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Adoremus, Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy

Online Edition:
September 2013
Vol. XIX, No. 6

Table of Contents

Saint Matthew and the Angel
by Guido Reni
Oil on canvas, 1635-40. Vatican Pinacoteca

News & Views -- Pope Francis at Work on Two Documents | Marian Day at Vatican on Fatima Anniversary | Newly Baptized to be "Welcomed into the Church of God" | Jesuit Pope's Mass with Jesuits | Sacred Music Old and New in St. Paul

The Eucharist: Heart of the Church -- The Wellspring of Life from the Side of the Lord, Opened in Loving Sacrifice -- by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI

Sacred Art: The Imprint of God through Time -- Style and Symbol Transcends Culture, History by Daniel Mitsui

A Noble Radiance - Chapel of Our Lady of Ephesus, Kansas City by Brian W. MacMichael

Readers' Forum: Music for Funerals, Weddings | On Cardinal Arinze, and the Art in AB | Melkite Catholics and the "Filioque Clause" | Canned Homilies; Confessions in Hospital | Video for Catechesis on the Mass


Cover: Guido Reni, a master painter of the Italian high baroque period, was among the most famous artists of his time. He was most renowned for his frescoes and oil paintings on religious themes, and for his expertise in draftsmanship as well as his painting technique.

Reni was born in Bologna on November 4, 1575, to a family of musicians. He was apprenticed at age ten to Denys Calvaert, an artist of the Flemish school, and later studied with the Carracci family of artists in Bologna.  He worked in Rome from 1602-13, received important commissions from Pope Paul V and Cardinal Scipione Borghese, and executed frescoes in chapels for these and other prominent patrons. He returned to Bologna in 1613, where he had a studio that received commissions from many Italian cities. He died there on August 18, 1642.

Particularly in his later works (such as Saint Matthew and the Angel) one can see the influence of Caravaggio in Reni’s dramatic use of light and shade (chiaroscuro), though he was also strongly influenced by Raphael.

The oil painting of Saint Matthew and the angel, dated between 1635-40, presents an intensely compelling depiction of the elderly Matthew writing his Gospel, as dictated by the youthful angel. The intensity of Matthew’s gaze in following the angel’s inspired “dictation” is emotionally arresting. In this late painting, Reni’s dramatic use of light both focuses attention on the faces and gestures of the two figures, and underscores the dynamic bond between them.

— hhh


Collect for Feast of Saint Matthew, September 21

O God, who with untold mercy were pleased to choose as an Apostle Saint Matthew, the tax collector,
Grant that, sustained by his example and intercession, we may merit to hold firm in following you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.


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