A Seventeenth Century Festal Chasuble from St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria

A Seventeenth Century Festal Chasuble from St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria There is a chasuble that is found in the treasury of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria that for a long while I have sought to feature, but regrettably very little information is available about it, beyond the fact of where it is located. Some date the chasuble …

National Shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori in Baltimore

National Shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori in Baltimore The  National Shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori  looks with pardonable pride upon the city of Baltimore. Its majestic spire rears aloft within a block of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption, the first cathedral in the nation. The shrine is known as “Baltimore’…

A Festal Easter Chasuble from Early Eighteenth Century Quebec

A Festal Easter Chasuble from Early Eighteenth Century Quebec Continuing on with some of our considerations of vestments appropriate to the Easter Season, as well as our considerations of the exquisite vestment and embroidery work of  Mother Marie Lemaire des Anges and  the Ursulines of Québec, here today we take a quick look at what is…

The Sacred Art of Raúl Berzosa

The Sacred Art of Raúl Berzosa My favorite living oil on canvas painter is Raúl Berzosa, a Spanish-born artist from Málaga, Spain. His works are many and prolific, seen in various churches and chapels round the world, including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Guatemala, Colombia, Argentina, England, and the Unit…

Borromeo Style Chasuble by Altarworthy

Borromeo Style Chasuble by Altarworthy Altarworthy has created a luminous hand-tailored brocatelle (silk-linen) in antiquated look with an incredible medieval Italian motif in the Borromeo style. The trim is in blue with a golden floral pattern. In the pattern of the rich fabric two animals emerge: a lion and a …

A Solemn Easter Chasuble Produced by the Ursulines of Quebec in the Early 1700's

A Solemn Easter Chasuble Produced by the Ursulines of Quebec in the Early 1700's In previous articles we have shared the incredible embroidery work of  Mother Marie Lemaire des Anges of the Ursuline Convent of Quebec and had noted that she had passed this tradition down to her younger sisters whom she apprenticed in this art. In that vein, and to  continu…

A Nineteenth Century French or Belgian Easter Chasuble

A Nineteenth Century French or Belgian Easter Chasuble While I regrettably do not have any historical information on this particular set of vestments, given that it comes in a style we have not frequently shown here it seems worthwhile to look at it all the same. What I can say, just by virtue of looking at the style, materials…

The Potentialities of Classic Italian Romanesque

The Potentialities of Classic Italian Romanesque One of the most pleasing styles of Christian architecture, to my mind, is neither gothic (with apologies to Pugin) nor baroque (with apologies to Bernini) but rather Italianate Romanesque, strongly rooted as it is in the classic Roman models that have come to characterize t…

Three Hearts Pilgrimage in Oklahoma

Three Hearts Pilgrimage in Oklahoma Each year in October the Three Hearts Pilgrimage  takes place in the foothills of Oklahoma, a 2-day 35 mile penitential walk in the medieval footprint. The final destination is the Traditional Benedictine monastery of Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey  in Hulbert, where a joyous …

Cardinal Stickler's Memorable Pontifical Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral (1996)

Cardinal Stickler's Memorable Pontifical Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral (1996) On May 12, 1996 - Mother's Day - a watershed moment happened for the renewal of sacred liturgy. That day the Austrian-born Alfonse Cardinal Stickler, age 85, sang Pontifical Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. The day marked the first time a senior pre…

A Festal Altar Frontal from the Workshop of the Ursulines of Quebec

A Festal Altar Frontal from the Workshop of the Ursulines of Quebec Returning to our considerations of the exquisite embroidery work of the Ursulines of New France (i.e. modern day Quebec, Canada), while we have already shown you two quite impressive frontals form this atelier, perhaps none is more impressive than this particular offering w…

A Selection of Nineteenth Century French Cloth of Gold Vestments

A Selection of Nineteenth Century French Cloth of Gold Vestments If there are any two times of the liturgical year that would especially seem to warrant the use of the colour gold, it is on the high feasts of Christmas and Easter. When it comes to gold vestments, few have perhaps embraced this so much as the French did in the nineteenth …

The Hand-Illuminated Liturgical Books of the Twentieth Century English Artist Edward Bulley

The Hand-Illuminated Liturgical Books of the Twentieth Century English Artist Edward Bulley We don't often get an opportunity to feature contemporary liturgical books that have been hand-illuminated, so when we do we can hardly let such a rare opportunity slip us by. For that reason we are particularly pleased to present a set of liturgical books that were cal…

