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Vatican Museums: Come, let us worship #4

“The depiction of Jesus’ birth is itself a simple and joyful proclamation of the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God.” These words of Pope Francis recall how the birth of Jesus has inspired generations of artists throughout history to evangelize through beauty. Every week the Vatican Museums and Vatican News offer a masterpiece from the pontifical collections, which are accompanied with a reflection from the Popes.

Niccolò di Tommaso, St. Bridget of Sweden’s Vision of the Nativity, Tempera on poplar, gilding, after 1372, Vatican Museums, © Musei Vaticani

This painting depicts the amazing vision which Saint Bridget of Sweden had during her pilgrimage to Bethlehem: the miraculous, virginal birth of the Son of God. She saw Mary deep in prayer, as she prepared the swaddle, took off her mantle and shoes, and gave birth without pain. The Child, from whom an intense light shines forth, is placed on the ground with Mary kneeling in adoration. The birth of Christ was no longer a painful event. St. Bridget was mother to 8 children and knew the pangs of childbirth. In her writings she highlighted this prodigious aspect of the birth of the Son of God.

© Musei Vaticani
© Musei Vaticani

“Look upon us, eternal Son of God, who took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary! All humanity, with its burden of trials and troubles, stands in need of you. Stay with us, living Bread which came down from heaven for our salvation! Stay with us forever!”

(Pope St. John Paul II – Midnight Mass, Christmas 2004)

Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza
#BeautyThatUnites
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20 December 2020, 09:00