VISUAL THEOLOGY

Plate with Pelican, 15th century, Netherlandish (Dinant or Malines)Brass, beaten, Diam. 20 in. (50.8 cm)Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964 (64.101.1498) ■ The motif of the pelican piercing its breast to feed its young with its blood became a popular symbol of the sacrifice of Christ during the late medieval and early Renaissance period. Represented in the middle of this plate with three of its young, the elegantly formed bird directs its beak toward its own breast in a charitable gesture of self-sacrifice. Certain motifs, like the pelican here, were repeated almost without variation for more efficient production, though the encircling motifs often varied from plate to plate, becoming more complex in many of the late fifteenth-century examples. Here, the central motif is surrounded by a circular design of grapes, intertwined with tendrils and vines. The imagery of this plate—the combination of the pelican and the grapes, in particular—suggests it had religious, and possibly Eucharistic, associations. Though such plates were highly popular, the appeal of mass production eventually led to a decline in quality, and by the sixteenth century this method was replaced by the easier process of casting.

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.

laus deo virginique matris