Rise of the Phoenix: A Unique Sicilian Easter Vestment Set

Rise of the Phoenix: A Unique Sicilian Easter Vestment Set A lot of the vestments we feature here, and a lot of vestments out there in general, contain similar themes where figurative or symbolic imagery are concerned and it is for that reason that I thought I would share with our readers this interesting chasuble coming from 18th …

Santa Maria Novella - The Dominican Church of Florence

Santa Maria Novella - The Dominican Church of Florence The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella in Florence is one of the most important churches in the city of Florence and if you happen to be sojourning there via train you're in luck as it is literally right across from Florence's train station. The church is the principal…

Tapestries of the Papal Court for Holy Thursday

Tapestries of the Papal Court for Holy Thursday If you take a look at images or photographs of papal ceremonies from prior to the 1970's you will frequently see large tapestries forming a part of the liturgical or ceremonial setting (which, it should be noted, take place outside of the context of Mass; see the end of…

Sacra: Relics of the Saints (Restoration, Catechesis, Consultation)

Sacra: Relics of the Saints (Restoration, Catechesis, Consultation) Relics play a key role in liturgical arts. They adorn nearly all altars. Today there are a lot of people asking about preservation and repair of relics and reliquaries, seals, restoring documents, authentication, identification, provenance, etc. These days many relics are o…

Another Example of the Shared Architectural-Liturgical Roots of East and West: Hagios Demetrios in Thessaloniki

Another Example of the Shared Architectural-Liturgical Roots of East and West: Hagios Demetrios in Thessaloniki Continuing on with our periodic considerations of the commonalities we can find between Christian East and West, today I wanted to draw your attention to the church of Hagios Demetrios (St. Demetrius) which is located in Thessaloniki, Greece. The first church on this site d…

A Contemproary Marian Chasuble in the Medieval Tradition

A Contemproary Marian Chasuble in the Medieval Tradition One of the challenges that I've frequently observed with fuller, "gothic" styles of chasubles is that frequently many of the designs we come across are often lacking in variety; they can seem very much the same. Some of this is accidental by virtue of the fact…

Pyx/Ciborium Veils by Sacristia

Pyx/Ciborium Veils by Sacristia Through the centuries Catholics have always sought to beautify their sacred rites and to show extra care and concern for the true presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. At the same time, Christian liturgy is rooted in both synagogue and temple with traditions that dev…

The Christus Rex Pilgrimage in Australia

The Christus Rex Pilgrimage in Australia Each year in Australia the Christus Rex Society sponsors the Christus Rex Pilgrimage , a 3-day walking pilgrimage that covers 90 km from Ballarat to Bendigo. About 500 participants make the walk, in honor of Christ the King, with two nights camping. Liturgies are celebrated …

Churches of Latin America: Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús in Cusco, Peru

Churches of Latin America: Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús in Cusco, Peru Continuing with our series exploring some of the beautiful churches of Latin America, we turn today to the Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús in Cusco, Peru. Cusco is the ancient capital of the Incan empire and it is perhaps best known for a style of painting named after it.  …

Santa Costanza in Rome

Santa Costanza in Rome Santa Costanza is a fourth century mausoleum structure that is thought to have been originally built to house the remains of the Emperor Constantine's relations, including one Costanza -- hence the name -- though it is worth noting there is some debate about whether thi…

Splendours of Lisbon: A Full Pontifical Set of Vestments

Splendours of Lisbon: A Full Pontifical Set of Vestments Previously we have given consideration to the impressive collection of vestments at the  Museu de São Roque /Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa , and today I wished to share another set from their impressive collection, this time a pontifical set. The entire set is comprised…

The Custom of Suspending the Galero in Cathedral Churches

The Custom of Suspending the Galero in Cathedral Churches A beloved tradition of the Latin Church - the suspension of a cardinal's galero in his cathedral church over his tomb after his funeral - was a harmless custom that unfortunately proved to be a casualty of the lamentable 1960s revolution - an acute historical disturbanc…

Gothic Revival Revived

Gothic Revival Revived One of the challenges in terms of gothic revival vestment work is making such designs stand out from the many catalogue offerings of gothic that poured into nearly every sacristy in the mid twentieth century. Many bespoke makers today are challenging the 'status quo ant…

The New Stone Altars of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis

The New Stone Altars of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis The chapel renovations at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St Louis, Missouri are fairly well known to our readers as we have touched upon them previously, but a specific element I would like to highlight in this particular renovation are the exquisite altars that were executed …

Whither Noble Simplicity?

