Saturday, May 01, 2010

Contemporary art and design for sacred places.

A woman clothed with the sun.
So yesterday, while I'm on another site I noticed a comment on a post which kind of poked fun at "modern art".  The author mentioned something about the unrecognizable character of some of the art at the new shrine in Fatima, Portugal - the site of the 1917 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I searched online and could not find the artwork the writer referred to, however I did come  across a site which features the mosaic in the main sanctuary of the new basilica.  I actually like it.  The style is evocative of early Christian art, as found in the catacombs and Ravenna. The detail shown above is quite lovely and charming in it's simplicity; appropriately, the entire mural appears to be based upon imagery from the Book of Revelation.
While it is true I wasn't a big fan of the architecture of the shrine, the massive mosaic certainly enhances the space for me. I watched a video on YouTube touring the space and it seems to me, when seen close up and in context, the church is more beautiful than I expected. I would have to see it first hand to make a personal judgement - but it doesn't offend me. It is definitely large enough to handle a good percentage of the massive crowd who will be there to see the Holy Father this May 12, 13 and 14.
I wonder what he will say while there? 
Today is first Saturday BTW.  At every appearance at Fatima Our Lady asked that the Rosary be prayed every day.  Did you know Pope John XXIII never missed a day - and he prayed all 15 mysteries every day.  No wonder he is Blessed. 
Pray the Rosary every day.
Santuario de Fatima
Shrine of the Most Holy Trinity, Fatima


  1. Thanks for the First Saturday to Mass this morning :)

    And I DO need to be more diligent about saying the Rosary--with all the technology around me I have no excuse....CD's and mp3, I can it at home, car and on my iPod.

    I was doing really well when I had EWTN..would say the Rosary every evening when it came on at 7:30 at night...but when satellite got to be $85 a month the plug got pulled..and no cable where I'm at..

    Now that the weather is getting nicer I'm resuming my Rosary "walks"...I have a walking path that is just over 1 set of mysteries..I DO get the occasional strange looks as I am walking with my mouth moving silently fingering colored glass beads.. :)


  2. Thanks for this post, Terry.
    When I saw the image, I thought of the work of the Jesuit who did the mosaics at the papal "Mater Redemptoris" Chapel in the Vatican.
    And I guess he, or his fellow artists did it. The pictures on the site of the Shrine church at Fatima are great.

  3. Father - Happy feast day!

    I thought the mosaics were similar to the papal chapel. So it is a Jesuit who does it huh? That's neat.

  4. I like this image, too. Thanks for the Rosary reminder.

  5. Is anyone else worried about the safety of the Holy Father when he goes to Portugal?

    Or, his safety anywhere these days?

    There are so many rabid anti-catholics out there who would love to be the one to take the shot.

    I am frightened for him and have been dedicating my daily rosary prayers for him.

    And,BTW, I love the mosaics too. Art History was my minor in university and the mosaics at Ravena caught me up!

  6. Denis:
    Our Lady will take care of our beloved Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.
    No matter what happens, he is in the arms of our Lady and the care of the Heavenly Father.
    Be at peace.
    But prayer is absolutely essential.


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