A Renaissance Chasuble from the Workshops of Sandro Botticelli

A Renaissance Chasuble from the Workshops of Sandro Botticelli The following chasuble is of Florentine manufacture, coming from the period of 1485-95,  but what perhaps makes it particularly unique is that it is associated with the famed Florentine artist, Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi -- better know to us and to the world as…

The Great Pietà of Melchor Pérez Holguin in Los Angeles

The Great Pietà of Melchor Pérez Holguin in Los Angeles In the United States and abroad, LACMA in Los Angeles has established itself as foremost proprietor of viceregal paintings. The collection and expertise of their staff in the area of South American art has been growing steadily over the years and very recently another wonde…

Popular Saint of the Romans: St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

Popular Saint of the Romans: St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr, was of  born in what is today Spain and lived from A.D. 225 to 258, being martyred at the age of 33 on this day in the times of the persecutions of the Emperor Valeria against the Christians. He was one of the seven deacons of the Roman chur…

A Closer Look at the Leonine Mantum Shown in This Famous Photographic Portrait of Pope St. Pius X

A Closer Look at the Leonine Mantum Shown in This Famous Photographic Portrait of Pope St. Pius X One of the more popular formal photographic portraits of Pope St. Pius X shows him wearing tiara and vested in a white papal mantum either standing before or sitting down on a papal throne. I remember the first time I saw this photographic image, being impressed by the beau…

The Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica of St. John's (Archdiocese of St. John's in Newfoundland, Canada)

The Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica of St. John's (Archdiocese of St. John's in Newfoundland, Canada) I was immensely saddened to hear of the impending closure and sale of the Cathedral-Basilica of St. John's , Newfoundland.  This mighty church with its storied past is one of the most beautiful churches in Canada.  It is a major cultural loss that everyone should be talk…

The Carolingian Frescoes of the Church of Santa Perpetua in Tirano

The Carolingian Frescoes of the Church of Santa Perpetua in Tirano Discovered by accident in 1987 when plaster fortuitously fell off the walls like scales before eyes, what was revealed beneath in this very humble and simple monastic church of S. Perpetua in Tirano was a cycle of Carolingian frescoes that depicted not only the martyr St. P…

A Papal Mantum of Pope Leo XIII

A Papal Mantum of Pope Leo XIII For our second consideration of a papal mantum, we turn to one produced during the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII in 1879, once again by the atelier Romanini, this time Giovanni Romanini.  The base of this particular item is a beautiful red and gold silk lamé that has been em…

Zairean? Or Sarum? The Forgotten Congolese Liturgy

Zairean? Or Sarum? The Forgotten Congolese Liturgy The Zairean Use has been in the news lately , but despite an interest in the Catholic Congo , I’m afraid I know too little about it to comment intelligently. Little useful comes from polemicism—on either side—that insists on promoting or critiquing various attempts at incultu…

The Flabellum of Tournus - A Rare Surviving Example of the Liturgical Fan in the West

The Flabellum of Tournus - A Rare Surviving Example of the Liturgical Fan in the West Speak of "flabellum" and naturally one's mind turns toward the great feathered fans which are traditionally carried beside the popes. Historically the flabellum has its origins in ancient times, thought to originate in ancient Egypt, being used for practical a…

Early Roman Christian Sarcophagi from the Age of Constantine

Early Roman Christian Sarcophagi from the Age of Constantine Take a visit to Rome and one will invariably come face to face with countless sarcophagi -- almost to the point of overload. As such it can be very easy to begin to simply skip past these and not give them much attention, but in reality this would be a great mistake for the…

Minor Roman Basilicas: Santa Maria in Domnica

Minor Roman Basilicas: Santa Maria in Domnica Located just down the Via Claudia from the Colosseum is the basilica of Santa Maria in Domnica. The facade of this basilica is noble, simple and easily missed given the confluence of architecture and art that can be found in Rome. What perhaps might most catch one's att…

Largest Episcopal Consecration in U.S. History (Diocese of St. Paul)

Largest Episcopal Consecration in U.S. History (Diocese of St. Paul) The above photo commemorates one of the most solemn and forgotten liturgical events in U.S. history.  It was the day 6 missioner bishops were consecrated in one ceremony on the Midwestern frontier.  The date was May 19, 1910.  The ceremony is remembered as one of the most m…

The Cloister and Treasury Museum of San Paolo Fuori le Mura

The Cloister and Treasury Museum of San Paolo Fuori le Mura One of the main basilicas in Rome is that of St. Paul outside the walls (San Paolo fuori le mura). If you are going to that basilica, obviously the basilica with its splendid and majestic facade and forecourt is one of the key points of focus for many, along with the the to…

Restoration of Holy Week Statue of Christ in Chicago

Restoration of Holy Week Statue of Christ in Chicago In 2018 this beautiful statue of Christ was restored for St. John Cantius parish in Chicago.  The statue is utilized by the parish for its annual Holy Thursday and Good Friday devotions, displayed in a little shrine to the Divine Prisoner that is set up temporarily every Ho…

Possibly the Most Spectacular Church Interior in Florence: The Basilica of Santa Croce

Possibly the Most Spectacular Church Interior in Florence: The Basilica of Santa Croce If you're looking for one of the most stunning church interiors in Florence, it is natural to begin one's thoughts with a cathedral.  However, the most stunning church interior in Florence is not that of the duomo, nor is it that of the Medici family's personal …

