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Good Friday in Art

the passion of christ art

One of the gifts of Catholicism, because of the primacy of the Incarnation, is the importance of the human person. Our Faith acknowledges that we are not just spiritual beings. We have a body, mind, and soul. Each aspect of our being needs to be tended to and cared for.

A way to tend to the garden of both our bodies and souls is through reflecting on the beauty of holy artwork. Statues and artwork depicting God, biblical scenes, and lives of the Saints are hallmarks of our Faith. It is meant to lift our senses, our thoughts, and desires to all that is good, true, and beautiful.

Good Friday in Art

May these images of Christ in His Passion and Death lead you closer to His Merciful Heart this Good Friday.

The Agony In The Garden

Artist: Giovanni Bellini

Location of Artwork: The National Gallery, London

Let Us Pray

Lord, awaken my soul! Breathe life into me and let me always be fully alive in Your presence. I know I often fail You in the slumber of sin, yet Your mercy and love is unfailing and unchanging. Let my heart be a garden of love for You, a place where You may always rest.

“Lord, You may sleep in my boat, I will not wake you.” (Saint Therese of Lisieux, Poem 17)

The Taking of Christ

Artist: Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio

Location of Artwork: National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

Let Us Pray

My Lord, may my heart always be faithful to You. For the times I have betrayed You, have mercy on me. For the times I have betrayed Your little ones, have mercy on me. For the times I have betrayed Your Bride, the Church, have mercy on me. For the times I have betrayed my family, have mercy on me. For the times I have betrayed my friends, have mercy on me. For the times I have betrayed those in need, have mercy on me. Jesus I love you, Jesus I trust in Your Merciful Love.

“God is greater than our hearts.” (1 John 3:20)

Christ Taken Before Caiaphas

Artist: Rembrandt van Rijn

Location of Artwork: The Cleveland Museum of Art

Let Us Pray

When we see someone alone or in need, let us remember that when we serve them through our presence and love, we are serving You.

“All the Gospels are an exhortation to believe. Jesus’ great question throughout the Gospels is: Do you all believe? Do you individually believe? The Church steps forward and declares to the whole world: ‘I believe!’ And would God not love the Church after that?” (Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap.)

Peter’s Denial

Artist: Carl Bloch

Location of Artwork: The Museum of National History, Frederiksborg

Let Us Pray

When haunted by regret and shame of past sins, deliver us Jesus. Let us begin anew in Your mercy. Let us always live in the present moment, where grace is found.

“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17)

Ecce Homo

Artist: Antonio Ciseri

Location of Artwork: Gallery of Modern Art, Florence

Let Us Pray

Jesus, You are with me when I am deeply humiliated and You are with me even in the small embarrassments of life. May I always remember this moment of Your Passion when I feel humiliated or embarrassed. May Your silence, Your humility, Your patience, and Your sacrificial love be my strength.

“The person who remains silent under criticism gains a great freedom from concern and worry about other people’s opinions. No longer living as a slave to others’ minds, such a person more easily soars into the divine mind.” (Father Thomas Dubay, S.M.)

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The Mocking of Christ

Artist: Fra Angelico

Location of Artwork: Wall of Cell 7, Convento di San Marco, Florence

Let Us Pray

In remembrance and honor of Your scourging, keep my body  and actions pure, O Lord. In remembrance and honor of Your crowning with thorns, keep my mind and thoughts, pure O Lord. In remembrance and honor of Your mocking, keep my tongue and words pure, O Lord.

“If you are experiencing trials or are sad, behold Him bound to the column, filled with pain, with all His flesh torn in pieces for the great love He bears you; so much suffering, persecuted by some, spit on by others, denied by His friends, abandoned by them, with no one to defend Him, frozen from the cold, left so alone that you can console each other. Let us walk together, Lord. Wherever You go, I will go; whatever You suffer, I will suffer.” (Saint Teresa of Avila)

 

Christ Carrying the Cross

Artist: El Greco

Location of Artwork: The Met, 5th Avenue, Gallery 958

Let Us Pray

Just as Saint Simon of Cyrene helped You carry Your Cross, may I help others carry theirs.

“The everlasting God has in his wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost Heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His Holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the All-Merciful Love of God.” (Saint Francis de Sales)

 

Christ of Saint John of the Cross (The Crucifixion)

Artist: Salvador Dali

Location of Artwork: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

Let Us Pray

Jesus, I love You. May I always have the courage to stand at the foot of Your Cross, and not run and hide in fear and shame. You are my rock, my fortress, and my heart’s desire.

“And even if the sins of soul are as dark as night, when the sinner turns to My mercy he gives Me the greatest praise and is the glory of My Passion.”  (Saint Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, 378)

 

The Pieta

Artist: William Adolphe Bouguereau

Let Us Pray

Mother Mary, hold us close as you held your Son. May we always take you into the home of our hearts, just as Jesus asked of His disciple when He spoke His final words on the Cross. Mother Mary, thank you for saying “yes.” Teach me to say “yes” to God’s will for my life.

“In the Passion, Mary was united to the redemptive love of Christ. That love, like all forms of authentic love, bore fruit. It was, and remains, generative. And so Mary’s participation in the Passion could be likened to the pains of childbirth. To become the spiritual mother of all Christians she labored and suffered tremendously in spirit. And truly, her sufferings were not in vain. Mary, Our Mother and Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” (Brother Hyacinth Grubb)

 

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Claire Couche is a regular contributor to the BIS blog. She is a wife, mother, and blogger. She graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville where she studied history and theology. She later received her B.S.N. and worked as an oncology nurse. Combining her love of the faith, the medical field, and ethical fashion, Claire is the creator of Moscati Scrubs, an ethical medical scrubs company inspired by the life and miracles of Saint Giuseppe Moscati. You can learn more about Claire here and about Moscati Scrubs here.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Lisa
    April 19, 2019 at 7:05 am

    Claire, I LOVED this post. So beautiful and so impactful. Thank you!!

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