Monday, 2 March 2015


This is an alabaster bust of the Blessed Virgin and Christ Child I bought from eBay last year. I first saw it in Corfu in 1993. My parents and I went into a workshop in which there was a long table of similar statues. My parents bought a Calvary Crucifix wrought of the same alabaster and the same Virgin and Child bust, which mother gave to my grandparents. But I was determined that I must have it. I was looking, on and off, for years until I found one on eBay last year, which I bought, and it now stands on top of my bookcase (right over the Summa Theologica). Not bad for a "modern" neo-classical style. What do you think? Naturally, I'd prefer Our Lady of Walsingham but have you seen the statues they sell at the shrine?

I have every sympathy with the iconoclasts of the 1960's. They went into brick gothic churches and rightly tore out all the dirty, chipped statuary and superstitious imagery of St Joseph and the Sacred Heart. Even to-day there is so scanty decent imagery in Roman churches. A century ago Percy Dearmer complained that on his travels in Italy he was appalled to discover that some of the finest works of religious art in Italian churches were obscured by flower pots and candles. You can still see that in churches like St James' Spanish Place.

See what I mean? You could say that this is a metaphor for the fate of the liturgy itself in the Roman communion. Smothered by tat and superstition. I think sometimes that this is essentially why some Traddies see no problem at all with the reformed rite of Holy Week. For the queer among them I'm sure they appreciate the thick paschal candle held in procession to the sanctuary more than the triple candle of the antient rite.

1 comment:

  1. I think that statue is beautiful. I love figurines of Our Lady.