Angelo Leopardo Pitassi: Stained Glass Artist

Angelo Leopardo Pitassi: Stained Glass Artist Ecclesiastical glass craftsmen of the past inspire future generations by their works and life stories (needless to say, their works outlive the artists themselves).  Their creations live on as a testimony to the creative genius of man.  They serve to edify the young and gra…

Finding Liturgical Art in Florence - A Museum Not to Miss

Finding Liturgical Art in Florence - A Museum Not to Miss Finding liturgical art is a task that is at once both easy and difficult. Obviously the easiest way to see liturgical art is simply to walk in a church itself and there you will be surrounded by it -- well, some of it at any rate. But if you're like myself, you want to …

The 100th Anniversary of the "Our Lady of the Annunciation" Chapel at Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary

The 100th Anniversary of the "Our Lady of the Annunciation" Chapel at Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary "One afternoon, as we came along a dusty road, we saw Nazareth lying before us upon the slope of a valley, and surrounded by an amphitheater of hills.  The square white houses stood close together, amid vineyards and olive trees, and upon a distant ridge we saw a congr…

Minor Roman Churches: Chiesa dei Santi Nereo e Achilleo

Minor Roman Churches: Chiesa dei Santi Nereo e Achilleo The church of Santi Nereo e Achilleo is a fourth century basilica located near the entrance of the baths of Caracalla dedicated to two Roman martyrs: Nereo and Achilleo. The form of the church is, of course, the classic basilica model. The church was rebuilt in the early ni…

Forgotten Traditions of the Papal Household: The Croccia

Forgotten Traditions of the Papal Household: The Croccia The croccia with its Renaissance sheen and rich color is an interesting garb that was sadly done away with in the sixties.  In the photos can be seen the summer and winter versions of the croccia.  It is difficult to find info in English on this now mostly forgotten traditi…

The Museo del Tesoro Lateranense (Lateran Treasury Museum)

The Museo del Tesoro Lateranense (Lateran Treasury Museum) While St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is that which is most popularly attached to the person of the Pope, the Lateran Archbasilica is, in point of fact, the actual cathedral of Rome. While that church is familiar enough to most, what many may not realize is that, located w…

The Custom of Festal Greenery in Homes and Churches

The Custom of Festal Greenery in Homes and Churches Recently some photos were shared showing the first Solemn Mass of Fr. Gwilyn Evans, FSSP on Saturday, June 25th, the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, in a parish church in Gestratz, Germany.  What is of particular interest in the photos is the use of cut bough…

Vestments Commissioned for the Solemn Pontifical Mass of St. Junipero Serra

Vestments Commissioned for the Solemn Pontifical Mass of St. Junipero Serra Continuing on with our consideration of the liturgical art that was produced for the commemoration of St. Junipero Serra in the San Francisco area, we now turn to the vestments that were produced for the occasion, beginning with the solemn Mass set itself. The set was produc…

Hand Illuminated Altar Cards for Archbishop Cordileone's Pontifical Mass Commemorating St. Junipero Serra

Hand Illuminated Altar Cards for Archbishop Cordileone's Pontifical Mass Commemorating St. Junipero Serra One of our readers, the priest who very kindly commissioned the altar cards in question, recently shared some new works of liturgical art that were produced for the occasion of the celebration of a Pontifical Mass for the feast of St. Juniper Serra -- the founder of nine of…

Arnolfo di Cambio: An Artist You Have Seen Countless Times (But Probably Have Never Heard Of)

Arnolfo di Cambio: An Artist You Have Seen Countless Times (But Probably Have Never Heard Of) The Florentine born artist Arnolfo di Cambio is one of those artists whose work you have probably seen countless times, but you have probably never have heard his name unless you happened to be an art history major with a focus on medieval European art.  Born in Florence an…

Florentine Paraments of Pope Nicholas V (1450)

Florentine Paraments of Pope Nicholas V (1450) Nicholas V reigned as pope between the years 1447-1455.  To give a little historical context, it was during this same period that Constantinople fell to the Ottoman's -- a fact that Nicholas V always lamented, having attempted to come to its aid too late. Lamentable as …

Old Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota)

Old Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota) The liturgical arts flourish in every part of the world.  The old Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston, Minnesota is no exception.  Although the stately church was abandoned in 1990 and remains in an embittered state, it is a historic icon rooted in local his…

Candlesticks from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

Candlesticks from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem These rare photos I took in the Latin Chapel of the Crucifixion (where the nailing to the Cross took place on Mt. Calvary).  This is located in one massive church, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem; the oldest part which dates back to the time of the Empress Hel…

Examples of Mass Produced Catalogue Vestment From the First Half of the Twentieth Century

Examples of Mass Produced Catalogue Vestment From the First Half of the Twentieth Century The following chasuble is dated to the first half of the twentieth century, likely the 1930's or 1940's and represents a style that was quite popularized by the gothic revival in combination with the age of mass produced catalogue vestment offerings. Parts of the ni…

Minor Roman Basilicas: Santa Prassede

Minor Roman Basilicas: Santa Prassede The basilica of Santa Prassede is dedicated to St. Praxedes, a second century saint and the sister of St. Pudentiana. This particular basilica is amongst the older churches of Rome, being dated in its current form to the year 780, having been commissioned by Pope Hadrian I …