VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis implored artists to “make the deep beauty of God’s love visible” and to create and protect areas of beauty in the world’s teeming cities.
Meeting a group of musicians, actors, poets, painters, dancers, sculptors and architects Feb. 24, Pope Francis urged them to help people “discover the beauty of being loved by God and bear witness to it in attention shown to others, especially those who are excluded, wounded and rejected in our societies.”
The artists are part of a movement called “Diakonia of Beauty,” created in 2012 to restore a relationship in which the Catholic Church relies on artists to share the Gospel and in which the artists seek to learn from and serve the church.
“You are asked to work without letting yourself be dominated by the search for vain glory or easy popularity, and even less by personal profit alone,” the pope told the group, which is particularly active in France.
Too often today, the pope said, people think technology holds the key for understanding the meaning of life. But beauty is a much better path to understanding, he said, urging the artists to create and safeguard “an oasis of beauty,” especially “in our cities, which are too often filled with cement and lacking soul.”
The 86-year-old actor Michael Lonsdale is part of “Diakonia of Beauty” and spoke about spirituality and art in an interview with the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.
In an industry where faith often is not valued, he said, “for me, the Mass always is non-negotiable. Meetings with my spiritual director and confession have sustained me.”
Lonsdale played the role of Brother Luc in the film “Of Gods and Men” about the 1996 massacre of the Trappist monks of Tibhirine, Algeria. Pope Francis recently recognized the monks as martyrs and cleared the way for their beatification.
“With the film ‘Of Gods and Men’ I reached a peak,” he said. Together with playing the abbot in “The Name of the Rose,” playing Brother Luc “will remain one of the most important roles of my life. He was an absolute model of humanity, capable of carrying out the mission of following the commandments of Christ to the end, because there is no proof of love greater than giving your life for those you love. And those he loved was the whole world.”
The “Diakonia of Beauty,” Lonson said, has been important because “joining other artists top form a spiritual family roots us more deeply in the heart of God.”
– – –
Contributing to this story was Wyatt Noble at the Vatican.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103