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Pope Francis feeds Catholic virtues in Lenten street art

Maupal holy week vignette 7

© Maupal via Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

J-P Mauro - published on 03/26/24

The Vatican marked the start of Holy Week with its seventh and final Maupal vignette, capping off a unique Lenten art campaign.

As the season of Lent enters the home stretch of Holy Week, the Vatican has released its last illustrated vignette on the Pope’s 2024 Lenten message: “Through the desert God leads us to freedom.”

The art, which all came from the hand of Italian street artist Maupal, is available to peruse on the website of the the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, which organized the collaboration. 

In Maupal’s seventh and final vignette, Pope Francis takes center stage, watering plants that are just beginning to grow. The potted plants are labeled “Faith,” “Hope,” and “Charity,” the theological virtues of the Church. The Pope is locking eyes with the viewer as he waters the plants, with a smile that is inviting each of us to take part in nourishing virtue in our lives, and consequently, blessing our common home, as we were instructed in his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si.

Of all the vignette’s Maupal has produced for Lent, this one contains the most human figures by far. The Pope is surrounded by a large crowd, with 34 distinct characters, and a sea of gray silhouettes giving the impression of a crowd to rival World Youth Day. It is possibly the most varied, artistically, as well. The figures seem to be collared with many different palates, and the line work shows different styles, representing the rich diversity of the Catholic Faith, which draws in cultures from all over the world. 

On the dicastery webpage, the announcement of the new artwork points toward a passage of Pope Francis’ Lenten message, in which he reminds that the “love of God and love of neighbor are one love.” The Pope invites the faithful “to pause in the presence of God beside the flesh of our neighbor.”

If you would like to view the artworks of previous weeks, follow these links: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6.

Tags:
ArtHoly WeekLentVatican
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