Liturgical Art as Visible Signs of Continuity

Liturgical Art as Visible Signs of Continuity The following photos of Pope Benedict XVI tend to be some of the most popular online due to the particular choice of sacred vestments that the pontiff selected to wear for this particular liturgical occasion. No doubt the reason for this is twofold. The first reason is quit…

Counter-Reformation Churches of Rome: Sant'Andrea della Valle

Counter-Reformation Churches of Rome: Sant'Andrea della Valle In our consideration of some of the Roman basilicas and churches that are certainly worth your time on any visit to Rome, we'll take a slightly different turn in this article from the medieval basilicas we have been looking at to date and consider a church that is thoro…

Before and After: St. Joseph's in Leavenworth, Kansas

Before and After: St. Joseph's in Leavenworth, Kansas It has long been our contention that a little bit of colour and pattern can go a very long way in terms of beautifying a church -- and by the same token, its removal and/or absence can also go a long way in making a church rather more mundane that it might actually need to …

Three Titular Cardinals of San Lorenzo in Lucina and Their Violet Vestments

Three Titular Cardinals of San Lorenzo in Lucina and Their Violet Vestments With Advent now upon us,  a season of penitential coloured vestments, let's take a look at three exquisite samples of some antique violet vestments coming from the 1600's and 1700's, each belonging to a cardinal of the Roman church. The first example was made in …

Baroque Theatricality and Vestments as Seen in the Altar of St. Ignatius in the Gesù in Rome

Baroque Theatricality and Vestments as Seen in the Altar of St. Ignatius in the Gesù in Rome Within the Roman church of the Holy Name of Jesus (affectionately known simply as the "Gesù") is contained a spectacular sculpture of one of the founders of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola -- the Spanish priest who lived from 1491 to 1556.  If you'…

The Iconic 'A Griccia' Motif in Renaissance Vestments

The Iconic 'A Griccia' Motif in Renaissance Vestments The "a griccia" motif is perhaps one of the most notable and recognizable patterns found in Renaissance textiles. The Italian word itself can refer to something folded/wrinkled (as in the "cotta griccia" for example) or something curled or whimsical -- w…

The Chapel of the Martyrs of the Cathedral of Otranto

The Chapel of the Martyrs of the Cathedral of Otranto Ossuary chapels -- or what are sometimes more simply and popularly referred to as "bone chapels" == are always of interest to a great many of our readers and today I thought we'd share another, this time coming from Otranto, a coastal town located right on the…

St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr, and Her Basilica in Rome

St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr, and Her Basilica in Rome With it being the feast of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music and musicians no less, it seemed an apropos day to take a look at her shrine church in Rome, the beautiful basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. Along with San Paolo fuori le mura, it has, in my estimation…

Festal Venetian Hangings

Festal Venetian Hangings Venice is of course a port city that was a hub of trade coming from both the orient as well as the middle east and as such, it was a place where many influences were to be found and it was also the entry point of many products which would come to have an influence throughou…

The History and Forms of the Christian Altar: The Later Medieval Form

The History and Forms of the Christian Altar: The Later Medieval Form Previously in this series, we touched upon the Paleochristian and Early Medieval forms of the altar. In this next instalment we shall treat of the later medieval forms that developed from this arrangement.  As we noted in the previous article, the earliest form of the altar…

Batchelder Tiles: Our Lady of Victory Chapel

Batchelder Tiles: Our Lady of Victory Chapel The chapel of Our Lady of Victory at the University of St. Catherine (St. Paul, Minnesota) makes a sure impression on all who see it in person.  Built in 1923 and consecrated in 1958, the chapel has an inviting Medieval feel that gives visitors a genuine sense of belonging.…

Vestments and Pontificals of Cardinal Vincenzo Maria Orsini

Vestments and Pontificals of Cardinal Vincenzo Maria Orsini Cardinal Vincenzo Maria Orsini -- who would later become Pope Benedict XIII, reigning from 1724-1730 -- was a member of the Orsini family, one of the pre-eminent families of the Italian nobility, a family that would become particularly influential in Rome during the Renaiss…

Showcasing One of the Largest Vestment Collections in the United States

Showcasing One of the Largest Vestment Collections in the United States One of the largest and most impressive parochial collections of antique vestments in the US is kept at the church of Saint Agnes in St. Paul, Minnesota.  By the time the 1960s came around, a great many beautiful and elaborate vestments were being discarded in the name of ch…

Paintings of the Old Sacristy of the Gesù in Rome

Paintings of the Old Sacristy of the Gesù in Rome One of the major counter-reformation churches in Rome, located just off the Piazza Venezia in the heart of the city is the Gesù -- the main church of the Jesuits which is more fully named the Chiesa di Sanctissimo Nome di Gesù . It is said to be one of the first churches spe…

Our Lady of Walsingham Shrine: The Slipper Chapel at England's Nazareth

Our Lady of Walsingham Shrine: The Slipper Chapel at England's Nazareth Before the Protestant Reformation the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk, England was one of the most visited shrines in the Catholic world.  In England it was second only to Canterbury in the ranks of importance for English pilgrims.  Under royal patronage its pro…

