Feast of St James The Great 25th July
Feast of St Philip Neri 26th May
He was advised that he could do more good as a priest, and was ordained in 1551. He built an oratory over the church of San Girolamo, where he invented services, consisting of spiritual readings and hymns, which were the origin of the oratorio (tradition is a good thing; but innovation also has its place). He continued to serve the young men of Rome, rich and poor alike, with religious discussions and by organising charitable enterprises. He had a particular care for the young students at the English College in Rome, studying for a missionary life and probable martyrdom in England.
He inspired other clergy to emulate him, and formed them into the Congregation of the Oratory. Oratorian foundations still flourish in many countries today. He died in Rome in 1595.
St Philip Neri was an enemy of solemnity and conventionality. When some of his more pompous penitents made their confession to him (he was famous as a confessor) he imposed salutary and deflating penances on them, such as walking through the streets of Rome carrying his cat (he was very fond of cats). When a novice showed signs of excessive seriousness, Philip stood on his head in front of him, to make him laugh. When people looked up to him too much, he did something ridiculous so that they should not respect someone who was no wiser – and no less sinful – than they were. In every case there was an excellent point to his pranks: to combat pride, or melancholy, or hero-worship.
Laughter is not much heard in churches: perhaps that is to be expected... but outside church, Christians should laugh more than anyone else – laugh from sheer joy, that God bothered to make us, and that he continues to love us despite the idiots we are. Everyone is a sinner, but Christians are sinners redeemed – an undeserved rescue that we make even less deserved by everything we do. It is too serious a matter to be serious about: all we can reasonably do is rejoice.
Very many of the saints, not just St Philip, have an abiding terror of being looked up to. For they know their imperfections better than anyone else, and being revered by other people is doubly bad. It is bad for the others, who should be revering God instead, and for themselves, because they might be tempted to believe their own image and believe themselves to be worthy.
We are not saints yet, but we, too, should beware. Uprightness and virtue do have their rewards, in self-respect and in respect from others, and it is easy to find ourselves aiming for the result rather than the cause. Let us aim for joy, rather than respectability. Let us make fools of ourselves from time to time, and thus see ourselves, for a moment, as the all-wise God sees us.
First Sunday of Advent Year C
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
Advent is that season in the church’s Year when we look forward, as well as looking back. We look forward to celebrating the great feast of Christmas; we look forward to that day when Jesus Christ will come again. We look back on past history – to those figures who were so necessary for the Christmas event to take place at all. Isaiah & John the Baptist, Mary the Mother of Jesus and Joseph
her spouse. Did God really become Man? That is a question which we have to answer for ourselves. If he did, why? Surely to engage on a more intimate level with us human beings. Can we make room for Jesus in our lives? He stands at the door....and he knocks....
Have a good Advent.
Christ The King - last Sunday of the Liturgical Year
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
We finish the Liturgical Year with the Feast of Christ the King. An upbeat end to our
journey of faith year. A reminder of Julian of Norwich’s encouraging words, “All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.” What a lovely thought that the sufferings imposed on us by others, can be used if we so wish, to wish them well. We can ask God to let our suffering become redemptive of the very persons who have hurt or harmed us; by joining them to those of Jesus....and then shall good really prevail in the world.
Have a good week.
28th Sunday of the Year
Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’ And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.’ Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.
Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them ‘how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case’ they said to one another ‘who can be saved?’ Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he said ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.’
Peter took this up. ‘What about us?’ he asked him. ‘We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.’
(Painting by Vladimir Kush)
27th Sunday of the Year
Friday 2nd October The Holy Guardians
The Lord says this: ‘I myself will send an angel before you to guard you as you go and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Give him reverence and listen to all that he says. Offer him no defiance; he would not pardon such a fault, for my name is in him. If you listen carefully to his voice and do all that I say, I shall be enemy to your enemies, foe to your foes. My angel will go before you.’
Prayer is the Light of the Soul by John Chrysostom
I came across this recently and wanted to share it with you:
Prayer is the light of the soul
1st October Feast of St Therese of the Child Jesus
Gospel Matthew 18:1-4
The disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’
The Little Way
"I will seek out a means of getting to Heaven by a little way—very short and very straight, a little way that is wholly new. We live in an age of inventions; nowadays the rich need not trouble to climb the stairs, they have lifts instead. Well, I mean to try and find a lift by which I may be raised unto God, for I am too tiny to climb the steep stairway of perfection. [...] Thine Arms, then, O Jesus, are the lift which must raise me up even unto Heaven. To get there I need not grow; on the contrary, I must remain little, I must become still less." (from Manuscript C of her autobiography).
