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Finding Faith: This diorama shows Catholic medical mercy in action

Photo by Lucien de Guise, courtesy of the Wellcome Collection/Science Museum

Lucien de Guise - published on 02/16/20

Providing medical care has long been one of the Catholic Church's strengths, as this model of a 16th-century hospital shows.

A series that looks at the visual arts for signs of the universal Church in sometimes unexpected places.

Providing healthcare has always been one of the Catholic Church’s strengths, going well beyond the 700,000 face masks that have been sent to China recently. It’s rare to find 3-D dioramas of Catholic medical mercy in action. This one-foot-high model shows the Santa Cruz Hospital in Toledo, Spain, five centuries ago. With a large altar in the background it looks almost like a church with some rather grand beds. It might confuse modern audiences but would doubtless have brought comfort to pious patients in the past.

Photo by Lucien de Guise, courtesy of the Wellcome Collection/Science Museum

Lucien de Guise is on Instagram @crossxcultural. As a Catholic writer, editor, curator and former museum director, his aim is to build bridges through art.

ArtCatholic history
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