Monday, October 6, 2014

Pondering the Angelus with Art

14th century fresco, Church of San Francesco, Arezzo, Italy
The city of Arezzo appears in the "Little Flowers of St Francis": it was a city plagued by civil war, but St Francis saw that the real problem was that it was teeming with demons. Rather than go there himself, he commissioned the humble Brother Sylvester to stand before the city gates and command the trouble-makers, in the name of Almighty God, to leave in the town. Needless to say, there are still bonds of loyalty to St Francis in Arezzo!

The exquisite Annunciation fresco high on the right wall of the Basilica of St Francis in Arezzo shows Mary near her "prayer corner." There is an elegant lectern holding the Word of God, but Mary seems to have stepped just outside the canopied area to receive Gabriel's message. Instead of a canopy of masonry, it will be the Holy Spirit who overshadows Mary. Prepared for the Word of God by the Word of God, she is about to answer, "Be it done to me according to your word."
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