Can you imagine the skill and patience needed to create something like this!
In addition to tiny, beautiful prayer books and rosary beads, people of the past liked to express their love of religion and beauty with objects known as prayer nuts. These artifacts were not actually carved from nuts--rather, they were carved from wood, but tiny enough to look like walnuts.
Prayer nuts were mainly produced in northern Europe during the 16th century. Due to the incredible skill required to make these items, only the wealthy could afford them. In addition to being a symbol of a person's faith, they were also a status symbol.
In the Catholic, Episcopalian and other Christian Churches, today is the first day of Lent, a Season for Fasting, Praying, Reflecting, Giving Up Vices in spiritual and physical preparation for the Holy arrival of Easter. As most like to party hearty, the prelude to this somber season of the religious calendar includes the intense Revelry and Celebrations of Mardi Gras and Carnival.
Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 daysprior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count).
Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on ... Read More
Vatican lit up by Christmas hope and love
A Christmas tree stands in front of St Peter's basilica after it was illuminated during a ceremony on December 19, 2014 at the Vatican (AFP Photo/Filippo Monteforte)
By Ella Ide
Vatican City (AFP) - The Christmas lights went on at the Vatican Friday, sending out what Pope Francis described as a message of "light, hope and love" at the end of an extraordinary year for the Catholic Church.
As the fairy lights sparkled into life on the 25-metre fir tree on St Peter's square, there was also an early unveiling of a giant nativity scene inspired by an Italian opera. ...more
For the record, we believe that both of these Popes did amazing things for the world during their Papacies, as well as before being Popes! We are not Catholic, and while the 'miracles' do seem a bit of a stretch, we celebrate these two New 'Modern' Saints and their contributions to mankind!
(Photo NBC News)
By Philip Pullella - Reuters
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Two giants of Roman Catholicism in the 20th century will become saints on Sunday at an unprecedented twin canonisation that has aroused both joy and controversy in the 1.2 billion member Church.
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NICK SQUIRES, THE TELEGRAPH
A woman whose “miraculous” recovery from an inoperable brain aneurysm paved the way for the late Pope John Paul II to be declared a saint at a ceremony at the Vatican this weekend has described how the Polish pontiff appeared to her in a vision.
Floribeth Mora Diaz, from Costa Rica, will be a guest of honour at the ceremony on Sunday, when Pope Francis will canonise two of his predecessors – John Paul II and John XXIII, the Italian pontiff nicknamed “the Good Pope” who initiated reforms to the Catholic Church in the 1960s. ....more
Vatican City (AFP) - Bones believed to belong to Saint Peter, one of the founding fathers of the Catholic Church, went on display for the first time Sunday, as Pope Francis held a ceremony to end the "Year of Faith".
Tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered to catch a glimpse of the remains, eight fragments of bone between two and three centimetres (around one inch) long displayed on an ivory bed within a bronze chest on a pedestal in St. Peter's Square.
The chest, given to pope Paul VI in 1971 and usually kept in the tiny chapel of the papal apartments, was decorated with a carving of Peter, who was a fisherman before becoming the Church's first pope, casting his nets into the sea.
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In 1482, Leonardo da Vinci traveled to Milan with the hopes of becoming a court painter for Ludovico Sforza. In an effort to impress the distinguished patron, the artist created an immaculate metalpoint drawing titled Head of a Young Woman (Study for the Angel in the ‘Virgin of the Rocks’).
Unlike most of Leonardo’s drawings, the Young Woman is highly finished. The contours of her face are meticulously shaded. Highlights on her cheeks give her a glowing complexion. Her deep-set eyes communicate a wistful and lifelike gaze. Elegant and arresting, she is what Bernard Berenson called “one of the finest achievements of all draughtsmanship.”
Visitors to the Morgan Library & Museum in New York now have the rare opportunity to view this drawing, which seldom leaves Italy,... Read More
By TAMARA LUSH
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol: one was a surrealist from Spain, the other, a pop artist from Pittsburgh.
They were among the most famous artists of the 20th century, and in 2014, their works will be on exhibit in adjoining galleries at a museum in Florida.
The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg announced Thursday that a show called "Warhol: Art. Fame. Mortality." will open at the museum on Jan. 18.
The exhibit will include about 35 of Warhol's paintings, 20 drawings, 50 photographs and a selection of films. The works are on loan from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, where Warhol was born and raised before moving to New York City.
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We are all weary from the Challenges of the Day - Personal and those tenuous, tedious ones of our government, the debt ceiling, out of control spending, more pork to get to an agreement to end the shutdown. Let's put it all aside for the weekend and do something to invigorate our spirits! Let's enjoy ART!
It is best to go in person to a local Museum, Art Fesitval or Artist's Show/Gallery. But if that is not possible, spending even a few minutes perusing Art online can relax, refresh and re-energize you.
Above is The White Ballet featured on the Smithsonian's web site today. Here is what it says about the Artist and the Painting:
1904 Everett Shinn Born: Woodstown, New Jersey 1876
Died: New York, New York 1953
Oil on canvas 29 1/2 x 36 3/4 in. (74.9 x 93.3 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
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