Sunday, June 9, 2019

inSPIREd Sunday

Sally and Beth host inSPIREd Sunday!

May 2019 - Florence Italy

Another Homeless Jesus! What a surprise as I stepped into, yet another, church in Florence.

Homeless Jesus was designed by Timothy Schmalz, a Canadian sculptor and devout Catholic. It depicts Jesus as a homeless person, sleeping on a park bench. His face and hands are obscured, hidden under a blanket, but crucifixion wounds on his feet reveal his identity The statue has been described as a "visual translation" of the Gospel of Matthew passage in which Jesus tells his disciples, "as you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me". Schmalz intended for the bronze sculpture to be provocative, admitting, "That's essentially what the sculpture is there to do. It's meant to challenge people.

Click here to see three other Homeless Jesus that we have seen. Kitchener ON, Austin TX and Toronto U of T.
Toronto St. Stephen in the Fields 2018
Toronto St. Paul 2018

The Badìa Fiorentina is an abbey and church that is now home to the Monastic Communities of Jerusalem. It is situated on the Via del Proconsolo in the centre of Florence. It is also in front of the ancient prison of the Bargello, next to the street that houses the now-called Casa di Dante, which was rebuilt in 1910 as a museum to Dante.

Badia in ancient Italian meant abbey, and Fiorentina just means Florentine.
Dan Brown’s thrilling Inferno begins in this abbey: the mysterious shadow that accompanies the protagonist throughout the book throws itself from the famous Badia Fiorentina bell tower.

The badia or abbey, dedicated to the Virgin, was founded in 978 by Willa, Marchioness of Tuscany, in commemoration of her late husband Hubert, and assigned to the Cassinese Benedictines.

Willa gave the monks who settled there money and privileges.
In those ancient times, the presence of Benedictine monks in Florence made a deep impression, because the friars normally lived far from urban centers.

Here the monks engaged in bookish activities (paper-making, illuminating, binding), which, together with the preparation of parchment inside the abbey, helped to stamp the entire area as a centre of book production.

When Willa’s son Hugh the Great (Ugo di Toscana) became Margrave of Tuscany, he considerably augmented his mother’s benefactions with many donations to the abbey.
In the Badia Fiorentina, where he is buried, his memory was kept alive over the centuries through ceremonies and learned writings.

This noble benefactor was mentioned by Dante in his The Divine Comedy.

Today the Badia is home to a congregation of monks and nuns known as the Fraternita’ di Gerusalemme. They sing vespers at 6 p.m. and mass at 6:30 p.m. every day.

The interior of the church, further altered in the 18th century, contains a mixture of styles. It is dominated by an elaborate carved wooden ceiling, made in 1631 by Felice Gamberai, that conceals the gothic open timber roof. The presbytery, with its 16th-century choir by Francesco and Marco Del Tasso, has some remarkable frescoes (1734) by Gian Domenico Ferretti and the quadraturista Pietro Anderlini.

Legend has it that Dante saw Beatrice for the first time in this church.

Since there are two mentions of Dante in this post, I will include some photos of his museum and church.

The church of Santa Margherita dei Cerchi was under the patronage of the Cerchi family and then of the Donati and Adimari families.
Gemma Donati of the Donati family became Dante’s wife, and they were married in this church.

According to other sources, this marriage took place in the nearby church of San Martino.

Beatrice’s family had its tombs here, and her father, Folco Portinari, is buried there.

Beatrice, however, was married to a member of the Bardi family and was probably buried in the tomb of her husband’s family, that is, in the cloister of Santa Croce Church.


  1. ...I was just in Buffalo and saw their Homeless Jesus. This is a powerful sculpture.

  2. A walk through the streets of Florence is like a visit to an open-air museum. I love this city. It is delightful, with the possibility of monuments.
    Hugs and greetings from far away Poland.

  3. A beautiful church!

    Another of that particular sculpture is here outside Christ Church Cathedral. And he has a variation outside St. Andrew's Presbyterian here.

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