VISUAL THEOLOGY

Virgin of the Rosary of Guápulo, ca. 1680, Peruvian (Cuzco), Oil on canvas, 170.8 x 110.5 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) ■ The painting depicts a dressed statue of the Virgin of the Rosary, said to represent a miracle-working cult figure in a native parish in Guápulo on the outskirts of Quito, Ecuador. Mother and infant are linked by a particularly loving gaze and by matching robes. This presentation of the Virgin reveals how enthusiastically indigenous communities adopted the Spanish practice of dressing and otherwise embellishing sacred images, a tradition that corresponded to the Precolumbian Andean custom of lavishing precious textiles on ritual objects. Some Christian missionaries also encouraged a linkage between the Virgin and the indigenous earth-mother goddess Pachamama. Many local Andean versions of the Madonna were venerated with particular fervor, and painted or printed images of such dressed statues—replicating the altar context, rigid frontal pose, and ornamented pyramidal robe—were widely circulated. The indigenous Cuzqueño painter of this image must have based his work on such a transmitted prototype ■

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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