Top-Ranked Book of Vatican Art is Feast for Eyes and Soul
For three weeks, Meditations on Vatican Art by Fr. Mark Haydu of the Vatican Museums occupied first place among Amazon’s new releases in religious arts and photography books. Published November 1 by Liguori, this hardbound book of Vatican masterpieces and accompanying meditations also sold out at nearly every stop on Fr. Haydu’s U.S. book tour. He believes that the book’s skyrocketing popularity is due to its beautiful art images and something else.
“People are starved for beauty,” said Fr. Haydu, who is the international coordinator of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums. He wrote Meditations on Vatican Art to help people discover God’s love through the beauty of sacred art.
“If we learn to look with the eyes of an artist – the eyes of a prayerful wonderer,” wrote Fr. Haydu, “we will see the love of our Creator at every turn…The whole world can become a pathway to God.”
Pope Francis advocated the way of beauty, or the via pulchritudinis, in his recent apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium: “Every expression of true beauty can thus be acknowledged as a path leading to an encounter with the Lord Jesus…So a formation in the via pulchritudinis [the way of beauty] ought to be part of our effort to pass on the faith.”
Meditations on Vatican Art includes artwork by masters such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Cano. Each is paired with a reflection following the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, as well as historical and contextual notes to help readers understand the artist’s perspective and meaning.