30th September Feast of St Jerome
(St. Jerome by Jusepe de Ribera)
St Jerome (340 - 420)
26th Sunday of the Year
Have a good week!
Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Simon, I have something to say to you." "Tell me, teacher," he said.
Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days' wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?"
Simon said in reply, "The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven." He said to him, "You have judged rightly."
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little. "He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." The others at table said to
themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" But he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
(Anointing of Christ by Bradi Barth see www.bradi-barth.org )
Tuesday 15th September Our Lady of Sorrows
Simeon said to Mary: Behold, this child is destined for the ruin and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign of contradiction; and your own soul a sword will pierce.
also see http://themostholyrosary.com
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Peter answers with conviction because he knows he wants above all to follow Jesus……. But how, he does not yet know. All of us have to answer the question: Who do you say I am in our way or other, at many stages of our lives. May our answer be: Jesus the Saviour of the world and my saviour.
Feast of The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary 8th September
(The Book of Hours of Catherine of Cleves 15th century)
The painting in the Arena Chapel, Padua is by Giotto 13th century.
In this painting, the Virgin is depicted twice: the main image shows
the birth and on the left, She is depicted being handed to Anna.
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’
(painting by El Greco, Metropolitan Museum of Art)
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
To gain balance in our lives is not always easy. The disciples had returned from the mission Jesus had sent them on, and they returned quite tired from the experience. Jesus said that they needed to come apart and rest awhile. Wishful thinking – He saw the crowds following them and took pity on them. Even in the Life of Jesus good intentions had to be shelved for “the great good”. Even though our lives may not have the balance we would like, God can still be there in the middle of our struggle, accompanying us in our difficulties.
Have a good week.
The Good Shepherd
by Duncan Grant in Lincoln Cathedral
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
There is a pattern in the life of Jesus, as portrayed by St. John in his gospel. Jesus spends time with his Father in prayer; He goes out from that into His public ministry; He reflects – He goes to His Father in prayer – etc.
All of us as Christians are called to do God’s work. We must never be afraid that it will be too much for us, or that we will not have the means. If God asks – He will provide. Dare to think beyond yourself; dare to think that because of you the church, the world, can change for the better.
Have a good week.
14th Sunday of the Year
Saints Peter and Paul Sunday 28th June
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
St. Peter and St. Paul were very different in background, personality, experience of life and especially in their manner of knowing Christ Jesus. Nevertheless, these two were chosen as people upon which the Church of God was to be built. It is encouraging for us to know that Christ’s call is tailored to each individual. It is a cause for mutual respect. We need to value God’s work in us so that we may be encouraged to give of ourselves more. There is a priority of commitment; to husbands and wives, to children, to the family of the Parish and then in ever increasing circles outwards. Do not forget to pray for your Parish family; our Bishop Peter, your Priest Richard, your Deacon John, and all those who make community possible. Thanks to you all, for all that you do.
Have a good week.
The Icon of Saints Peter & Paul is by Caroline Lees.
(Egg tempera & gold leaf 25 x 35 cms Private Commission)
The artist has kindly allowed us to use the image, so do take the time to look at her website.
Please see www.carolinelees-icons.co.uk
Sunday 14th June
Have a good week.
Feast of The Holy Trinity, Sunday 31st May
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
St. Thérèse of Lisieux said that the only reason she dared to address God as Father, was that Jesus gave us the permission when he taught us the perfect prayer. The only reason we dare preach the gospel is because we believe in those words of Jesus, ‘Go make disciples of all the nations...’ May our boldness and conviction always come from our faith in Jesus Christ, who lived, died, rose from the dead, ascended to the Father and who together sent the Holy Spirit – that Holy Spirit who loves to be among us. May we learn to enjoy the company of God as much as He enjoys ours.
