Art that comforts

Vatican Museums. And the Word became Flesh #8

“The depiction of Jesus’ birth is itself a simple and joyful proclamation of the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God.” With these few words, Pope Francis captures the task that sacred art is called to do – to reveal the truth of the Good News through beauty. Each day of the Christmas Octave, the Vatican Museums and Vatican News will offer a masterpiece from the papal collections, accompanied by a reflection from the Popes.

Giovanni di Paolo (Siena ca. 1395/1400 - 1482), Nativity and the apparition to the shepherds; panel of a predella; ca. 1440; tempera on wood; 39.5 x 46.6 x 3 (detail); © Musei Vaticani

© Musei Vaticani
© Musei Vaticani

“I want to come to Bethlehem, Lord, because there you await me. I want to realize that you, lying in a manger, are the bread of my life. I need the tender fragrance of your love so that I, in turn, can be bread broken for the world. Take me upon your shoulders, Good Shepherd. Loved by you, I will be able to love my brothers and sisters and take them by the hand. Then it will be Christmas, when I can say to you: ‘Lord you know everything; you know that I love you’.”

Pope Francis – Christmas Midnight Mass Homily, 2018

Series Editor: Paolo Ondarza

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01 January 2023, 08:30