Celebrated 5 March (Ash Wednesday)
through 8 June 2014 (Feast of Pentecost)
The Passion of Christ - by DUCCIO di Buoninsegna - from Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena
Rome has Spoken
Critics of the Mel Gibson movie, "The Passion of the Christ," are confounded.
That's because the Pope has seen the film and has extended his blessings.
"It is as it was,"
Pope John Paul II said.
Passion - by Mel Gibson
"See what it is to love"
Notãre Bene: These Web Pages for the Lenten/Easter Season have many
full-size museum paintings which dramatically compliment the Scripture readings and homily. The artists (El Greco, Michelangelo, Rubens,
Rembrandt, Raphael, et al) who drew them, spent many months doing so, using their God-given talents. It is hoped that you will have the
patience to wait for them to download, and will spend time in contemplating their beauty and spiritual message. Once downloaded from the
Web for the first time, these pictures will be loaded on to your screen from your hard disk and will be displayed much faster, for all
subsequent viewing. The El Greco below and the Duccio above are examples of the fine art collected for these pages.
Christ Carrying the Cross - by El GRECO - from
Museo del Prado, Madrid
Several artists are particularly noted for their contributions to the Lenten/Easter Season. One of these is the
Dutch Master, Rembrandt. Another is the Italian Master, Michelangelo Caravaggio who inflenced Mel Gibson in his filming of the Passion.
Web Pages containing their paintings of this period of Jesus' life can be accessed below. Fourteen (14) El Greco masterpieces and other
Renaissance Art are also available.
From the Catholic Catechism
Christian Art was used for centuries as a teaching tool, even as a catechism. The
artist can help us to see something in a new way, or to feel the emotion of an event centuries before. We can use the image as a visual
template to enter a scene in our imagination and thus experience the great events of our salvation.
CCC-2502 Sacred art is true and beautiful when its form corresponds to its particular vocation: evoking
and glorifying, in faith and adoration, the transcendent mystery of God - the surpassing invisible beauty of truth and love visible in
Christ, who "reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature," in whom "the whole fullness of deity
dwells bodily." This spiritual beauty of God is reflected in the most holy Virgin Mother of God, the angels, and saints. Genuine
sacred art draws man to adoration, to prayer, and to the love of God, Creator and Savior, the Holy One and Sanctifier.
Christ at the Column - by ANTONELLO da Messina,
from Musée du Louvre, Paris
Note Bene: For those interested in such things, the bloody sweat depicted
in the painting above by Antonello da Messina, is a well documented medical occurrence called 'Hematidrosis'. Under great emotional stress,
tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus causing bloody sweat.
The forty days of Lent recall a number of events. The forty days of Noah
in the Ark; the forty years of the Israelites in the desert; the forty years
from the death of Jesus to the destruction of Jerusalem; the forty days from Jesus' Resurrection to His
Ascension into Heaven; and above all, the forty days of Jesus in the wilderness. All of these were times of
preparation. In the case of Noah, preparation for the renewed covenant; for the Israelites, preparation for their entry into the promised
land; for Jerusalem, time to repent for their Deicide; for Jesus, preparation of the apostles to receive the Holy Spirit; and again for Jesus,
preparation for the start of His ministry.
How is Easter Sunday Determined?
Easter Sunday is the date of the annual celebration of Christ's Resurrection from the Tomb, and is defined as the "Sunday
following the Paschal Full Moon (PFM)". The aim of the Easter dating method is to maintain for each Easter Sunday, the same
season of the year and the same relationship to the preceding astronomical full moon that occurred at the time of His actual
resurrection in 30 A.D.
Watch the countdown to Easter 2014.
The Lunar Tracker above will show the Pascal Full Moon
occurring at 07:42 on Tuesday, 15 April 2014.
Easter is the First Sunday after the PFM, 20 April 2014.
The Forty Days of Lent
What's all this about forty days? Lent is from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday and that makes forty-six days. The answer is that we
do not count Sundays in the forty days of lent. You can enjoy the Sunday as the Lord's day to celebrate. Why not treat yourself to
something as an encouragement to get on with Lent on Monday?
It was quite early in the history of the Church that the preparation for Easter took the form of forty days of special prayer and
penance. The number forty was in imitation of Christ who spent forty days in the desert. The Christians in the Eastern tradition needed
seven weeks to complete their forty days because they excluded Saturday as well as Sunday from their days of penance. The Western
tradition excluded Sunday only so six weeks provided thirty six days, nearly enough. Still four days more were needed to make up the
forty. The solution was to start Lent three days before the first Sunday. They did this in the Seventh century and so today we have
Ash Wednesday, forty days (and six Sundays) before Easter.
How do I Navigate This Lenten Web Site?
All pages of
this Lenten Web Site can be accessed individually from the multi-colored matrices located at the top of this Lenten/Easter Homepage.
Some pages are stand-alone, i.e. they do not rely on previous pages in order to portray their religious message. Other pages, such as the
five(5) pages that constitute the Passion of Jesus, as best viewed sequentially in order to more clearly understand the gospel message.
When sequential viewing is intended, a link to the next page will be provided at the bottom of the current page. All pages will also
contain a link back to a homepage.
[The Spirit of Lent]
[The Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD]