Monthly Archives: June 2010

4thc painted images of the Apostles found in the Catacombs

The following article was published by Zenit on Wednesday:
4th Century Images of Apostles Found in Catacomb
Oldest Known Depictions of Andrew and John

By Carmen Elena Villa

ROME, JUNE 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- In what is thought to be the tomb of a Roman noblewoman in the Catacombs of St. Tecla, the oldest known images of the Apostles Andrew and John have been discovered.

The find was presented today a a press conference led by the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi.

The images are part of a set of four apostles — Peter, Paul, Andrew and John — surrounding Christ the Good Shepherd. The discovery of Paul, also thought to be the oldest known image of him, was announced last year. There are known images of Peter thought to be older.

The restoration of the images was possible because of laser technology, which eliminated layers of white carbon calcium collected on the images over the centuries. The project was particularly delicate due to the humid, dark environment of the catacombs.

Barbara Mizzei, director of the project, explained how the restoration took place without haste and how the laser was able to vaporize the layers of grime.

The noblewoman is thought to have been of the Roman aristocracy of the late fourth century. Pious women and virgins of the Roman aristocracy promised a devotion to the martyrs and the apostles, at the time of Pope Damasus I (366-384).

According to Archbishop Ravasi, the presence of the apostles in this sepulcher “evokes a kind of devotion and protectorate alternate to that of the Roman martyrs.”

Monsignor Giovanni Carru, secretary of the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology, pointed out that these works “have brought back, both to experts and visitors, a very important iconographic patrimony to reconstruct the history of the Christian community of Rome, that, with the paintings that decorate its cemeteries, expresses its culture, its civilization and its faith.”

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World Youth Day, Madrid

This was posted on Zenit on Tuesday: Young People Encouraged to Pray Through Art
100,000 Following Youth Day Preparations

MADRID, JUNE 15, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Several sculptures will be incorporated in a procession during next year’s World Youth Day, to help young people explore the beauty and spiritual usefulness of art.

Auxiliary Bishop César Franco of the Madrid Archdiocese announced today that sculptures will be brought from all parts of Spain for a procession during World Youth Day.

The procession will take place during the Way of the Cross that Benedict XVI will preside over on August 19, 2011, in Madrid’s Paseo de Recoletos.

The sculptures, which were each chosen to represent the various scenes of Christ’s Passion, are usually carried in procession during Holy Week through the streets of different cities, according to the Spanish tradition.

Rafael Cebrian of the Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus of Nazareth of Murcia, which organizes these Holy Week processions, noted that this initiative aims to “bring young people closer to the faith through beauty.”

He continued: “All the sculptures were made for a catechetical purpose, showing different scenes of the Passion; we will continue with the mission for which they were made — teaching the Passion to young people of the whole world.”

The pieces, such as Francisco Salzillo’s “La Cena” (the Last Supper), will be brought from Madrid, Cuenca, Malaga, Leon, Valladolid, Murcia, Granada, Zamora, Jerez (Cadiz) and Orihuela (Alicante)

Javier Cremades, a youth day organizer, explained that these sculptures will represent the thousands of processions that take place throughout Spain.

This event, he said, is “not about a collection of works of art exhibited to the public, but about being able to pray before treasures of popular Spanish religiosity.”