The Bejewelled Roman Catacomb Saints of Germany, Austria and Switzerland

The Bejewelled Roman Catacomb Saints of Germany, Austria and Switzerland Many will be familiar with the usual presentation of relics that are found in so many of our churches. They generally come in the form of a small piece of bone (or otherwise) and these in turn are frequently displayed in ostensory-like shaped reliquaries, or sometimes in th…

Notes on the Archeology, Relics and Early Roman Christian Devotion to Ss. Peter and Paul

Notes on the Archeology, Relics and Early Roman Christian Devotion to Ss. Peter and Paul It is well enough known that excavations undertaken under St. Peter's Basilica in the mid 20th century revealed the tomb and relics of St. Peter himself, just where tradition proclaimed them to be. It may be less known that a similar process was undertaken in relation t…

The Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna - Including Some Rare Views of the Previous Baroque High Altar

The Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna - Including Some Rare Views of the Previous Baroque High Altar Recently, our friend and colleague, Nicola de Grandi, a native son of Milan, published some excellent photos of a trip he took to San Vitale in Ravenna -- one of the most stunning extant examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture in existence. The church dates to the sixth ce…

Giovan Domenico Vinaccia and the Reliquaries of the Cappella Ravaschieri in Naples

Giovan Domenico Vinaccia and the Reliquaries of the Cappella Ravaschieri in Naples The Cappella Ravaschieri situated in the church of Gesù Nuovo in Naples includes an extremely impressive display of relics and reliquaries -- reminiscent, at first glance, to an ossuary chapel. The relics are contained in the lispanotheca designed by Giovan Domenico Vinacci…

In Memoriam: Architect Thomas Gordon Smith

In Memoriam: Architect Thomas Gordon Smith There are a handful of names in the domain of contemporary architecture that have come to be well known for their classical and traditional approaches to ecclesiastical architecture. One of those names, regrettably for all of us, recently died and his name will no doubt be …

Repositorium Sanctae Eucharistiae - Historical Modes of Eucharistic Reservation: The Hanging Pyx

Repositorium Sanctae Eucharistiae - Historical Modes of Eucharistic Reservation: The Hanging Pyx Continuing on with our considerations of historical modes of reserving the Eucharist, in a previous artcile we considered the sacrament tower  and today we turn our attention to the hanging pyx. The hanging pyx is a suspended form of tabernacle for the Blessed Sacrament. Arc…

Private Chapels: A Family Chapel in Italy

Private Chapels: A Family Chapel in Italy The following text was written by a friend of mine in Italy many years ago (a member of the family in question) and, given the focus on the broad spectrum of the liturgical arts found within this chapel as well as our readers interests in private chapels more generally, it …

Liturgical Arts in North Dakota (Diocese of Bismarck)

Liturgical Arts in North Dakota (Diocese of Bismarck)  Christian liturgy is rightly seen as possessing a celebratory and artistic character.  For this reason it is a real treat to see beauty returning to the rites, even in small pockets of the world in rural locations.  It was a privilege to visit this little country parish for…

Fresco of the Nativity of Mary by Manuel Farrugia for the Senglease Basilica

Fresco of the Nativity of Mary by Manuel Farrugia for the Senglease Basilica The work of the Maltese artist, Manuel Farrugia, is something we have featured here before, beginning with his  Ecstasy of St. Teresa  and more recently The Glory of St. Dominic .  Today we are pleased to be able to present another project which he has worked on for the Basili…

A Maundy Thursday Chasuble by the Dominican Sisters of Galway

A Maundy Thursday Chasuble by the Dominican Sisters of Galway The following chasuble was embroidered by the Dominican Sisters located in Galway, Ireland, however beyond that basic detail I have very little additional information -- so our readers will perhaps permit me to speculate on it a bit. Much in the style and design of the chas…

Repositorium Sanctae Eucharistiae - Historical Modes of Eucharistic Reservation: The Sacrament Tower

