Brother Giovanni da Fiesole, called Blessed Fra Angelico (1395-1455); Preaching of St. Stephen and the Dispute in the Sanhedrin; 1448-1449; Vatican Apostolic Palace; Niccolina Chapel (Nicholas V 1447-1455); after restoration © Musei Vaticani
Blessed Fra Angelico painted the fresco in the Niccolina Chapel between 1448 and 1450. One of the protagonists of the scene is Saint Stephen, deacon and martyr. Taken from the Acts of the Apostles, the fresco recounts stories about his life and martyrdom. The entrance wall depicts the “Preaching of St. Stephen and the Dispute in the Sanhedrin”. The main character was a well-known orator, and is depicted as such by the artist. He preaches to the crowd, and debates with the Sanhedrin. Focusing on the life of St. Stephen meant evoking a poor, virtuous Church, founded on charity, ready for martyrdom: a Holy Church faithful to the Pope.
(Pope Francis – Feast of St. Stephen – Angelus – 2019)
Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza
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