The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Mary, Help of Christians

This is probably not a picture that you have seen before, nor is it often the way that we imagine or see the Blessed Virgin Mary portrayed in artwork. Having been to the birthplace of our congregation four times, and having spent one week there this past summer, this is a picture that I have grown to love and delight in. “Fascinating” is the word that I use most often in my journal in describing this picture and its effect on me as I sit in its shadow and mediate on what it contains.

When St. Gaspar founded our congregation in 1815 he placed it under the protection of Mary, Help of Christians whose feast is celebrated each May 24. There is another image that we use under the title of Madonna of the Precious Blood, an image that St. Gaspar used in his mission travels. I have a banner with that image on it and it goes with me on my mission travels.

This image of Mary, Help of Christians hangs in the cloister of the Abbey of San Felice in Giano del Umbria. it was painted by Francesco Melanzio (1465-1530) and it originally hung in the left side of the upper sanctuary, probably when San Felice served as a Benedictine Monastery. (San Felice was given to us in 1815) You can see the monks portrayed hiding in the folds of her garment on the bottom left side of the painting. The look of fear on the major figure there is striking. The child Jesus, much like the child in Revelations 12, is caught away to safety. The devil has a sinister look on his face; he has a hold on the child’s clothing, not on the child himself. The Madonna with the club is the most fascinating feature. She never loses a look of gentleness and peace, but it is also a look of determination and strength.

I would be interested in your reflections on this painting.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 6:27 PM link
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Mission 2004

Well, we moved from famine to feast pretty quickly. I was beginning to feel a little disappointed that I did not have any Parish Missions booked for Lent 2004, Then suddenly I was inundated with requests. I can only do two missions during Lent because of my other responsibilities, but I am available for other times of the year. I booked both Lenten missions today.

St. Anne Parish, Gilbert, AZ, First Week of Lent
St. Augustine Parish, Minster, OH, Fourth Week of Lent

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 4:29 PM link
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