The Sacred That Surrounds Us: Statues
February 13, 2022, 12:00 PM
Statues provide opportunities for us to see, in three dimensions, a figure of an angel or a person who has been made holy by God’s Holy Spirit and grace. Statues connected with churches are usually of Jesus, saints, or angels. Our Sunday visitor reports that
as soon as the Church came out of the catacombs, became richer, had no fear of persecution, the same people who had painted their caves began to make statues of the same subjects. The famous statue of the Good Shepherd in the Lateran Museum was made as early as the beginning of the third century, the states of Hippolytus and of St. Peter date from the end of the same century… The idea that the Church of the first centuries was in any way prejudiced against pictures and statues is the most impossible fiction. After Constantine (306-37) there was of course and enormous development of every kind. Instead of burrowing catacombs Christians began to build splendid basilicas. They adorned them with costly mosaics, carving, and statues.
Some people are drawn to different statues because of a devotion they have to that angel or saint. St. Augustine of Hippo reported in AD 419 that the Christians who have died are not separated from the Church. Because these pious dead are more alive than ever, we can ask for the intercession and prayers of the angels and saints, who in turn bring our prayers to the altar of God.
“It is true that Christians pay religious honor to the memory of the martyrs, both to excite us to imitate them, and to obtain a share in their merits and the assistance of their prayers.” – St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 400)