Catholic Masterpieces IX: Redemptorist Holy Card
The above image has got to be one of the most beautiful pictures I've seen of an old holy card. I originally saw it in a book titled Holy Cards, by Barbara Calamari and Sandra DiPasqua, that I bought shortly after it was released in 2004. It is a wonderful book, that compiles holy cards of different saints, from familiar ones, like the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary, to lesser-known ones, like Saint Othilia and Saint Swithbert the Elder.
The holy card above depicts three Redemptorist saints: St. Alphonsus Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorist order, and Doctor of the Church; St. Clement Hofbauer, a Czech Redemtorist priest who lived during the tumult of late 18th century and early 19th century Europe, and was persecuted by different governments and the Masons; and St. Gerard Majella, a lay brother in the Redemptorist order who is the patron saint of expectant mothers (a good pro-life saint!). The saints, along with an angel (who is holding St. Alphonsus' crozier), look toward the Blessed Sacrament, exposed in a monstrance, while two other angels stand watch in adoration. Above them all is the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which was my last Catholic Masterpiece (and as I mentioned in the entry, the Redemptorists spread the Perpetual Help devotion across the globe).
While the last eight pieces of art are either on display in museums or in churches, this Catholic Masterpiece is a simple holy card. It shows that even simple and common objects can be produced beautifully.
Since I mentioned St. Clement Hofbauer, I thought it would be appropriate to end this installment with a prayer that he composed, in honor of St. Joseph.
O St. Joseph, my loving father, I place myself forever under thy protetion Look upon me as thy child, and keep me from all sin. I take refuge in thine arms, so that thou mayest lead me on the path of virtue and assist me at the hour of my death. Amen.