Monday, January 26, 2015

Pondering the Angelus with Art

Annunciation Window by Cornelia Rota.

Prayer to Mary, "Cause of our Joy"

O Mary, who abandoned your soul to happiness by offering it to God,
grant that in our gift to God, our joy may be complete.

O Virgin radiant with joy, grant that we may believe in the happiness which God in his love wills to offer us.

Make joy bloom again in hearts given over to sadness;
Teach us to detach ourselves from worldly pleasures and to seek our happiness in God;
Help us to radiate the witness of Christian joy.

Through your presence in our lives, be for us the font of a joy which is ever new:
Jesus our Lord,

who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God,
forever and ever.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pondering the Angelus with Art

Many of the outdoor Marian shrines in Italy depict the Annunciation. This is an example from Assisi, where the spirit of joy matches well this prayer by Jean Galot: "O Mary, who received from God the deepest joy, help us to live in true joy, the joy of Christ."

Photo by Sr Irma Cipriani, FSP.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pondering the Angelus with Art

There's something unexpectedly modern about Nicolas Poussin's 1657 rendition of the Annunciation. Mary is seated on an elevated surface, her feet crossed, one sole peeking out from under her robes. Gabriel joyfully gestures both to Mary and to the heavenly Dove even now covering her with its shadow. Mary's open hands tell us her response: "Be it done to me."

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pondering the Angelus with Art

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Annunciation (1660-1665)

As the New Year begins, a prayer to Our Lady that the mystery that began in her on the day of the Annunciation will reach its fullness:

You who gave birth to the Word made Flesh,
be present among us:
assist, inspire and comfort the ministers of the Word.

You who are Queen of the Apostles,
intervene with your protection
that the light of the Gospel
may reach all peoples.

Mother of Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life,
intercede for us
that heaven may be filled
with souls who sing the hymn of glory
to the Most Holy Trinity.

(Blessed James Alberione)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Pondering the Angelus with Art: into a New Year

The Royal Doors from a Romanian Church seem to be a fitting representation of our prayer as we prepare to go through the doors of 2014 into a new Year. May we take the Angel's greeting with us so that we, too, recognize how "highly favored" we are every day. Every day of 2015 may we respond, "Be it done to me."

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pondering the Angelus with Art

In these final days of Advent, Gabriel appears to be informing all of us of an unexpected and earth-changing event.

Contemporary Italian artist Bruno Grassi gave Sr Sergia permission to photograph his version of the Annunciation. Grassi's goal in sacred art is to create a work that makes a person "want to pray." His work frequently depicts Mary, and angels (winged or wingless, as Gabriel is here) are also common. But could you tell that this was an Annunciation if not for the title? What other insights might the painting offer before you told someone what the artist's inspiration really was?

Photo of Bruno Grassi's Annunciation by Sr Sergia Ballini, FSP; taken with the artist's permission.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pondering the Angelus with Art

I have no specific information at all about the provenance of this depiction of the Angelus, which appears to be on the doors of a Tabernacle. The photo was taken by Sr Adele Carrara, FSP, who has passed on to the true Life beyond this one and is not responding to questions concerning artwork. Pauline graphic designer Sister Sergia Ballini suggests that the style represents the Italian Tyrol (Trentino-South Tyrol), an autonomous district in Italy that once formed part of the Austrian Empire. I just think it's charming.