Ascension of the Lord Sunday 17th May
5th Sunday of Easter 'I am the True Vine'
Eastern Orthodox Mosaic of Christ as the Vine 16th century Byzantine & Christian Museum Athens
In John's Gospel today Christ tells us that he is the Vine shaped by his father and that we - all of us are the branches. In nature if a branch is dead it should be cut off and discarded. So to it is with our relationship with Christ - if we do not allow him into our lives we die, cut ourselves off. To grow vines or plants of any kind is about permanency and stability. We have to be around at all stages of the plant's life and if we nurture well then the harvest will be fruitful. Christ reminds us that if we remain with Him, His words remain in us and that whatever we ask we shall get.
When I looked at the first reading again this morning, the Gospel became clearer, for here it describes how after God had cut away the old (the bad bit of Saul, the slayer of Christians) he allowed a new branch to grow, with the help of Barnabus.
Joseph the Worker Friday 1st May
John Everett Millais 1849-50
Joseph the Worker, is shown working in his carpenter's workshop, making a door and helped by the family, but there are other things also going on. There is a nail sticking up in the door which the young Christ has just cut himself on - a reference to his Crucifixion. There are other symbols in this painting as well: a very young John the Baptist on the right carrying a bowl reminds of us of his future role as the Baptist. There is a reference to Jacob's Ladder, the Holy Spirit and the Trinity on the back wall and what of the sheep in the field?
4th Sunday of Easter
The Good Shepherd by Julia Stankova
This Sunday we are reminded in the 2nd reading, that
we are the children of God. In John's Gospel we hear
about the role of the Good Shepherd, as distinct from
the hired man. Christ explains his selfless and eternally
caring nature as the Good Shepherd.
The painting describes a warmth and gentleness in the
portrayal of the Good Shepherd, with feet planted firmly
on the earth. This shepherd is with us now.
Notice the IC XC either side of the head of Christ.
These Greek letters represent the words Jesus Christ
and are usually seen on icons.
Saint Mark Evangelist
The winged Lion - Symbol of St Mark
St Mark's Venice.
The book he balances with his paw reads: 'Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus', "Peace be with you Mark, My Evangelist."
We are in Year B, the year of Mark.
3rd Sunday of Easter
Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio 1601
Since the Resurrection, Christ has been reminding us that he is alive and is with us. The Gospels have
been telling us of Christ appearing to the Apostles, in rooms, on the road and on each occasion He has to do something which jolts the Apostles into recognising the risen Christ among them.
Again Caravaggio captures the moment when the Apostles recognise who is among them.
St Anselm of Canterbury 21st April
by Stephen Cox 2006, Aosta Marble (region of Anslem's birth).
"Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe,
but I believe that I may understand. For this, too,
I believe, that, unless I first believe, I shall not understand."
Anselm was a 12th century philosopher and Archbishop of Canterbury
whose writings argued for the existence of God.
Divine Mercy Sunday (2nd Sunday of Easter)
by Caravaggio 1602
....Thomas replied 'My Lord and My God!' Jesus said to him 'You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe" (Gospel Jn 20: 19-31)
Caravaggio focuses our eyes on Thomas' finger in Christ's side, both with the trick of light and the four heads leading you to that point.
St Scholastica - sister of St Benedict
O Christ, the Light of heaven
May steadfast faith sustain us,
Blest Trinity we praise you
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is it not man's life on earth nothing more than pressed service, his time no better than hired drudgery? Like the slave, sighing for the shade, or the workman with no thought but his wages, months of delusion I have assigned to me, nothing for my own but nights of grief. Lying in bed I wonder, 'When will it be day?' Restlessly I fret till twilight falls. Swifter than a weaver's shuttle my days have passed, and vanished, leaving no hope behind. Remember that my life is but a breath, and that my eyes will never again see joy.
Job 7:1-4, 6-7
The Presentation of the Lord
|We are to be a light to our church and to the glory of God|
The Holy Family
It's been a few months, but hi I'm back now and immersed in Advent. Two Sunday Gospels in and so much to think about.
Do you know about that special moment before dawn? There always seems to be a rush of cold wind that comes before the first light, like it's heralding a new day. No matter what the weather, or the season, the anticipation of a new day feels like another God given opportunity for a fresh start and new beginning. I'm currently working on ideas for The Tree of Jesse and am reading 'Jesus, teach us to pray'
by Jerome Bertram.