Whither Noble Simplicity? It has been awhile since we did one of our 'digital renovations' and recently an image of St. Catherine's Church in Krakow, Poland came to my attention and it seemed to be a good candidate for just such an exercise (the intent of which are to prompt people to re…

Children's "Play Vestments" by the Liturgical Co.

Children's "Play Vestments" by the Liturgical Co. The Liturgical Co. is a vestment atelier based in California under the care of Ms. Sequoia Sierra.  Ms. Sierra designs, creates, and repairs vestments, habits, and other religious and liturgical items and furnishings related to textiles. She also produces reversible "p…

FSSP Versailles: Chapelle de l'Immaculée Conception

FSSP Versailles: Chapelle de l'Immaculée Conception Versailles is a magnificent place to visit. It is also a place where the Classical Rite always existed - it was celebrated here, even at unknown places during the particularly difficult time of the post-conciliar years.  Today the FSSP have a vibrant parish in the heart of V…

A Carved Gothic Altar from Rugo Stone

A Carved Gothic Altar from Rugo Stone Beauty, quality and detailing remain possible in our own times and this can be seen quite well in a marble altar that was created for Corpus Christi Church in South Riding, Virginia by Rugo Stone in collaboration with a larger projects by  McCrery Architects . From Rugo Stone…

Restoration of the Church of the Most Holy Mother of God (Vladivostok, Russia) by Mathew Alderman

Restoration of the Church of the Most Holy Mother of God (Vladivostok, Russia) by Mathew Alderman Our good friend Matthew Alderman of  Matthew Alderman Studios  did a fabulous job some time ago (2006-2008) helping to restore the interior of the old Latin Rite Proto-Cathedral of the  Most Holy Mother of God  ( Ecclesia Cathedralis Deiparae Sanctissimae ) in Vladivostok, Russia…

Preserving the Treasury of Sacred Music: Twin Cities Catholic Chorale

Preserving the Treasury of Sacred Music: Twin Cities Catholic Chorale This year marks the 50th anniversary of the spectacular  Twin Cities Catholic Chorale at the Church of Saint Agnes (St. Paul, Minnesota). Now in its 50th season at the parish, the Chorale has planned some special events to celebrate its golden jubilee, including a rare prese…

Gothic Inspired Mitre by LAVS

Gothic Inspired Mitre by LAVS LAVS is a well-known creator of hand-made vestments and miters in the medieval footprint. During the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, their studio produced various items that made headlines, recognized by their unique three-dimensional tool work and filigree embroidery. LAVS mi…

The Difference of an Interior Restoration: St. Mary's in Menasha, WI

The Difference of an Interior Restoration: St. Mary's in Menasha, WI Beauty attracts. The above images display what the interior of the German-Gothic church of St. Mary in Menasha, Wisconsin (Diocese of Green Bay) looks like today (on the right) and what it looked like for many years before (on the left). Built in the 1880s, the church was v…

Liturgica Obscura: The Praegustatio in Pontifical and Papal Masses (Pre-Tasting of the Bread and Wine)

Liturgica Obscura: The Praegustatio in Pontifical and Papal Masses (Pre-Tasting of the Bread and Wine) In the modern world, it can be difficult to imagine what life was like in previous centuries in times when science was less advanced. As a result people got away with murder -- quite literally.  In instances of the wealthier and higher functionaries of society -- who were m…

A Cope from Renaissance Florence (1575-1600)

A Cope from Renaissance Florence (1575-1600) Today I thought we would take yet another pass through Renaissance Florence by looking at a cope that was made in Florence in the sixteenth century, specifically sometime between 1575-1600.  As was so often the case in the Renaissance, velvet was the popular fabric of choic…

The Resplendent St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis

The Resplendent St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis St. Louis, known as the Rome of the West, has long been a focal point of intense Catholic life and culture. Steadfast generations have maintained a stronghold of Catholic identity here, with filial devotion to the Church and her sacred liturgy manifested in a deep Eucharist…

Custom Made Silks from Antico Opificio Serico (Caserta, Italy)

