Friday, June 13, 2014

Feast Day of St. Anothony of Padua

This post takes us well outside of the Midwest to the Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua in St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, DC.  Downtime on a recent work trip gave me the opportunity to revisit this church that I regularly visited while interning at National Geographic magazine a few years back.  For context, the chapel is off to the right side of the nave if you are facing the altar from the rear of the church.  Despite its status as a side chapel in the larger cathedral building, it was actually the first part of the cathedral to be dedicated, in 1898.

Beyond the altar in the chapel is a wooden statue of St. Anthony and the Christ Child.

Details of the columns surrounding the chapel.  I believe these pedestals, along with much of the marble-work in the chapel, were actually carved out in Italy.  

Note the one on the left, where you see the impression of Christ's face with the crown of thorns.  This recollects the moment while carrying the cross where Jesus wiped his face in St. Veronica's cloth, leaving behind an impression of his face.  Probably not by coincidence, St. Veronica is often referred to as the patroness of photographers.

Perhaps the real highlight in the chapel is the series of mosaics of St. Francis and his followers (St. Anthony of Padua was a Franciscan priest, and thus one of these folks).  These mosaics, installed in 1963, are paired with lines from St. Francis' Canticle of the Sun.  Above, St. Francis pictured with a wolf he reputedly tamed.

St. Francis, with the church of Santa Giuliana in Spoleto, Italy.

Sts. Clare and Jacopa dei Settesoli.

Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle
1725 Rhode Island Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036

This post heavily relies on notes from the book Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, which I purchased at the Cathedral after neglecting to do so on my regular visits four years ago!  Published 2008, referencing page 38.

1 comment:

  1. Your pictures are amazing! I love the idea of this blog-photographing and posting pictures of beautiful churches. Thanks for this blog!