Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Madonna

Near the church San Benedetto in Limone sul Garda, Italy, July 12th 2007

Now, is that corny or simply typical for Catholic Italy? That the afternoon light illuminates the face of the Madonna as sent from a heavenly spotlight ... The woman hurrying away in the background no doubt has just watered the flowers and cleaned up some miniscule dirt to let the Madonna really shine!

Italy is very Catholic for sure. True, the Roman Catholic Italians are outnumbered for example by Brazilians and even US-Americans of the same faith - but in Italy around 90% of the population belongs to this denomination. No real surprise here - the pope doesn't reside that far away, does he?

Because of this the sheer number of churches you'll find in Italy is astounding. There are more than 25.000 parishes for the around 57 million believers - in comparison the 147 million Roman Catholics in Brazil only have around 9.000 parishes.*

Now unfortunately not all of the tens of thousand of Churches in Italy have a ceiling decorated by Michelangelo. But do remember that the Roman Catholics as a rule don't really shun vivid colors and works of art & splendor. So you can at least be reasonably sure of some nice displays of artistry in every church in Italy. Always worth a look!

* Source: Among others The CIA World Factbook and The data about the percentage of Italians belonging to the Roman Catholic faith varies from source to source - between 88 and 97 percent.

Inside of a church in Lazise, Italy - July 10th, 2007

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