VISUAL THEOLOGY

This image of the Virgin of Compassion, or Virgin Eleousa, is a remarkable addition to the limited number of surviving miniature mosaic icons, a medium first popularized in the Late Byzantine era. The intimate gesture of the Christ Child, his head pressed to his mother's cheek, is one of the most beautiful images in Byzantine art. The poses of the heads and the position of the Christ Child's hand (partially restored) are remarkably similar to a less sophisticated, painted icon of the Virgin and Child in the collection of the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Sinai, where the Christ Child also has light brown hair. Another icon from Sinai, which has five small images of named icons including one labeled the Blachernitissa, echoes the head poses and hand gesture seen in this work. An icon donated to the Church of Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, in the seventeenth century and dated to the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century offers a related pose in its exquisite Virgin with an elaborate halo, although the image of the Christ Child differs, as do elements of the design, including the details of the face ■ Icon with the Virgin Eleousa, ca. early 14th centuryByzantine (Constantinople)Lazurite, malachite, silver coupons, glass, terracotta, calcite, and various stone tesserae; gilded wood frame, wax substraight

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

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