Monday, August 31, 2009
Stained glass window, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. This is a detail of one of the decorative windows in the west transept.
This is a couple of square feet of glass, located at about my eye level, and shows a variety of glass styles and colors. Fine detail, on a human scale, was once the norm in architecture.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Painting of Madame Elizabeth Ortes, at the Missouri History Museum in Saint Louis.
Mme. Ortes was an early Saint Louisian, born the same year of the City's founding in 1764. She sat for this portrait at age 102, and is shown here holding a Rosary and palm fronds.
Click here to see a thread at Reddit. It discusses a possible Masonic/Catholic conspiracy, because of some symbolic art found in Catholic churches. Don't you love these discussions?
But the Lodge got its symbols from the Church, not the other way around.
The skull and crossbones, as seen in this photo at the Shrine of Saint Joseph in downtown Saint Louis, Missouri, is an obvious symbol for death. The butterfly is an ancient symbol for the resurrection: the lowly caterpillar enters a burial shroud-like chrysalis, and is reborn as a glorious butterfly, which ascends to the heavens. One of the Greek words for butterfly is psyche, which also is the Greek word for soul, which reinforces this symbolism. The monogram☧is made of the Greek letters chi, Χ and rho, Ρ, which are the first two letters in Χριστός, Christós, Christ. Therefore this is a symbol for the resurrection of Christ, and by implication, those who are united with Him.
While the Church's use of the skull and crossbones has a supernatural meaning, this same symbol is also quite natural, and can be either a warning — “now is the time for action, for tomorrow we may die”, and also as a sign for danger — or a threat, as seen in piracy.
The Eye of Providence symbol, a prominent element on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, is seen on the back of the one dollar bill. The symbolism on the Seal implies that Providence looks favorably on the creation of the Republic. Subsequently this became a patriotic symbol and was adopted by American Freemasonry, but it originally dates back to the age of Christendom.
A similar symbol, seen at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, in Saint Louis. In traditional iconography, God the Father is given a triangular halo, representing the Holy Trinity. Included in this symbol is the Hebrew tetragrammaton יהוה,YHWH, the sacred and ineffable name of God; and the Greek abbreviation Iesùs Christòs. Under the Eye are seven tears, possibly symbolizing the seven dolors, or sorrows of Mary, although it may also be for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is an explicitly Trinitarian and Catholic symbol for God.
One commentator says this is an image of Christ between the two pillars of Masonry. The columns shown here look like mere decorative architectural elements in the Roman style, and certainly not like the unusual columns described in the Bible (1 Kings 7) . Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem had two copper-alloy columns placed on the porch: the left column named Boaz, and the right Jachin (it is thought that these were named after donors). These two columns are also used as symbols in Masonry — but with their order reversed, symbolizing the exit from the Temple, and by implication, the Church.
There have always been heretics, evil-doers, and subversives in the Church, as Our Lord foretold in His parable of the weeds growing up with the wheat, and so I ask my dear readers to pray for me, a sinner. Undoubtably there has been, and is today, wicked art in Catholic churches. But it is iconoclasm, the stripping of icons and art from the churches, which has been a considerably bigger problem.
But for a true conspiracy which infected the Church during the tumultuous years surrounding the Second Vatican Council, I suggest looking up the Propaganda Due affair.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Regular placement of the oars show that this is a more experienced group. According to Aristotle, the virtue of art — including the art of rowing — is seen in a person when his actions appear to be effortless and graceful.
The firm of Emil Frei is famed for its stained glass and mosaics, and many Saint Louis area churches have Frei artwork.
As the Church rediscovers its liturgical magnificence, firms like Frei ought to be getting much more business in the future.
Local churches which include Frei art include: Saint Cecilia, Saint Anselm, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Margaret of Scotland, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint Elizabeth, Saint Francis de Sales, Our Lady of Lourdes, Saint Peter in Kirkwood, and many others.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I visited the Cathedral on the Feast of the Assumption, to take photos of an exhibit of Marian art. While there, I took a few more photos.
The sanctuary has a modern order and is located more towards the center of the church; in the background is the Blessed Sacrament chapel.
Blessed Sacrament chapel, where the confessionals are located.
Saint Peter, holding a Bible and the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
The chapel in the convent of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory is undergoing restoration along with the rest of building, in anticipation of the arrival of Sister Marie of the Love of God, of the Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Christ Sovereign Priest.
