a few medieval manuscript leaves to sell. Likewise some duplicate Alinari century's old photographs of Florentine art. I can as well make portfolios to measure, using Florentine papers, if you have precious documents you want to preserve. Or the Simone Martini diptychs above. Or other cards and writing paper. We can make excellent bees' wax furniture polish, indeed have done so for Anglican bishops' thrones. Or you can order remaindered copies of Equally in God's Image: Women in the Middle Ages. These items from holloway.julia@tiscali.it

Again, we would be willing to serve freely, crafting and weaving Websites for non-profit communities, as we have for Nairobi's Urban Development Programme , and we can also give advice on software for hard copy publications of booklets and books. We can advise on library cataloguing, book repair, binding and preservation, and church and other furniture restoration. It is my hope to buy the most simple equipment, saws and mitre boxes, and teach refugees without skills and without work how to do picture framing, giving both the tools and their work to them, to sell the latter to tourists, so doing teaching both refugees and tourists Florentine art. It is said the half the world's great art is in Italy, and half of that again here in this one small city. One buys gold leaf here, in books, in hardware/ironmonger stores!

Our Shop exists to support our enabling the bettering of human souls, minds and bodies, to becoming a community, a school for prayer , a centre for theological study. And especially we seek advice (Ephphatha !) on how to create a business for dispensing hearing aids at minimal cost to the hearing-impaired run by the hearing-impaired.

Julia Bolton Holloway

'Christ girded himself with the towel of our humanity to minister to that which was sick'.
Cyril of Jerusalem

Google Book Search

Search for Aureo Anello Books using Google Book Search and PayPal. Proceeds for Florence's 'English' Cemetery Restoration

Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love , definitive edition and translation, Firenze: SISMEL, 2001, available from SISMEL or from Julia Bolton Holloway.

To see an example of a page inside with parallel text in Middle English and Modern English, variants and explanatory notes,click here.


To order Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love: Extant Texts and Translation, ed. Sister Anna Maria Reynolds, C.P. and Julia Bolton Holloway (ISBN  88-8450-095-8), 848 pages, 18 full colour plates of the manuscripts, from University of Florence, SISMEL Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2001, 191 euro, air mail to America €36.46, surface mail, €21.38, e-mail
order@sismel.itaor Julia Bolton Holloway


Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love, translation in paperback (ISBN: 0-8146-5169-0), xxxiv+ 133 pp, three colour printing, 2003. Order, in America, The Liturgical Press, St John's Abbey, $19.95; in England, etc., Darton, Longman and Todd, available at bookshops, £9.95.

To see inside this book, where God's words are in red, Julian's in black, her editor's in grey, click here.

Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love, Westminster Text, translated into Modern English, set in William Morris typefont, hand bound with marbled paper end papers within vellum covers, in limited, signed edition. A similar version available in Italian translation. Can be accompanied by CD of a reading of the text. To order, click here.

To view sample copies, actual size, click here.


Saint Bride and Her Book: Birgitta of Sweden's Revelations. Translated from Latin and Middle English with Introduction, Notes and Interpretative Essay . Library of Medieval Women. Series Editor, Jane Chance. Boydell and Brewer , 2000. Revised, republished, third edition. xvi + 151 pp. ISBN 0-85991-589-1

Two books on Dante Alighieri:

The Pilgrim and the Book: A Study of Dante, Langland and Chaucer (ISBN0-8204-2090-5); illustrated, indexed, third edition, available from Julia Bolton Holloway. $25, 25 euro.

Twice-Told Tales: Brunetto Latino and Dante Alighieri (ISBN 0-8204-1954-0), illustrated, indexed, available from Julia Bolton Holloway. $25, 25 euro.

Latest CD:

Florence in Sepia




Concentrating on Florence, this CD contains e-books, such as Augustus J.C. Hare's Florence, Susan and Joanna Horner's Walks in Florence, an album of nineteenth-century photographs of Italy purchased by the Mother Foundress of the Community of the Holy Family, illustrative materials on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, etc. It is a useful guide for scholars of medieval, Renaissance and Victorian Florence and for tourists to modern Florence.

© Julia Bolton Holloway , Biblioteca e Bottega Fioretta Mazzei, 2004.

To order rocking cradles, hand-wrought-iron lilied-cross shelf joins, marbled paper, etc., from Julia Bolton Holloway, illustrated and described in How to Build Cradles and Libraries, and handmade colourful rosaries from Nairobi, Africa, illustrated and described in Portfolio.

Biblioteca e Bottega Fioretta Mazzei Marbled Papers

Donations for above CDs and Portfolios benefit the Biblioteca e Bottega Fioretta Mazzei (of which you become a member through the gift to the library of a book), and the historic "English Cemetery ", Piazzale Donatello 38, I-50132 Florence, Italy

CloisteraaAnglo-Italian Websites

Library Pages: Bibliography || Biblioteca e Bottega Fioretta Mazzei || Recent Acquisitions || Suggestions on How to Run a Library || Manuscript Facsimile Publishing Houses || Manuscripts || Museum Thoughts|| Florentine Libraries and Museums || How to Build Cradles and Libraries || Bottega || Publications || Limited Edition || Libreria Editrice Fiorentina || SISMEL Edizioni del Galluzzo || Fiera del Libro || Florentine Binding || Calligraphy Workshop || Bookbinding Workshop

New: Dante vivo || White Silence


To donate to the restoration by Roma of Florence's formerly abandoned English Cemetery and to its Library click on our Aureo Anello Associazione's PayPal button: