Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 19 September |
Our Lady of La Salette
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

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

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
Mathilde De Robien
How a lost masterpiece of sacred art was discovered thanks to chi...
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.