Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

"Bibles of Stone"

Or blank "Hello Kitty" journals...

We can worship in a variety of... volumes.
At his regular weekly audience on November 18, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the immense flowering of Christian art in the medieval period, and especially "the most exalted artistic creations of all civilization: the cathedrals."

Speaking to about 8,000 people in the Paul VI auditorium, the Holy Father said that the growth of monasticism helped to touch off a period of great Christian architecture, culminating in the construction of Europe's great Gothic cathedrals in the 12th and 13th centuries. These buildings, he said, "reveal a synthesis of faith and art, harmoniously expressed through the universal and captivating language of beauty."

The sculptures that were done for these cathedrals, the Pope continued, represented a new sort of art insofar as they were intended to provide religious instruction and inspiration. They were "Bibles in stone," he said.

Pope Benedict observed that "the artistic masterpieces created in Europe over previous centuries are incomprehensible is we do not take account of the religious spirit that inspired them." He voiced the hope that Christians in the 21st century might "rediscover this way of beauty as one of the paths-- perhaps the most attractive and captivating-- to encounter and to love God."

(Unaccustomedly, I would disagree with His Holiness that cathedrals are "the most exalted artistic creations." But they're up there...)

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