"The works of art born in Europe in past centuries are incomprehensible if one does not take into account the religious soul that inspired them," said the Vicar of Christ, drawing attention to Europe's Christian roots. His Holiness later prayed "the Lord help us to rediscover the way of beauty as one of the ways, perhaps the most attractive and fascinating, to be able to find and love God."Above is a sketch of the Romanesque Basilica of Saint Sernin in Toulouse where Raphaëlle, the heroine of the new novel The Night's Dark Shade, stops to pray on her way to the fête at the castle of the Hospitallers.
They entered the gates of Toulouse in the early dusk, spending the night at an inn near the basilica of Saint Sernin. In the morning they assisted at Mass in the vast cathedral. The pink brick of the octagonal steeple seemed to glow with joy in the morning light, as the bells echoed over the roofs of the city.... the finite infinity of the basilica caused her soul to soar in prayer.... The painted statues of the saints, the silken embroidered banners, the nine chapels radiating behind the apse, the billows of incense, all conspired to flood her with the hope of a better world. After Mass, she placed the colored candles she had brought with her before the altar of the Virgin and, lighting them, she prayed for a child.Share
~from The Night's Dark Shade by Elena Maria Vidal