2009-11-18 15:26:45

"Sublime Bibles in Stone", Pope Ponders Art in Middle Ages

(18 Nov 09 - RV) On Wednesday Pope Benedict XVI dedicated the catechesis of his general audience to the Art of the Middle Ages, a period, noted Pope Benedict, when art and architecture reached for the sublime, inspiring some of the greatest works of art of all time: the cathedrals of Europe.: RealAudioMP3

“Romanesque cathedrals are distinctive for their size and for introducing to churches beautiful sculpture, including the image of Christ as the Universal Judge and the Gate of Heaven. By entering through Him, as it were, the faithful enter a space and even a time different from everyday life, somewhere they can anticipate eternal life through their participation in the liturgy”.

The monumental Romanesque was gradually replaced by the soaring heights of Gothic vaults. The Gothic cathedral observed Pope Benedict translates the aspirations of the soul into architectural lines, and is a synthesis between faith, art and beauty which still raises our hearts and minds to God today.

“When faith encounters art, in particular in the liturgy, a profound synthesis is created, making visible the Invisible, and the two great architectural styles of the Middle Ages demonstrate how beauty is a powerful means to draw us closer to the Mystery of God”. Pope Benedict XVI underlined two elements of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Firstly that these "masterpieces are incomprehensible without taking into account the religious soul that inspired them." "An artist, Marc Chagall once wrote that painters for centuries have dipped their paintbrush in that colour of the Bible".  "When faith - said the Pope - particularly when it is celebrated in the liturgy, encounters art, it creates a profound harmony, because both can and want to talk about God, making the invisible visible".
 Pope Benedict’s reflections on one of the most prolific periods in the history of the collaboration between faith and art comes but a few days before his scheduled meeting with over 200 artists here in the Vatican. A meeting convoked by the Pope in the footsteps of Paul VI, to give new impetuous to dialogue between faith, art and beauty.

“May the Lord help us to rediscover that “way of beauty”, surely one of the best ways to know and to love Almighty God”.

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