Art that comforts

“God bent down over us”

"To proclaim Christ means demonstrating that believing in Him and following Him is not only something right and just, but also beautiful. The Heart of the Gospel is the beauty of God’s salvific love manifested in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.” Inspired by these words of Pope Francis, the collaboration between the Vatican Museums and Vatican News continues as we present various masterpieces from the Pontifical collection accompanied by the words of the Popes.

Lucas Cranach the Elder, Pietà, oil on wood, ca. 1540, Pinacoteca Vaticana, © Musei Vaticani

In front of a black background, Christ is portrayed seated on the edge of a tomb in the middle of the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist. He looks into the eyes of the observer, displaying the wounds in His side and on His hands, as well as the gnarled crown of thorns wrapped around His head.

© Musei Vaticani
© Musei Vaticani

“But let us look more closely at that man crucified between earth and heaven. Let us contemplate Him more intently, and we will realize that the cross is not the banner of the victory of death, sin and evil, but rather the luminous sign of love, of God’s immense love, of something that we could never have asked, imagined or expected: God bent down over us, He lowered Himself, even to the darkest corner of our lives, in order to stretch out His hand and draw us to Himself, to bring us all the way to Himself.”

(Pope Benedict XVI – Way of the Cross in the Colesseum – 22 April 2011)

Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza

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31 March 2023, 08:00