Saturday, January 31, 2009

Menno Simons- Anabaptist Reformer

Today we remember Menno Simons, the founder of the Mennonites and leader in the Anabaptist Reformation. Although he had many enemies in the Roman Church who wanted to have him killed as a heretic- and while many were martyred for reading his writings, hiding him, feeding him and allowing him to sleep in their homes, he died a natural death on this day in 1561. Although the Mennonite Church does not recognize saints in the same way as Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Anglican and some Lutherans do, Menno is nonetheless a model of vurtuous and goldy living for them. This image is an icon written by Jivko Donkov for a series called Anabaptist Imagery, produced by Graber Designs. proceeds from the sell of the icon goes to support the work of the Historical Committee of Mennonite Church USA. You may purchase a copy here.

Enjoy these works of art by Mennonite and Amish artists in thanksgiving for the life and witness of Menno Simons. The first few represent the "traditional" art of Mennonites, which were limited to landscapes and decorative art, after a church elder banned portraits and images of God citing the second commandment. Some contemporary Mennonite artists are pushing the edges and experiemneting not only with portraitures, but innovative themes which offer social statements.

Landscape with Church and Village, Jacob Isaackszoon van Ruysdael

View of Delft, Jan van der Heyden

Fraltur art Eagle, David Kulp

Fraktur Art, Heebner House, Susanna Heebner

Jerk-Over Temple, Don Michael Swartzentruber

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Martyrdom of St. King Charles I

Today is the anniversary of the martyrdom of King Charles, I of England, the only person to ever be canonized a saint bythe Church of England. I am also grateful to good St. King Charles because in 1629 he erected into a province all the land from the Albemarle Sound on the north to the St. John’s River on the south, and called it Carolina-creating the territory which would become the land of my birth. The word Carolina is from Carolus, the Latin form of Charles. When Carolina was divided in 1710, the southern part was called South Carolina and the northern, or older settlement, North Carolina. Thus the nickname the “Old North State.
This portrait of King Charles was painted by Van Dyck in 1635.

Execution of King Charles I- German print

King Charles I on His Way to Execution, by Ernest Crofts

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Marcelle Ferron- stained glass artist

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Quebecoise painter and stained glass artist, Marcelle Ferron (1924-2001). In 1983 she was awarded the Paul-Émile-Borduas medal for the visual arts by the government of Quebec, and in 1985 she was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec and was promoted to Grand Officer in 2000. Below are examples of her work.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On this day- 28 January

The Western Church celebrates the feast of St Thomas Aquinas on this day, even though the anniversary of his death is March 7, because on this day he published his great work, the Summa Theologica. As a young student Thomas was shy and reserved, and his classmates and teachers made fun of him, calling him Dumb Ox. later he would become a Doctor of the Church and greatly influence the shape of theological reflection in the Roman Church.
This image comes from the Demidoff Altarpiece by Carlo Crivelli.

On this day in 1547 Henry VIII died and his son, Edward VI, became the first Protestant King of England and Ireland. This image, whose date and painter are unknown, is an allegory of the English Reformation.

Today is also the anniversary of the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats. Here are two of his poems in remembrance of his wonderful gifts that he left us all to cherish.

The Everlasting Voices

O sweer everlasting Voices, be still;

Go to the guards of the heavenly fold

And bid them wander obeying your will,

Flame under flame, till Time be no more;

Have you not heard that our hearts are old,

That you call in birds, in wind on the hill,

In shaken boughs, in tide on the shore?

O sweet everlasting Voices, be still.

A Man Young And Old: II. Human Dignity

Like the moon her kindness is,

If kindness I may call

What has no comprehension in't,

But is the same for all

As though my sorrow were a scene

Upon a painted wall.

So like a bit of stone I lie

Under a broken tree.

I could recover if I shrieked

My heart's agony

To passing bird, but I am dumb

From human dignity.

Yeats' father was a lawyer turned portrait painter. The portrait below is WB Yeats, by his father, John Yeats:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Lord, remember not only the men of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted upon us. Remember rather the fruits we have brought, thanks to this suffering: our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, the courage, the generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown out of this. And when they come to judgment, let all the fruits we have bourne be their forgiveness.-
Holocaust Victim- Ravensbruck Concentration Camp in Germany

Indifference by Fritz Hirschberger

Holocaust by Barbara Sonek

We played, we laughed

we were loved.

We were ripped from the arms of our

parents and thrown into the fire.

We were nothing more than children.

We had a future.

We were going to be

lawyers, rabbis, wives, teachers, mothers.

We had dreams, then we had no hope.

We were taken away in the dead of night

like cattle in cars, no air to breathe

smothering, crying, starving, dying.

Separated from the world to be no more.

From the ashes, hear our plea. This

atrocity to mankind can not happen

again. Remember us, for we were the

children whose dreams and lives were

stolen away.

Josef Elgurt, In Memory of the Holocaust - survivor, imprisoned in ghettos in Moldova, Ukraine, and Romania

Felix Nussbaum (1904-1944) Threesome. He died at Auschwitz in 1944.