11th July Feast of St Benedict
29th June Saints Peter and Paul
24th June The Birthday of Saint John the Baptist
'Apart from Mary and Joseph, John the Baptist is the only saint in the calendar who has two feasts to himself. One, in August, celebrates his death, and one, in June, celebrates his birth. And this is as it should be, for as Christ himself said, John was the greatest of the sons of men.
31st May The Visitation of The Blessed Virgin Mary
29th May Ascension Day
Creation's undefeated King,
While angel's in resplendent light
With mighty voice his triumph sing.
St Augustine of Canterbury – 27 May 2014
Augustine, proclaimer of the word of salvation, a teacher who brought the faith: look down from heaven and visit the vineyard which your right hand planted, alleluia. (Magnificat antiphon).
13th April Palm Sunday
Giotto 'Christ's Entry into Jerusalem'
Scrovegni Chapel, Padua
1305 - 06
200cm x 185cm
And the crowds that went before him
and that followed him shouted,
'Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the Highest!'
extract from The Gospel according to Matthew Year A
6th April 5th Sunday of Lent
'The Raising of Lazarus' by Duccio, 13th C.
tempera on panel
Duccio's painting is still partially in the Byzantine style
- almost Icon-like, but when you look closely at the figures
you get the sense that there are real people emerging and
reacting to the loss of a great friend and neighbour.
Even the smell of death some days old now is displayed
in the man in an ochre cloak covering his nose.
'I am the Resurrection and the life.
If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he
will live, and whoever lives and believes in me
will never die. Do you believe this?'
22nd March Journeys Through Lent
One of the issues discussed was Christ's stay in the desert. Something Tony White mentioned at the end of that session has stayed with me since. It was a comment related to the desert, a contemporary desert: a poverty stricken society and if we ventured in would we find Christ there…. maybe it would be easier to see Christ there than in a glitzy society.
I want to introduce you to Khayelitsha, just outside Cape Town. One of the biggest Townships in South Africa, which grew out of the white South African man's hatred for black and coloured races. It started life in the 1980's as an attempt to reduce overcrowding in other townships and was once seen as a haven of depravity, violence and corruption and murder was a daily event. The expansion has also been created by blacks arriving from other areas of Africa, to a land that they believed would give them everything they had dreamed of.
Gradually the tin shacks are disappearing, government support enables people to build their own houses, schools and craft centres are springing up and the churches are thriving. The new thinking, gives people hope and aspirations become realised. The downtrodden are educated and small communities of businesses are taking off. There is a community atmosphere of empowerment, of hope and belief in a new Africa.
These images give a flavour of the past and recent developments.
16th March 2nd Sunday in Lent
'The Transfiguration' (Holy Trinity Church, Butte, Montana 2003-06)
'Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them
up a high mountain where they could be alone. There in their presence
he was transfigured: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became
as white as the light. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them; they
were talking with him………….' (extract from Matthew 17: 1-9)
Icons are 'written' as opposed to painted. The role of the Iconographer
is to convey the word of God: they are theologians in God's service.
There is no room for self expression as their work is a visual connection
Heaven & Earth.
5th March Ash Wednesday
'Ash Wednesday 8.30am'
91cm x 121cm
oil on canvas
2004 - 5
If you do away with the yoke,
the clenched fist, the wicked word,
if you give your bread to the hungry,
and relief to the oppressed.
Your light will rise from the darkness,
and your shadows become like noon.
The Lord will always guide you,
giving relief in desert places.
(from Isaiah 58: 1-12)
12th January Baptism of the Lord
5th January The Feast of the Epiphany
'The Magi saw the star and said to
one another: This is the sign of the
great King; let us go and seek him;
let us offer him gifts: gold,
frankincense and myrrh.'
(Evening Prayer for the Epiphany)
This image was made for Autun Cathedral by
the 12th century sculptor Gislebertus. It shows
an Angel telling the sleeping Kings that they should
follow the star (seen above their heads),
which will lead them to the stable in bethlehem.
3rd January The Holy Name of Jesus
At the name of Jesus,
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth
and on under the earth,
and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Entrance Antiphon Phil 2:10-11
1st January 2014 Happy New Year
29th December The Holy Family
'The Lord honours the father in his
children, and upholds the rights of
a mother over her sons. Whoever
respects his father is atoning for
his sins.he who honours his mother
is like someone amassing a fortune.'
extract from the Collect of the day.
