From a Pilgrim’s Notebook: The Spiritual Masterpieces of Florence

photoArt has long served as a source of spiritual inspiration—a way to learn more about what we believe as well as a vehicle to express thoughts and feelings transcend words.

There is no greater treasure trove of Christian religious art than in Florence. From the soaring Duomo, the cupola created by Brunelleschi for the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, to the renowned bronze doors by Ghiberti on the baptistery beside the church, the art of Florence directs the spirit upward.

After an early Mass at the Church of San Marco, attached to the Dominican Convent of Savonarola, we went on a walking tour where even the places not listed in guidebooks or mentioned by guides create a sense of reflection and wonder over the presence of God in our lives and the reality of how God so loved the world.

photo (2)An afternoon spent in the Uffizi Gallery was almost overwhelming because everywhere you look you find some of the world’s most famous pieces of Christian art by the masters of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Interpretations of the Annunciation, the Crucifixion, Dinner at Emmaus—image after image reflecting what we believe, each with a unique interpretation, lending the viewer an opportunity to reflect yet again on God’s love for us.

Religious art will be a theme again today as we head to Ravenna, with its mosaics dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries. Then it’s on to Padua, home of Saint Anthony.

-Catherine Mulroney, Editor of Living with Christ

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