A Tribute to the Holocaust Victims, by Irving Silver

They all walked the path of life,
Which was filled with love and strife,
They were loved by one and all,
These people who stood so tall,
They lived,they died,
Their friends they cried,
Their loss to their families was hard to bear,
But we know that they are now in God's care,
For he has embraced their soul,
They have reached their final goal,
All of them are in the Kingdom of God now, and in His embrace,
He is holding them tight and kissing their face,
Their suffering is over, their souls are at rest,
They will be God's children, as his eternal guest.

Gela Seksztajn (1907-1942) Self-Portrait. "...I am now standing at the boundary between life and death. I already know for certain that I must die and that is why I want to bid farewell to my friends and to my work. Farewell, comrades and friends. Jews! Do everything that such a tragedy will never be repeated!" She died in Treblinka in August of 1942.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday January 25 (a bitterly cold winter's day)

It's currently 12 degrees here in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I thought I'd share some winter images in --- errr celebration? of winter.

Winter Landscape, Ilya Mashkov

Our Lady of the Snows, Fr. William McNichols

Yuki (Snow),Torii Kotondo

Winter. Spots of Light on Cottage Roof, Arkhip Kuinji

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Off to Diocesan Council.... 22-24

Council of Nicea

Council of Ephesus

Second Council of Nicea

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

St. Agnes and Our Lady of Grace

Martyrdom of St. Agnes, Masip

St. Agnes, Bergogne

St. Agnes, Domenichino

Tapestry St. Anne, 1887 - Standen, UK

Our Lady of Grace- Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia patron of the Dominican Republic

image painted on cloth, c.1500

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Feast of St. Sebastian

Robert Sherer. "American Martyrdom" (2007)

Cynthia Karalla. "St. Sebastian" (2002-2003)

Francois-Xavier Fabre

El Greco

Guido Reni


Vicente López y Portaña

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Blessed Martin

Theologically, it is more fitting to remember a saint on the anniversary of his/her death- which is their heavenly birthday, so more about Blessed Martin in April. But I couldn't resist sharing this wonderful oil painting with Lincoln in the background. Happy Birthday, Martin! I hope you are smiling in heaven as you see some of the fruit of your labors tommorrow when Obama is inaugurtated as President of the US.

On Imagination

The various works, imperial queen, we see,
How bright their forms! how deck'd with pomp by thee!
The wond'rous acts in beauteous order stand,
And all attest how potent is thine hand.
From Helicon's refulgent heights attend,
Ye sacred choir, and my attempts befriend:
To tell her glories with a faithful tongue,
Ye blooming graces, triumph in my song.
Now here, now there, the roving Fancy flies,
Till some lov'd object strikes her wand'ring eyes,
Whose silken fetters all the senses bind,
And soft captivity involves the mind.
Imagination! who can sing thy force?
Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?
Soaring through the air to find the bright abode,
Th' empyreal palace of the thund'ring God,
We on thy pinions can surpass the wind,
And leave the rolling universe behind:
From star to star the mental optics rove,
Measure the skies, and range the realms above.
There in one view we grasp the mighty whole,
Or with new worlds amaze th' unbounded soul.
Though Winter frowns to Fancy's raptur'd eyes
The fields may flourish, and gay scenes arise;
The frozen deeps may bleak their iron bands,
And bid their waters murmur o'er the sands.
Fair Flora may resume her fragrant reign,
And with her flow'ry riches deck the plain;
Sylvanus may diffuse his honours round,
And all the forest may with leaves be crown'd:
Show'rs may descend, and dew their gems disclose,
And nectar sparkle on the blooming rose.
Such is thy pow'r, nor are thine orders vain,
O thou the leaders of the mental train:
In full perfection all thy works are wrought
And thine the sceptre o'er the realms of thought.
Before thy throne the subject-passions bow,
Of subject-passions sov'reign ruler Thou,
At thy command joy rushes on the heart,
And through the glowing veins the spirits dart.
Fancy might now her silken pinions try
To rise from earth, and sweep th' expanse on high;
From Tithon's bed now might Aurora rise,
Her cheeks all glowing with celestial dies,
While a pure stream of light o'erflows the skies.
The monarch of the day I might behold,
And all the mountains tipt with radiant gold,
But I reluctant leave the pleasing views,
Which Fancy dresses to delight the Muse;
Winter austere forbids me aspire,
And northern tempests damp the rising fire;
They chill the tides of Fancy's flowing sea,
Cease then, my song, cease the unequal lay.

Phillis Weatley-first African American to publish a volume of literature

Confession of St. Peter

Sadao Watanabe


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday 18th January: The Feast of the Resurrection

Jan 18th is the Feast of the Confession of St. Peter. However, since all Sundays are feasts of the Lord's Resurrection, the Feast of St. Peter's Confession is transferred to tommorrow. Enjoy these images of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I Am the Resurrection and the Life- Huang Jin-cheng
Syriac manuscript, 15th century

Syriac Maronite Icon
Contemporary Coptic Icon
Ancient Coptic Icon
Rubens, 1612