Minor Roman Basilicas: San Stefano Rotondo and "The Suffering of the Martyrs"

Minor Roman Basilicas: San Stefano Rotondo and "The Suffering of the Martyrs" The basilica of San Stefano Rotondo is more properly called San Stefano al Monte Celio and as the names indicate, it is a church in the round located on the Caelian hill of Rome and is dedicated to the very first Christian martyr, the deacon St. Stephen -- whose remains wer…

The Abbey of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata

The Abbey of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata One of Rome's best kept secrets is the Abbey of Santa Maria of Grottaferrata.  I was privileged to visit and stay here as a guest while my friend (a TAC graduate) was the porter here several years ago.  My visit coincided with the death of one of the monks who had walke…

Before and After: The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Lake Charles, Louisiana

Before and After: The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Lake Charles, Louisiana Frequently our 'before and after' series looks at a situation where a modernized church had been transformed into something more traditional, but every once in a while we like to feature situations where there was already a fairly classical design. Such is the case …

A Proposed University Chapel Design from McCrery Architects

A Proposed University Chapel Design from McCrery Architects M cCrery Architects , based out of Washington, D.C., recently shared with LAJ news of a design project which they did in 2016 in relation to a proposed chapel design for the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio (a design which, while never implemented, is worth explo…

Altars for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Altars for the Holy Souls in Purgatory Many will of course be at least casually aware of the fact that traditionally side altars are 'thematic.' For example, an altar to Our Lady, another to St. Joseph and so on. However, lost in the sanitized piety of the later nineteenth century onward however, is one …

Illustrations of Purgatory and Memento Mori in Antique Requiem Missals

Illustrations of Purgatory and Memento Mori in Antique Requiem Missals As we continue on in November, the month of the Holy Souls, let's pause and take a look at some of the more unique historical title pages found within the missal of the Requiem Mass. By way of explanation, while the full-fledged edition of the  Missale Romanum carries th…

Memento Mori Vestments for All Souls Day

Memento Mori Vestments for All Souls Day Over the years we've shown some very interesting vestments for All Souls Day  (not to mention other liturgical objects  such as candlesticks, missal cushions, covers and  processional banners ) and we have even made a case for why we believe this tradition is important to r…

The Nature of the Association of Vestments Symbols and Colours

The Nature of the Association of Vestments Symbols and Colours Often times, people have come up with this notion that when symbols or images are to be used on a vestment, there are some sort of rules around which symbols can be used with which colours. It is understood of course that the symbol of the crucifixion, or Eucharistic symbol…

The Capuchin Crypt in Rome

The Capuchin Crypt in Rome With today being Halloween, or in other words, the vigil of All Saints Day, what better time to soak in a little memento mori as our minds turn toward All Saints and All Souls. In the past we've shown many a 'bone chapel' (or ossuary) but today we are going to l…

The Art of Statue Restoration with E.A Hayes Studio

The Art of Statue Restoration with E.A Hayes Studio How right Plato was when he wrote that at the sight of beauty the human soul grows wings.  The beauty of statues  inspires awe and raises our minds to heavenly ascents.  So many times in my travels I have seen a statue in need of restoration or I have had someone ask me whe…

Floriated Vestments Depicted in Sacred Art

Floriated Vestments Depicted in Sacred Art Floriated vestments -- by which I mean, vestments with brightly coloured floral patterns -- are one of those things that people seem to either love or hate. For some -- frequently, in my experience, those coming from the rather more 'stiff' and 'sober' Anglo…

Liturgical Practice of Covers for the Lectionary

Liturgical Practice of Covers for the Lectionary I took this photo in the sacristy of Westminster Cathedral in London.  It is impressive to see this venerable custom maintained, of covering the Gospel & Epistle book for Solemn Mass.  This tradition has been cultivated in both the Latin and Greek Churches, as an extra …

Minor Roman Basilicas: Santi Cosma e Damiano

Minor Roman Basilicas: Santi Cosma e Damiano In another article here, we discussed the contributions of Pope St. Paschal I to the ecclesiastical art of the Eternal City, rooted in Rome's own venerable tradition, and there we discussed some of the important mosaics he left to us. In that article we mentioned the ch…

Two Chasubles of Cardinal Enrico Enríquez (+1756)

Two Chasubles of Cardinal Enrico Enríquez (+1756) Cardinal Enrico Enriquez (1701-1756) was the Apostolic Nuncio to Spain for the years 1744-1753 and in 1753 was created a cardinal by Pope Benedict XIV and given the title of cardinal-priest of Sant'Eusebio. The follow two chasubles date from his time as a cardinal, thus…

The Legacy of Romanitas as Seen in the Artistic and Architectural Legacy of Pope St. Paschal I (817-824)

The Legacy of Romanitas as Seen in the Artistic and Architectural Legacy of Pope St. Paschal I (817-824) If you were to ask the question, "which popes most impacted ecclesiastical Rome artistically?" one's mind naturally turns toward the baroque period with all the baroque facades found throughout the city, frequently bearing the name of baroque era pontiffs like…