Saint of the week
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“Dear Saint Luke,
I have always been fond of you because you are a man of great sweetness filled with the spirit of conciliation.
In your Gospel you stress that Christ is infinitely good, that sinners are the object of a special love on God’s part, that Jesus almost ostentatiously made the acquaintance of those who did not enjoy any consideration in the world.
You are the only one who gives us the story of Christ’s nativity and childhood which we hear read at Christmas always with renewed emotion. One little phrase of yours in particular captures my attention, ‘wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’ It is the phrase that inspired all the Christmas crèches in the world and thousands of stupendous paintings.
I set beside this phrase a stanza of the breviary:
‘He was willing to lie on straw,
he was not afraid of the manger,
he was nourished with a little mouth,
he who feeds even the least of the birds.’
Having done that I asked myself: Christ took that very humble place, what place do we take?”
“Illustrissimi: Letters from Pope John Paul I”
From a fictional letter to Saint Luke written by Pope John Paul I when he was Archbishop Albino Luciani of Venice.
The illustration above is of Saint Luke taken from the central panel of the ‘San Lucas Polyptych’ by Andrea Mantegna, (c.1453).
On display in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
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