Custom Made Silks from Antico Opificio Serico (Caserta, Italy) Italian textile art is known and respected worldwide. The art of fabric woven by expert craftsman with artisanal techniques is a beautiful thing that has been going on since 1789 in the Italian town of Caserta. Located just north of Naples, this place has long been known fo…

A Truncated Conical from Atelier Sirio - Perfect for Lent

A Truncated Conical from Atelier Sirio - Perfect for Lent A telier Sirio is an Italian vestment maker located in the north of Italy in Bergamo. One of the sets of designs that frequently capture my attention are their medieval inspired works in a form that I am going to call "semi-conical" or "truncated conical,"…

The Italo-Byzantine Cappella Palatina of the Royal Chapel of Palermo, Sicily

The Italo-Byzantine Cappella Palatina of the Royal Chapel of Palermo, Sicily The Cappella Palatina (Palatine Chapel) is a stunning piece of Italo-Byzantine architecture situated Palermo, Sicily. It is situated in the former Royal Palace of Palermo, then seat of the kings of Sicily.  The chapel might easily be mistaken for the Cathedral of Monreale , …

A Survey of 15th Century Italian Renaissance Sculptures of the Madonna

A Survey of 15th Century Italian Renaissance Sculptures of the Madonna Talk of Madonnas of the Renaissance, especially Italian ones, and one almost instinctually turns one's thoughts to the realm of painting, especially to the works of artists like Botticelli, Raphael, Da Vinci and so on. However, another whole realm in this regard is that…

A Review of More Sacred Vestments in Sacred Art

A Review of More Sacred Vestments in Sacred Art Continuing on with our exploration of some of the sacred vestments that appear in sacred art, we've compiled a few more since our last article on this subject. In looking at vestments in art, one must always bear in mind that generally where antique art is concerned, th…

The Custom of Vesting the Patronal Statue at San Remigio-Fosdinovo in Tuscany

The Custom of Vesting the Patronal Statue at San Remigio-Fosdinovo in Tuscany Each year at the parish of San Remigio in the village of Fosdinovo in Tuscany has two celebrations to commemorate the memory of their patron, St. Remigio (St. Remigius). January 13 is the main feast day and October 1st is the day that recalls the translation of his relics. …

Arte Ricami: Purveyors of Custom Vestments

Arte Ricami: Purveyors of Custom Vestments We are living in an impressive age of liturgical Renaissance, when many lay people are mastering or remastering the art of artisanal vestment making. The Italian atelier Arte Ricami based in Tuscany has been around since 1932. They are a family owned and operated business lo…

Altar of Pius X at Madri Pie Convent in Rome

Altar of Pius X at Madri Pie Convent in Rome Many convents in the vicinity of the Vatican have various items given to them by popes. Popes receive a great many gifts and they usually pass these on to others in need. These once vibrant orders, before the collapse that coincided with Vatican II, were flush with young vo…

Portable Altars from St. Joseph's Apprentice

Portable Altars from St. Joseph's Apprentice Many thanks to St. Jospeh's Apprentice for their wonderful work. Based in Idaho, this professional craftsman by the name of Rick Murphey makes the most beautiful custom portable altars available today. His work must be commended. I urge the faithful to consider gifting…

The Sixteenth Century Vestments of San Lorenzo de el Escorial

The Sixteenth Century Vestments of San Lorenzo de el Escorial In follow-up to yesterday's article, I wanted to show our readers a set of sacred vestments that our friend Nicola de Grandi documented while visiting the museums of Spain; a set of vestments from San Lorenzo de el Escorial which are dated to 1569-1572. Regrettably, I ha…

The Pontifical Vestments of the Royal Embroiderer, Antonio Gómez de los Ríos

The Pontifical Vestments of the Royal Embroiderer, Antonio Gómez de los Ríos Between 1743-1756, the royal embroiderer Antonio Gómez de los Ríos created a full pontifical set of vestments for the Royal Chapel of the Palace of Madrid. These exquisite vestments contain a series of embroideries done in the effusive baroque style that were based on a num…

A Florentine Altar Cross from the Early 1500's

A Florentine Altar Cross from the Early 1500's It has been my experience that liturgical objects such as altar crosses and candlesticks (not to mention thuribles) seldom get the attention they deserve where popular consideration of liturgical art is concerned. Perhaps in part this is due to the fact that they are locate…