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…