Monday, November 7, 2016

Saints On the Ceiling

Monday greetings from Chicago. It has been unseasonably warm and sunny here. I'll take it!

I read an article in the National Catholic Reporter this morning about "our hungry world needing saints." I was so pleased to see, as part of that article, a photo of the ceiling of the baptistery of the cathedral (duomo) in Padua, Italy.

I have been in this baptistery twice, once about twenty years ago and again about five years ago. My most recent visit was a bit disappointing because the entire glorious ceiling was covered with scaffolding and was being restored. Today's NCR photo showed what looks like the restored ceiling and it is really wonderful:

This is only a small portion of the ceiling. Here is a photo showing it in its entirety.

Here's the exterior.

From the moment I first walked into this baptistery twenty years ago and looked up at this ceiling, I couldn't help but begin singing the litany of the saints. In this holy space, where that litany has been sung over and over again at baptisms for centuries, is depicted those saints hovering over the one to be baptized. It struck me that our Christian pilgrimage begins in the waters of baptism and concludes when, hopefully, our faces appear on that ceiling, as part of the heavenly communion of saints.

As this month of remembrance continues to unfold, I am reminded of all those who have lived lives that have influenced me; those real saints in my own life.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


FJH 3rd said...

Jerry, why in the world are you reading the Reporter?

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

Ah, FJH 3rd, as soon as I wrote this post, I wondered if someone would say anything about where I found the article! You are too predictable. Just as an FYI, I read a wide array of Catholic news, from sources some would consider to the left of center and others would consider to the right of center, whatever any of that means in the context of striving for the Kingdom! Just trying to stay balanced. Jerry