Repositorium Sanctae Eucharistiae - Historical Modes of Eucharistic Reservation: The Sacrament Tower Throughout the course of history there has been more than one method of reserving the Eucharist. In our own time we are especially familiar with the model of a metal or stone tabernacle being integrated onto an altar or altar like structure -- whether a central high altar, …

The Roman Empire and the Early Roman Martyrs

The Roman Empire and the Early Roman Martyrs At this time of the year I find my mind turns toward the Roman martyrs. This is no doubt for reason of anticipation of the great feast of Ss. Peter and Paul --  both of whom were martyred in Rome of course. In view of this, I  thought it might be worthwhile to share some br…

Elements of the Byzantine Holy Table (Altar)

Elements of the Byzantine Holy Table (Altar) While our primary focus here at LAJ is the Latin rite, it is certainly of value and interest to round out some of our considerations with the Eastern lung of the Church and today I wanted to share with our readers some considerations of the altar -- or what they call the &q…

The Early Eighteenth Century Abbatial Church of St. Maurice in Ebermunster, France

The Early Eighteenth Century Abbatial Church of St. Maurice in Ebermunster, France L'Eglise St. Maurice is the former abbey church of the Benedictines of Ebermunster and while the church, like the name of the village itself, has a distinctly Austrio-Germanic tone to it, it is actually located in France.  This influence is perhaps made all the more und…

Exhibition Features the Traditional Choir Dress of a Cathedral-Basilica's Founding Bishop

Exhibition Features the Traditional Choir Dress of a Cathedral-Basilica's Founding Bishop We were pleased to be sent the following photos from the curator of an exhibition taking place at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Mary's in Covington, Kentucky. That basilica recently dedicated additions to their facade and as part of their celebrations they established a…

Hand Illuminated Altar Cards by Pelican Printery House

Hand Illuminated Altar Cards by Pelican Printery House Elizabeth Lemme of Pelican Printery House  was recently commissioned by one of the new priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter to create a customized set of hand-illuminated altar cards for him -- inclusive of a request to put the cards into an ordering of his choosi…

The Corpus Christi Canopy Preserved and Handed Down

The Corpus Christi Canopy Preserved and Handed Down My home parish of Saint Agnes in Saint Paul, Minnesota has done a superb job over the years preserving the custom of a beautiful annual Corpus Christi procession.  This is an event that serious Catholics cherish, something they look forward to each year, something their chi…

Neopolitan Pentecost Antependium from 1731

Neopolitan Pentecost Antependium from 1731 If you think you've seen metallic antependia before, you may want to take a second look at this stunning example that was gifted by the Kingdon of Naples to the Custodia of the Holy Land in 1731. This Neopolitan frontal is set in gold and silver and includes a level of …

The Ongoing Revival of Liturgical Embroidery at Sacra Domus Aurea

The Ongoing Revival of Liturgical Embroidery at Sacra Domus Aurea The atelier of Sacra Domus Aurea has been quite busy in recent months with a number of new additions to their collection of embroidered works  -- works that frequently utilize a nice mixture of historical as well as original design work -- so it seems like a good time to cat…

The Rite of the Blessing of the Sword from the Roman Pontifical

The Rite of the Blessing of the Sword from the Roman Pontifical In the Catholic tradition the sword holds great lyrical symbolism in the Christian imagination.  Chesterton says of soldiers: "A real soldier does not fight because he has something that he hates in front of him.  He fights because he has something that he loves behind…

FilAurum: Catholic Vestments, Tabernacle Veils and More

FilAurum: Catholic Vestments, Tabernacle Veils and More F ilAurum , a vestment maker based out of Oxford, England, has its name derived from two Latin words: " filo " (thread) and " aurum " (gold), meaning "gold thread," in reference to the beautiful goldwork embroidery of traditional vestments. The vocat…

The Sources and Shape of the Carthusian Liturgy

The Sources and Shape of the Carthusian Liturgy [The following was originally published in 1940-41 in Magnificat , a quarterly liturgical periodical published in Great Britain. To augment the original article, we have added images which are not part of the original piece.]