Click here for more of my photos of the convent restoration, at Tradition for Tomorrow.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Feast of Our Lady of Knock. Photo taken at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Thanks to Peg F. who assisted with taking this photo.
Feast of Saint Pope Pius X. Click here for an audio lecture on Pius X, by Fr. Michael Witt.
Birthday of my grandmother Erika Abeln (1901-2004), R.I.P.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I took this photo at Saint Francis de Sales Oratory's convent, which is now undergoing extensive restoration in anticipation of the arrival of new religious Sisters. For an article on the restoration, which is being aided by a generous donor, click here.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
All are invited to a special community event at the Oratory
Come experience the oratory ~ support the Oratory ~ celebrate our common rich heritage
The city of St. Louis has a regal connection which goes back to the year 1297, when King Louis IX was proclaimed a saint by the Catholic Church. By naming the new city after Saint Louis, the early settlers placed their new community under the patronage of a great king and saint. It is a tribute to their hopes and dreams that they wished to appropriate the saintly attributes for themselves and all future residents of this emerging city, and that they wished to ask for the saint’s intercessory prayers and protection.
The feast day of King St. Louis, the patron saint of our city, is August 25. It is customary, just as it was for the early French explorers and settlers, to reflect on the qualities which make a saint a saint, and to make a festive celebration on his feast day.
On the weekend of August 22nd , we at St. Francis de Sales Oratory invite everyone to join us in a celebration to honor King St. Louis and to introduce all comers to the Oratory.
Only a few years ago the Oratory was in danger of being closed and razed to the ground. Thanks to the vision of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, the church and the surrounding campus with several buildings were preserved and entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest so that it may bring new life to the church and neighborhood. A return to the best elements of tradition – family, genuine friendship, respect for cultural history, and religious values – is the motivation for our efforts here. St. Francis de Sales was once a center of both religious and social life for its members, and it is again.
On Saturday, August 22, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m, in celebration of this occasion, we are bringing back to life a tradition of festive summer bazaars and sizzling barbecues. The courtyard between the Church and the school will be transformed into a garden setting. Activities for children (face painting, clowns, games, etc.) and adults (silent auctions) will be held, while hourly drawings will be held for “attendance prizes.” A variety of refreshments will be served, including the Knights’ famous barbecue. The music group Jazzwind will entertain in the courtyard.
On Sunday, August 23, the External Solemnity of St. Louis of France, after the 10:00 Mass, the Knights will again be in the courtyard between the church and the school, serving their barbecue. Organ recitals inside the Church, as well as music from Jazzwind outside, will be performed.
In support of the Oratory’s on-going restoration efforts, your generous support of this endeavor will be greatly appreciated.
In a letter of instructions left by King St. Louis to his son Philip, he wrote, “If the Lord bestows upon you any kind of prosperity, thank him humbly and see that you become no worse for it, either though vain pride or anything else, because you ought not to oppose God or offend him in the matter of his gifts. Be kindhearted to the poor, the unfortunate and the afflicted. Give them as much help and consolation as you can. Thank God for all the benefits he has bestowed upon you, that you may be worthy to receive greater.”
Come join us, get to know us, and together, let’s honor the patron saint of St. Louis.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Stone-polychrome statue "Nuestra Senora", made in Spain.
Embroidered vestment "Star of the Sea", made in Massachusetts, USA.
Front detail of vestment.
Statue made of porcelain, cloth, and gems, "Our Lady of the Philippines", made in the Philippines.
Wax statue "Madonna and Child", made in Illinois, USA.
Marble, "Figure in Profile", made in New York, USA.
Carved statue, "Mother and Child", made in Kenya.
Stone statue, "Aparecida", made in Brazil
Brass, "Mariazell", made in Austria.
Plaster statue, "Our Lady of the Broom", made in Croatia.
Hand painted wood eggs, made in Ukraine.
This and the previous photo are reproduction icons, from Russia.
Silver mounted medal, "Fiducia mia : My Confidence", made in Italy.
Alabaster statue, "Our Lady of the Assumption", made in Florence, Italy.
Sandalwood, "Woman Enthroned", made in India.
Hand carved statue, "The Holy Mother", made in China.
Reproduction of the wood carving "Ravensburg Schutzmantel", made in Germany. This is my favorite — it almost breaks my heart.
Enamel, "The Enthroned", made in Spain.
Print of painting, "Mother of Mercy", made in France.
17th century carving, "Immaculate Assumption", made in Luxembourg.