Let’s continue with Pastoral Proposals for looking more carefully at the beauty of Christ. Today’s citations look at the Blessed Virgin and the saints.
Others have also been engaged in the via pulchritudinis in recent decades, for example Mariologists, especially since Paul VI spoke to the Seventh International Congress of Mariology on 16 May 1975. [Cf. Pontifical International Marian Academy, The Mother of the Lord. Memory, Presence, Hope, Vatican City, 2000, p. 40-42]
It is a matter of presenting with a language that speaks and is pleasing to our contemporaries and using the most apt means the precious witness given by the Mother of God, the martyrs and the saints who have followed Christ in a particularly “attractive” manner. Much is being done in catechetical programs to let the extraordinary lives of the saints be discovered.
Catechesis is one thing. But more hope can be placed in works of art, especially theater.
It is clear today that, for young people, saints are fascinating—think of Francis of Assisi and José of Anchieta, Juan Diego and Theresa of the Child Jesus, Rose of Lima and Bakhita, Kisito and Maria Goretti, Father Kolbe and Mother Teresa and the theatrical works, films, comic strips, recitals, concerts and musicals that re-create their stories. Their example calls each Christian to be a pilgrim on the pathway of beauty, truth, good, in journeying to the Celestial Jerusalem where we will contemplate the beauty of God in a relation full of love, face-to-face. “There, we will rest and we will see; we will see and we will love, we will love and we will praise. Such will be the end, without end.” [St Augustine, The City of God, XXII, 30, 5]
We can look to pilgrimage’s end. But meanwhile, when we stop for a respite, we can be reminded of others who have trod the path. Their lives are attractive, well-portrayed by writers, composers, playwrights, etc.. Can these artistic works spark the belief we are walking in their footsteps? Our destiny is to also cooperate with God’s grace as these pillars of faith did. Does art inspire new saints–men, women, and even children today?
The full document is here.
Image: the rose window at Notre Dame in Paris, By Zachi Evenor based on File:North rose window of Notre-Dame de Paris, Aug 2010.jpg by Julie Anne Workman – CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60404628