A SINGLE ONE OF THESE BEAUTIFUL CHURCHES WOULD DECORATE A CITY.

I went to a great number of churches, each more beautiful than the other. In truth, a single one of these beautiful temples would decorate a city.

Roman Diary, 4 December 1825, EO XVII

All is holy here for him who comes as a true Christian pilgrim. As for me, I only see the apostles, the martyrs, the holy confessors of all ages. There is not a corner of Rome which is not a monument of faith or piety.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtes, 6 December 1825, EO VI n 210

Yvon Beaudoin explains: “He saw about fifty churches in five months. He multiplied visits to some of them. Thus, he went to Saint Mary Major’s, Saint Peter’s and the Sistine Chapel ten times. He usually wrote a brief historical account, sometimes with anecdotes or even legends of each one, and described the architecture, the paintings and art works he found there. Sometimes, he stopped simply because he was passing such or such a church by chance on his walks. Often he went there to say Mass, to take part in a religious ceremony along with a sermon, to adore the Blessed Sacrament during the Forty Hours devotion, or to gain the Jubilee indulgences.”

Roman Diary, Introduction, EO XVII, p. 16

 

“The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world.”        Marc Chagall

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One Response to A SINGLE ONE OF THESE BEAUTIFUL CHURCHES WOULD DECORATE A CITY.

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I notice again Eugene speaks of the apostles, martyrs and confessors that he is reminded of as he enters each of these churches. I am sure that the churches he visited were beautiful but it is more than that, it is what and who they represent, it is the spirit within that invites and beckons such a response.

    I was recently at a retreat centre in Mississauga which was beautiful. The grounds were very nice and in particular the part of the gardens where there was a tall Oblate cross standing against a backdrop of large evergreen trees. I found myself returning there several times each day, drawn there because of my experience of God which I had there, but also because of what it represented, what it evoked within me.

    Eugene found such evocative beauty in those churches, just I found much the same beauty in several retreat centres, that we find in some of the music we hear and the art that we see. Each of them, all of them invite and illicit thoughts of God and Gods awesome love and tenderness and it is in the midst of such love and beauty that we are drawn to stop and take rest in the midst of our busy days and lives.

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