When strolling around in Saint Peter's Basilica, it is hard for me not to get overwhelmed by all the art. There are of course the paintings, the sculptures, the carvings, but also the building itself, the walls, the floors, the ceilings; wherever I turn my eyes, there I see beauty created by the hands of men for the glory of their God.
My own favorite is Michelangelo's Pieta; however I saw it personal and up close when it was in Florence in the mid-80s, and now this masterpiece is barricaded and secured behind glass. Just not the same.
On a more recent visit I was stunned by this sight of the Throne of Saint Peter by Bernini (1666) at the west end of the basilica. In this dark photo, the four church fathers are barely visible at the bottom, while the bright sunlight coming in from the window so vividly illuminates the pointing finger of Saint Elijah:
Vatican, Italy, 2007
Elijah of Israel is many things to many people. He was a prophet of the 9th century BC, and he appears in the Hebrew Bible, Talmud, Mishnah, New Testament and the Qur'an, as well as in numerous other faiths. He even shows up in folkloric traditions as "Elijah the Thunderer" - responsible for summer storms, hail, rain and thunder. Catholics and Lutherans commemorate him as a saint with a feast day on July 20.
But lest you fear I will leave you with only the hand, here is a photo of the imposing statue of Saint Elijah by Agostino Cornacchini, 1727.
This entry is posted for the theme LIGHT for Brian & team's Theme Thursday. The link will take you to other links of creative interpretations of the theme.
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