Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Saturday, February 13, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

SJB Ravioli Dinner 2016

Home : Parish/School Life : Parish and School News
9/2/2014 8:06:00 AM
St. Patrick deacon helps ID ancient oil lamp
Photo contributed by Deacon Rob Page
An ancient Christian lamp from the first or second century.
Photo contributed by Deacon Rob Page
An ancient Christian lamp from the first or second century.

The symbols that cracked the mystery of the lamp's history.
The symbols that cracked the mystery of the lamp's history.

INDEPENDENCE — Deacon Rob Page of St. Patrick Church has an unusual hobby.  He collects and studies ancient coins and artifacts.  

“Over 40 years ago my wife told me to get a hobby. So I did. To this day she has second thoughts about saying that,” Deacon Page said.

Recently the hobby led Deacon Page to help identify an extremely rare Christian oil lamp, when a Canadian antiquity company director contacted the deacon for help identifying symbols on the piece.

Deacon Page, a former high school teacher and twice Fulbright scholar recipient, has spent much of his free time traveling and forging connections with archaeologists and antiquities dealers around the world.  Deacon Page has even taken part in an archaeological excavation of the ancient city of Ashkelon in Israel with Harvard University.

He said studying the items has helped him become more aware of connections between the modern world and ancient peoples and cultures.

At first, Deacon Page was as puzzled as Allan Anawati, director of Medusa Arts in Montreal, Canada, over symbols on the bottom of the Lamp. The lamp, shaped like a foot wearing a Greek sandal, indicated the piece was from the first or second century. But one symbol on the piece, a cross, likely would not have been seen on a lamp until more than 200 years later.

“I was very curious to find out if the lamp had come originally from Egypt, Italy or from Syria and the Holy Land area,” Deacon Page said. “When I asked Allan if he could give me any information about it, he said that he did not want to influence my thinking. So I continued my research into the two other symbols that looked like an S and an O.”
He searched source after source and finally came across reference that included the two words, “Opera” and “Sator.”

The entire reference, “Sator arepo tenet opera rotas,” means “the sower/creator in the field controls the workings of his tools.”  The Christian interpretation seemed highly probable because an anagram revealed the words “Pater Noster.”

“If the two symbols on the lamp stood for ‘Opera’ and ‘Sator’… then the lamp would serve as a coded message telling people to walk in the light of Christ and do his work,” Deacon Page said. “This makes perfect sense in the first and second century because it was a time of persecution for the Church.”

Official auction data indicated the lamp was originally from Syria. The lamp had been legally transported to the United States, but incrustations obscured the markings that might have led other antiquities experts to make the discovery earlier.

The lamp is bronze, which also reveals that its original owner was rich and important.

“When I hold and look at the lamp, I can sense the deep faith that its owner had. I can imagine an early Christian community coming together in the house of this rich person and celebrating the Eucharist under its light,” Deacon Page said. “It probably was buried in the owner’s grave to give light to Christians who would meet there and to the deceased who awaited the resurrection of the dead and the second coming of Christ.”

Deacon Page has always enjoyed ancient history and has held many awe-inspiring artifacts in his hands.  But never, he said, has he had the opportunity to take part in a discovery of this magnitude. Currently, Deacon Page is working with Anawati and an Israeli writer for publication of this discovery.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved