Sacra Famiglia

The Holy Family has always been considered a foundamental model for the human family: it is expression of  bonds of affection, love, sympathy, that all families are called to continually renew. God chose to be born in a human family, to have a mother and a father as all us. Besides Jesus wanted to belong to a family that has experienced many difficulties, such as the flight from its homeland to Egypt. This escape because of Herod's threat shows us that God is where man is in danger, is suffering, where escapes, where experiences rejection and abandonment; but God is also where man dreams, hopes to return to their homeland in freedom, plans and chooses for his life and dignity and for the ones of his family.

L’opera è stata realizzata su commissione di papa Giulio II per la chiesa di San Sisto a Piacenza. L’elemento centrale che vi è rappresentato nel quadro è l’apparizione grandiosa della Vergine al papa san Sisto I. Il papa, ammaliato e rimasto estasiato particolarmente dalla vista di questo miracolo, mette la tiara a terra e osserva il fenomeno che gli si presenta davanti agli occhi come se fosse uno spettacolo teatrale (reso dall’apertura a sipario che circonda il contesto). A destra del quadro vi è Santa Barbara e alle sue spalle la torre in cui è stata martirizzata. Elemento molto interessante è la balaustra di legno che separa il mondo celeste, le nubi sulle quali la Vergine troneggia guardando lo spettatore, da quello terreno e corrisponde all’elemento a cui si appoggiano gli angioletti, quasi a rendere più marcato il contrasto tra i due mondi.
Mary, at the announcement of the Angel, does not hide her surprise. The wonder of seeing that God, to become man, has chosen her, an ordinary girl of Nazaret, who does not live in palace of power and of wealth, but is open to God, knows that she can trust Him even without fully understanding. Mary said her "yes" to God, a "yes" which upset her humble existence of Nazaret, but it was only the first of many "yes" pronounced in her heart in joyful moments and also in those of pain, culminating in the one below the Cross.
After the Announciation, the first gesture that she performs is one of charity for the elderly cousin Elisabeth and the first words that she pronunciates are: "My soul doth magnify the Lord", the Magnificat, a hymn of praise and of thanksgiving to God, not only for what He has done in her, but also for His action in the whole history of salvation. Actually Mary is like a living magnifying glass that both enlarges praise of believers to God and magnifies His mercy and grace as it comes in the other direction.
"Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich". (2 Cor 8, 9)
The angels announced the birth of Redentor to the shepherds with these words: "This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger" (Luke 2,12). The "sign" is the humility of God; it is the love with which, that night, He assumed the fragility, the suffering, the fears, the desires and the limitations of everyone. The message that everybody was looking for in the depth of their soul was nothing more than the tenderness of God: He looks at us with eyes full of fondness, He accepts our misery, God is in love of our pittance.
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone". (Is 9,1)
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