Eugene’s passionate love for God was the foundation of his life. It was not a dry intellectual relationship, but a holistic one that touched all aspects of his life, and particularly his affectivity. As he describes the house of Loreto, he meditates on the intimacy of that house thinking of how Mary prepared the meals for the holy family.
The Santa Casa [ed. Holy House] is situated in the middle of the church. The interior is the same as when carried by the Angels; so one sees walls of brick on three sides of the House; the back, behind the altar, arranged in a kind of small sanctuary, is entirely walled with what once were silver panels; today, alas! I think they are only of shiny brass. There is to be found the fireplace where the Mother of God prepared the modest and meager meals of the Holy Family.
The holy House is enclosed, I would say cloaked with marble, that is to say, the exterior wall seen from the church is entirely encrusted with marbles and statues of prophets and sibyls, as well as bas-relief representing several episodes of the life of the holy Virgin, such as the Presentation in the temple, etc.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 7 May 1826, EO VII n 239
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Aristotle