Columban Catholic Calendar Art Guide - April 2023

Columban Calendar Art Guide - April 2023 Jesus Carrying His Cross  

Use this Art Guide video in Step 3: Contemplation of Columban Visio Divina - Art Guide Resource

A resource to help you pray using the images and Art Guide of the 2023 Columban Art Calendar.


Jesus Carrying His Cross (carrying the cross or path of the cross), c.1651 (oil on canvas) Le Sueur, Eustache (1617–1655) Louvre, Paris. Restored Traditions.

Eustache Le Sueur, a founder of the French Academy of Painting, is acclaimed for his religious art. This painting depicts a moment in the Passion when Jesus falls under the weight of the cross and Simon of Cyrene is charged with bearing the instrument of the crucifixion. Le Sueur welds this biblical moment with the moving legendary narrative of the miracle of the ‘vera icon’. While there is no reference to Veronica and her white veil in the canonical Gospels, the story of the imprinting of Jesus’s face on the cloth is related to the meditations of the sixth Station of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa to Calvary. Veronica, in encountering the suffering Jesus, offers her white veil to wipe the blood from Jesus’s face, upon which the image of the Holy Face of the suffering Jesus was miraculously imprinted. The Veil of Veronica, or Sudarium, is thus both an icon (true image) and a holy relic. By welding these two distinct acts of compassion by bystanders on the Way of the Cross, Le Sueur invites the viewer to meditate upon two individuals, a man and woman, who intervene during Christ’s passion to ease his suffering. Further, they act as models for our own compassion to those who suffer injustice, physical and mental pain and abuse. The inclusion of the miracle of the ‘vera icon’ is also a portent of healing, and the significance of the Passion of Christ as a means of personal redemption.

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