Friday, 28 April 2017

Random Photo of the Day, April 28, 2017

The random photo of the day, a detail of the nave in the beautiful Gothic Revival church of Saint Helen in Toronto, Canada.



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Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Mosaics of Count Alexander Von Svoboda in Mount Saint Joseph, London, Ontario

Anyone visiting the beautiful chapel of the old Sisters of Saint Joseph Motherhouse (now Windemere on the Mount Retirement Residence) is stuck by the size and the beauty of this wonderful structure. The Italian marbles, coffered ceiling, carved woodwork, and vibrantly coloured stained glass from Florence, Italy are all very impressive.














The aspect of the chapel that I would like to focus on today is the stunning mosaic that can be seen in the ceiling of the sanctuary area.  Here is a photo that shows the division between the coffered ceiling of the nave into the mosaic ceiling of the sanctuary.  






What many people don't know is the amazing history behind the man who created this beautiful work of art.  




Count Alexander von Svoboda was born in Vienna, Austria in 1929.  Following a childhood of privilege, wealth, and art school, Count von Svoboda entered service with the Nazi army in World War II at the age of 15.  He was eventually captured by the Russian army and sent to a work camp in Siberia.  Soon after, he engineered a daring escape, and made a daunting 6,000 mile trek back to Austria.  In Austria, Count von Svoboda befriended a group of American soldiers, which led to him being employed as an interpreter for General George S. Patton. With his considerable art  and architecture skills, von Svoboda then worked for the U.S. Army as a designer of hospitals and chapels across Europe after the War.  Realizing that Europe was too small for his artistic ambitions, von Svoboda moved to Toronto, Canada, where he worked on sculptures and mosaics, specializing in a type of classical mosaic technique developed in Italy known as "Smalti", which he mastered and brought to North America.  Smalti is a type of molten glass that is fired and pressed into flat pancakes in a furnace, then coloured and processed using a secret method passed down from generation to generation.  To create the mosaic, the glass tiles are glued upside-down on a paper pattern of the mosaic, then applied to fresh cement on the wall or ceiling.  After each square-foot section is applied to the cement, the paper is then slowly removed using water. 

It is truly amazing how the circumstances led to this wonderful piece of art being created in London, Ontario, Canada.  Here are some of my photos of this glorious work.












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Saturday, 10 September 2016

Our Lady of Sorrows

Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
Oh my afflicted Mother, Queen of martyrs and of sorrows, thou didst so bitterly weep over thy Son, who died for my salvation; but what will thy tears avail me if I am lost? By the merits, then, of thy sorrows, obtain for me true contrition for my sins, and a real amendment of life, together with constant and tender compassion for the sufferings of Jesus and thy dolors. And if Jesus and thou, being so innocent, have suffered so much for love of me, obtain that at least I, who am deserving of hell, may suffer something for your love. "O Lady," will I say with St. Bonaventure, "if I have offended thee, in justice wound my heart; if I have served thee, I now ask wounds for my reward. It is shameful to me to see my Lord Jesus wounded, and thee wounded with him, and myself without a wound." In fine, O my Mother, by the grief that thou didst experience in seeing thy Son bow down his head and expire on the cross in the midst of so many torments, I beseech thee to obtain me a good death. Ah, cease not, O advocate of sinners, to assist my afflicted soul in the midst of the combat in which it will have to engage on its great passage from time to eternity. And as it is probable that I may then have lost my speech and strength to invoke thy name and that of Jesus, who are all my hope, I do so now; I invoke thy Son and thee to succor me in that last moment; and I say, Jesus and Mary, to you I commend my soul. Amen.




Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Saint Mary's Pro-Cathedral High Altar

On Saturday I went on a trip to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to take a few photos in some of the beautiful churches there.  The churches I visited were Saint Patrick's and Saint Mary's Pro-Cathedral.  Here are a few photos of the high altar in Saint Mary's which I shot on that trip.












Sunday, 29 May 2016

Saint Peter's Cathedral Stained Glass Windows #2: Saint Brigid

The second window I have chosen to post about in Saint Peter's Cathedral-Basilica, London, Ontario, Canada is the window depicting Saint Brigid of Ireland.



The window is right next to the window depicting Saint Dominic, both windows are dedicated to the mother and father of Bishop Michael Fallon, Dominic and Brigid Fallon.



The window (as with the Saint Dominic window) was made in 1926 by McCausland Studios in Toronto, Ontario.  Here are a few photos of the dedication on the bottom of the window, also displaying the McCauseland mark (in a slightly different position than the mark on the Saint Dominic window).







Here are a few photos showing the decoration towards the top of the window.







To finish off  this post, here are some photos of the main image in the window depicting Saint Brigid of Ireland pouring wax from a candle on her skin.  She is generally depicted with a candle due to the proximity of her feast to Candlemas, and I believe the pouring of the hot wax on her skin is a reference to the fact that she had purposefully disfigured her beautiful features in order to preserve her virginity intact.













I hope you enjoyed this post, please do check back for more in the future, as I will be creating a post like this for each and every one of the windows in this Basilica.  Until next time thank you for viewing, dear friends, and may the Lord bless you and keep you all

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Next Window

The next window in Saint Peter's Cathedral-Basilica in London, Ontario, Canada I intend to post about will be the window depicting Saint Brigid of Ireland.  Unfortunately I don't have enough photos of the window yet to create a proper post, so it will have to wait until after Saturday, when I can get out to take some more pics of it.  Here is a photo I did take of it some time ago.


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Saint Peter's Cathedral Stained Glass: Saint Dominic Window

The first window I am going to focus on in Saint Peter's Cathedral-Basilica, London, Ontario, Canada, is The window depicting Saint Dominic on the Epistle side of the nave, near the back of the Basilica.  This window is one of two that commemorate the parents of Bishop Michael Fallon, Dominic and Brigid.  Bishop Michael Fallon was Bishop of the Diocese of London from 1909 until his death in 1931, much of the Cathedral's decoration was undertaken by him.  This photo  shows both windows. The window of Saint Dominic that we are focusing on is on the right.



Here is a photo of the window by itself.



The window was created by McCausland Studios in Toronto in 1926, and is one of many windows commissioned for the nave and side chapels of the Cathedral by Bishop Fallon.  McCausland is the oldest stained glass producer in the Western Hemisphere, and they still make glass to this day, currently under the name of Robert McCausland Limited.  Here are a few photos showing the dedication at the bottom of the window, the McCausland mark can be seen on the bottom right.







And to finish off this piece, here are a few photos showing the beautiful artistry in the window.  These photos show the image of Saint Dominic as well as the lovely decoration art the top of the window.















And with that I will end this post.  Stay tuned to this blog for further posts, I hope to do one of these posts on each and every one of the windows in the Basilica.  God bless you all.