Learning through Art: St. Michael Defending the Church

Authored by Dr. Caroline Farey in Issue #33.2 of The Sower

This painting by Michael O’Brien, a modern day Canadian writer and painter, is one that deserves our time and meditation. It is a painting in which the perspective is one of particular importance.

In our catechesis, this painting can be used especially well with children so that they can see the greatness of the protection of Archangel Michael. For children, their small lives can seem so easily to be overwhelmed by events outside of their control, and the devil and the raging waves of the sea graphically depict this. But the comparative size and evident protecting power of St Michael is deeply reassuring.

There are a number of passages from the Scriptures which could be used alongside a catechesis using this painting. From the Old Testament we have the story of Jonah who is caught in a great storm and is thrown into the waves, from which God saves him and brings him safely to land (Jon 1:4-17). Perhaps the passage that springs most immediately to mind, though, is from the Gospels, where the disciples are caught in a storm and fear for their lives (see Matt.8:23-27, Mk.4:36-41, Lk8:22-25). In this episode it is clear that the disciples in the boat are also an image of the Church in every age, crying out for assistance as waves of tribulation and fury beat down upon them. St Matthew, in fact, in his telling of this episode, has the disciples calling out ‘Save us, Lord!’, an echo of the kyrie elesion in the liturgy we sing each Sunday.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

AD: School of Spiritual Direction, Accepting Applications for Summer 2022
By Colleen Rainone
Free To inquire or apply, email SSD@franciscan.edu or call 740-283-6277.... Read more
AD: Mark Your Calendar! Summer 2022 Steubenville Adult Conferences
By Colleen Rainone
Free To learn more about the Steubenville Adult Conferences, go to https://steubenvilleconferences.com/ Registration will open at the end of January 2022.... Read more
AD: Books on Living the Catholic Faith
By Colleen Rainone
Free To order these books and films from Ignatius Press click here. Or call 1-800-651-1531. Let them know you saw the ad here. This is a paid advertisement in the July-September 2021 issue. Advertisements should not be viewed as endorsements from the publisher.... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now