Tag Archives: sacred art

Her Hand Outstretched

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a wedding. Normally, the previous sentence would be the setup to a joke. You see, I generally do not like weddings. Matrimony, of course, is a wonderful institution sanctified by Christ. Weddings, however? I cannot imagine Our Lord had in Mind ushers who do not know how to seat a couple, bridesmaids who do not know how to properly walk down an aisle and guests who have not seen the inside of a church since their baptisms. Don’t get me started.

This wedding, though, was quite different. I will state that it was a trad wedding held in a beautiful church. Other than a handful of guests who failed to remove their Stetsons and this proved themselves to be fake cowboys, the ceremony was quite edifying. Here’s to the newlyweds!

After Mass I used the opportunity to snag some pictures to keep in the old camera roll for future blog posts. I want to share one with you here.

Station XI, St. Mary of the Assumption, Fort Worth, TX

In this image of the Eleventh Station we see the Blessed Mother mournfully witnessing the crucifixion of her Son. As the Stabat Mater teaches us, Mary stood by Jesus “to the last” and suffered with Him for the salvation of the world.

It seems to me, though, that her hand is outstretched for a number of reasons.

It could be that the artist wanted to show Mary’s willingness to die with her Son. Her hand is stretched as if to say “Nail my hands to the cross with His.”

It could be that she holds her arm outstretched in a gesture to us as if to say, “Behold what my Son has done for love of you!”

Or it could be, as I would like to believe, that she is inviting us. Blessed Mother is ever to be found standing beside her Son. She is, in a way, our link to Him and in this His most bitter agony and hers, thinking not of her tremendous sorrow but of our need for salvation, she fulfills her role and urges us to take her hand to be united with His.

O Fairest of Our Race, O Queen of Calvary and Sorrowful Mother!

O Mary Conceived without Sin, Pray for Us Who Have Recourse to Thee!

Stunning Beauty from the Heartland

Reader MG sends the following pics from St. Francis Xavier Basilica in Dyersville, Iowa. Thank you for these! I pray for a day when our Catholic churches are once again constructed with the beauty of God in mind.

St. Francis Xavier, pray for us!

St. Raphael the Archangel – No “Over-the-Top Girlie Angel” He

My friend who runs the wonderful site St. Luke’s Gallery has just posted an excellent piece on the Archangel Gabriel.

As you know, I am a big fan of sacred art. I try to include a picture in every post – a sort of artistic freebie, if you will, as a way of giving readers a glimpse into not only the patrimony of the Church but also of the beauty of God reflected in the handiwork of man.

Tonight, St. Luke’s Gallery has a magnificent presentation about 7:00 in length that tells the story of the Archangel Raphael, drawing from the paintings of Andrea Vaccaro. I love the commentary that Vaccaro depicts Raphael, the heavenly guide-hero of Tobit, as youthful and manly. Watch the piece and you’ll know what I mean.

Tonight in a special way, I had recourse to pray to this patron of travelers. I drove four friends of my teenage daughter to the airport for their flight home. We experienced some significant weather here in Texas today and their flight was slightly delayed. I just received word that they landed safely. They were on Southwest but it could have easily been – as Fulton Sheen quipped – “TWA: Travel with Angels”.

And please continue to submit pictures of sacred art and architecture as you are able. A reader sent me some lovely shots of a church over the weekend that I will post in my next blog.

St. Raphael, pray for us!

A Thing of Beauty Doesn’t Always Match the Topic

This evening after returning from Mass, I opened a very lovely email from a priest in Oklahoma. He was curious about something in my last post – Seen and Heard.

In brief, his question was: “Why is there a picture of a window in a church in Oklahoma City when your story describes something at a French Congolese Mass?” Clearly, there is no such Mass in that area. Fr. knows this.

First, I am very grateful for the question and the opportunity to clarify. Fr. was most professional and respectful in his email and for this I am very thankful. If I had a gold star, I would give it to him now.

Second, and here is the clarification, I do not always match the pictures I use to the posts. This is not normally a problem if the post is not about a specific place. I use pictures of sacred art – stained glass windows, statues, etc. – in my posts to both brighten the place up and give my readers a glimpse of sacred art. The patrimony of the Church is not limited to basilicas in Rome, you know. I have been blessed to encounter many truly beautiful churches right here in the US. I also try to stick to ONLY using pictures I have taken myself. Recently, I was in Oklahoma City and snapped a few pictures. Hence, when looking for a picture of a window or statue of the Blessed Mother to put into my post, that picture came up first.

I will try to be clearer in the future.

And Jesus Wept, statue, proximity of the OKC National Memorial, Oklahoma City, OK. (Not related to post topic)

Mother of Good Counsel, pray for us!

TLM’s of the West Coast

Regular readers will note that I typically drop in a picture of some species of sacred art or architecture into every post. I think it’s important to share our patrimony for the sake of studying the art itself.

All of the pictures to date, unless otherwise noted, are taken directly from my camera roll – meaning I took them myself because I have visited those places.

Today two of my friends sent in some photos. I would like to share them with you. If nothing else, you can see that there are options when you travel.

First up, the parish of St. Stephen the First Martyr in Sacramento, CA. This parish is run by the FSSP and has been described to me as the “original flagship of the Fraternity” before that spot was taken by Mater Dei in the Dallas area.

Next up is another west coast property – the parish of the Holy Innocents in North Long Beach, CA.

Pray that one day soon, all of our Catholic churches will once again look like Catholic churches.

Sacred Art

Having just returned home yet still wishing to keep to my daily posting commitment, I offer tonight a break for sacred art.

The reader who emailed me the other day was the man who runs St. Luke’s Gallery – known to many of my own readers because, hey, Traddyland is like that. He wrote again and gave his permission to share his link which I happily do below.

Please take a moment to visit his site here.

St. Luke the Evangelist

St. Luke, pray for us!