15th century, continued

Florence Dome

για Ελληνικά κάνετε κλικ εδώ

New Horizons

The installation of the Spaniards at the Canary Islands signals the Spanish Empire, which quickly extended to Latin America and as far as the Philippines in South East Asia. The priests who accompanied the navigators in their travels found a fertile ground for the transmission of the Gospel, so the Catholic faith spread to the ends of the planet. The discovery of new lands brought not only wealth (esp. gold and other raw material) to the countries of Europe which acquired them, but it, also, broadened -along with the geographical horizon- the horizons of knowledge and the manner of thinking. As always, at times of prosperity the Fine Arts blossom. This is exactly what happened during this period too!

Painting, iconography, but also sculpture and architecture are influenced by the search for new methods and inventions. One of the most characteristic architectural achievements of that period is the Cathedral of Florence, in particular its dome, which to this date inspires and causes the admiration of all who see it.

Florence BaptisteryThe octagonal Baptistery of Florence, especially its octagonal baptismal font, was built in the middle of the 11th century, at the place of previous baptisteries dating from the 4th and 5th centuries. Their octagonal shape is a common occurrence in early Christianity and for many centuries.

Number eight symbolizes the new life in Christ, for as God rested on the seventh day, after He created the world, so did Christ “repose” on the seventh day (in  the tomb, on Holy Saturday) since he fulfilled our redemption, i.e. our re-creation (“through Him all things were made” we affirm in the Credo). After His repose follows the eighth day, i.e. the Resurrection, the everlasting life.

The Baptistery of Florence is famous not only for its architecture but especially for its grand bronze entrance doors full of reliefs depicting scenes from the History of Salvation, that is from the Holy Scriptures. These doors were made in the 14th and 15th centuries by the artists A.Pisano, L. d’ Avazano and L. Ghiberti. The whole building and its decoration are masterpeices at the service of the Faith.

Until the end of the 19th century all Florentine Catholics were baptized there.

 

Did you know…

The main cause of the sanctification of the Christian faithful is the Holy Spirit, who endows the first community with His gifts and charismas. His action in the Church differs from the action of the Spirit in  the Old Testament.

The extent and universality of His effusion signify  that the messianic times are being fulfilled since the day of Christ’s Resurrection (Acts 2, 16-38). His presence is continuous and Saint Paul can affirm that the redeemed are “temples of the Holy Spirit”  (1 Cor. 6; 11, 20) and they are truly in communion with Him!

Since all those whom the Spirit of God animates are “children of God” (Rom. 8; 14-17), the Christians are not only prophets, submitting for a time to the Spirit, but God’s children, having at all times the divine source of sanctification with them.

 

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