This sculpture can be seen at the back
of the church above the Baptismal Font.
If you know anything about this sculpture
or when it came to St. Peters, please tell us.
27th December St John the Evangelist
14th December St John of the Cross
20th November: More thoughts on a visit to Buckden.
19th November:Thoughts on a visit to Buckden Towers.
13th November All Saints OSB
Today is the Feast of All Saints of the Benedictine Order.
' Scripture brought me to the gate of Paradise and the mind, which is spiritual, stood in amazement and wonder as it entered, the intellect grew dizzy and weak as the senses were no longer able to contain its treasures - so magnificent they were - or to discern its savours and find any comparison for its colours, or take in its beauties so as to describe them in words.'
(1st paragraph from the Hymns of Paradise VI by St Ephrem of Syria)
11th November St Martin of Tours
10th November Remembrance Sunday
Chapel of Christ in Gethsemane - Coventry Cathedral
4th November St Charles Borromeo 1538 -1584
2nd November All Souls
Gerhard Richter b.1932
oil on canvas
80cm x 65cm
Wherever you may fall, you will fall into my hands and I will be there even to the
gates of death. Where no one can accompany you any longer and where you can
take nothing with you, there I will wait for you to transform for you the darkness into light.
(taken from weekday missal 2nd Nov)
1st November All Saints
Fra Angelico (National Gallery, London)
This section forms part of the Predella (the bottom section of an Altarpiece), which was in the church of San Domenico, in Fiesole.
First Reading Apocalypse 7:2-4,9-14
I, John, saw another angel rising where the sun rises, carrying the seal of the living God; he called in a powerful voice to the four angels whose duty was to devastate land and sea, 'Wait before you do any damage on land or at sea or to the trees, until we have put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.' Then I heard how many were sealed: a hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel.
After that I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted aloud, 'Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!' And all the angels who were standing in a circle round the throne, surrounding the elders and the four animals, prostrated themselves before the throne, and touched the ground with their foreheads, worshipping God with these words, 'Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.'
One of the elders then spoke, and asked me, 'Do you know who these people are, dressed in white robes, and where they have come from?' I answered him, 'You can tell me, my lord.' Then he said, 'These are the people who have been through the great persecution, and they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb.'
28th October SS. Simon and Jude
13th century stained glass panel from Chartres Cathedral.
For people who could not read or write, stained glass
became the narrative of the medieval world. The daylight
shining through the glass seemed to illuminate the word of God,
as if He was speaking to his people through these images.
Please see: http://www.medievalart.org.uk/chartres/Chartres_default.htm
I Am has sent me to you
13th October 'Edward the Confessor' (1003 - 1066)
Paintings sometimes make useful historical documents and in this instance we have a representation of Edward the Confessor, portrayed in white: holding a ring, placed between St John the Baptist (on the right) and St Edmund the Martyr (on the left) wearing red shoes and holding an arrow. The Diptych (2 panels, 4 sides) was used as a portable altarpiece. The panels are made of oak and each measures 53cm x 37cm.
There is another familiar reference to Edward the confessor in the Bayeux Tapestry.
9th October 'Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman'
Newman wrote this in 1833 (long before he converted to Catholicism). He was in Italy at the time, ill and desperate to get back to England and work.
Please see : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Henry_Newman
Fr Guy Nicholls in Newman's library at the Birmingham Oratory
7th October 'Our Lady of the Rosary'
Not what you were expecting to see, but it's worth a moment of reflection because of the
simplicity of the subject matter. The humble nature and pose of the woman, stooped in
concentration. A woman who has outlived her family and can no longer love and care for the
children she brought into the world and nurtured. The hands grasping the Rosary say it all.
4th October: 'St Francis of Assisi'
This painting is one of 28 frescoes (attributed to Giotto) on the walls of the Upper Church of San Francesco in Assisi, which were painted in the 13th Century. The composition is divided into two halves (the family, wealth and secular on the left and the church and poverty on the right). In this scene Francis renounces his worldly goods: raising his hand in the direction of the hand of God, seen above the buildings on the left. Directly below the hand is the figure of Francis' father, dressed in fine clothes, seemingly in a state of dispair at his son's decision. On Friday 4th October Pope Francis is visiting Assisi. See: http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm