Friday, 2 August 2013

Pope Francis at the Gesú

Pope Francis commemorated the Feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola at the church of the Gesú in Rome. He concelebrated Mass with 200 Italian Jesuits. At the end of the Mass the Pope prayed and lit a lamp before the altar of St. Ignatius; he also visited the Chapel of Madonna della Strada, the altar of Saint Francis Xavier and the tomb of Father Pedro Arrupe, sometime Jesuit General.

The adjacent photographs were taken from the website of the Roman Jesuit Superior General. On this occasion, Pope Francis wore vestments which are part of the collection of the Gesú  being a chasuble of dupion silk, ornamented with the Tau.

Pope Francis in the sacristy of the Gesu.

During the celebration of the Papal Mass.
Some comments on one photograph from the Mass, which illustrate the liturgical arrangements found at the Gesú. This renowned church is an example of how arrangements can be made for versus populum celebration of the Mass without compromising the integrity of an historic interior, a work of art. The photograph taken from one of the galleries shews the arrangement for the Pope's Mass in a sanctuary which is outside the original presbyterium. This arrangement leaves the original presbyterium intact.

The new sanctuary area is arranged on a large raised podium, which is a muted colour, and features a cube-shaped altar, also in muted tones (possibly faced with copper). The small scale of this altar (in the primitive style) and its colour make it almost invisible from first glance. What is not obvious from the photographs is that all the furnishings of this sanctuary, together with the podium itself are completely removable.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

During the celebration of Mass.
The Pope alone stands at the cube-shaped altar, with concelebrants
standing in a semicircle around the altar.

The interior of the Gesu: a nearly invisible free-standing altar.