Help Dante Help Italy

A new translation and illustration of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy couldn't be more timely with his home under siege by the Coronavirus. The donations will be sent to the hospitals in Italy, among which include the Hospital "San Giovanni XXIII" in Bergamo, the "A.S.S.T. - Bergamo Ovest" in Treviglio, Bergamo Area, and the Holy Spirit Hospital in Rome, and will also go to assist the most marginalized in the nation. 

Please consider at least a $5 donation (every dollar you give supports the relief effort) in exchange for a year of translation and illustration of Dante's great work delivered to your email in biweekly installments! Those who donate $50 or more will also receive a free copy of the first printed book - The Inferno - that will be published in the summer of 2020.  Those who donate $100 or more will receive a free copy of The Inferno and of The Purgatorio. Those who donate $150 or more will receive a free copy of The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso.   Those who donate $250 or more will receive free copies of all three books plus a larger sculpted gift item. Note: the free copies will be mailed as each is completed over the course of the year. Just send your physical address to Sebastian Mahfood at [email redacted]

In summary, the work talks about this: 

During Holy Week, in the year 1300, Dante the poet writes, he woke up and found himself lost in a Dark Wood, and it was only through the intercession of Mary, Our Blessed Mother, that he was sent divine assistance in the form of an Italian poet, Virgil, who began with him a journey that was ordained to lead him home.

We, too, are beginning that journey through our own dark wood and against our own kind of worldly king whose name is Corona and who is ravaging our planet like a medieval plague. We, too, need a new kind of hope and a new kind of help. 

Canto 1, Dante's Inferno, by Timothy Schmalz

Timothy Schmalz, an internationally acclaimed sculptor, is doing his part in partnering with Daniel Fitzpatrick, a new voice from the American South, on a new translation of Dante's greatest work, which begins like this:

In the midst of the journey of our life
I returned to myself through a shadowy wood,
for the right way was barred.

Ah! How very hard it is to tell
the way of that wood, so savage and harsh and strong
that to dwell in it renews the fear!

Death itself can barely be more bitter.
But to tell you all the good I found,
I will speak of the other things I saw.

So, too, this project will speak of all the good we are able to find in this Dark Wood - a project of hope in a time of despair! We embark on this mission on March 25, 2020, the first Dantedi, a day proclaimed by the Italian government to celebrate the life of one of Italy's greatest poets, by launching a newly translated and illustrated Divine Comedy at 

Updates on this site will be made every Wednesday and Sunday between now and March 25, 2021, a year that marks two septuacentennial events:  the anniversary of the publication of one of Italy's greatest love poems and the anniversary of the death of its author.  Indeed, the Paradiso was completed in the year 1320, so between March 25, 2020, and March 25, 2021, we're in an interim septuacentennial period between completion and final publication - what a great time to start a new translation and sculpture project!

May our contribution allow Dante to continue to bring the good news to his people - the people of Italy whom he taught to speak seven centuries ago. 

About the Sponsor

WCAT Radio, which is a St. Louis-based, 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit Internet radio station (EIN: 83-4447144), established for the purpose of promoting the Catholic spiritual journey, is supporting this fund drive to help address the great spiritual and material needs of the Italian people.
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Sebastian Mahfood
Webster Groves, MO
WCAT Radio
Registered nonprofit
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