News Archive

Monday 31 May 2021

On the mountains of Judea

Today is the feast of the Visitation of Our Lady, and you can watch the 12.10pm Mass here.

In the Chiesa Nuova, our church in Rome, is this painting of the Visitation by Federico Barocci. It is full of intimate details: the chipped step, Zachariah leaning out of the door, the maid carrying the hens, and St Joseph bringing gifts to their hosts. At the centre of the picture is a tender embrace between Our Lady and St Elizabeth, pointing to the holiness of their unborn children.

St Philip himself commissioned this picture: showing the importance of art in bringing the Gospel to life. Philip is said to have experienced a religious ecstasy while praying in front of the painting.