Art, as the Catechism tells us, can communicate through beauty aspects of the truth that words alone cannot. In this posting Dr Caroline Farey of the School of the Annunciation, Buckfast Abbey, Devon, England describes why this image was chosen to exemplify and communicate the idea of the via pulchritudinis – the pathway of beauty that leads to Beauty itself, and which is itself beautiful. This is an important aspect of the School’s newly launched Diploma in New Evangelization, a distance-learning, interactive online course.
Dr Farey also leads the School of the Annunciation summer school in ‘Finding Faith through Sacred Art’, August 14-17th at the same magnificent location and its not too late to enrol for that too. You can enrol through their website.
She writes: ‘This picture and the whole page ‘evangelise’, that is, ‘proclaim the Good News’ and the artist friar, Don Silvestro, has chosen to proclaim it in glorious gold and exuberant life and colour! The musical notes too join the joyous proclamation on the page to that of the choir who will sing from it. The first two notes are an interval of a fifth, an uplifting interval, an interval used for the joyous moments in the Church’s liturgy. This illuminated capital letter ‘P’ is a depiction of the Good News that Jesus Christ, Son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary. You can see that the P is the first letter of ‘Puer’ ‘boy child’. God is born a boy child, born of a virgin ‘betrothed to a man to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.’ Luke chapter 1:27.
‘No ‘news’, no facts, no truth, can compare with this. No other religion ever claimed that Almighty God, Creator of the universe chose to enter his created world and its history, as a human being, at a specified time and place in a particular family that could be verified with parents, Grandparents and cousins.
Let us look closely at the Latin words. On this page we find that these do not come from the New Testament (as the image portrays), but from the Old, from the prophet Isaiah (Is 9:6)
- ‘Puer nat(us) est nob(is) ‘A child is born for us,
- Et filius datus e nobis – and a son is given to us,
- Cuius imperium – whose government – (next page (Read More)