After Assisi, we made a special stop in Florence to visit the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, the baptistry and experience some of the Catholic art of Fra Angelico.
Fra Angelico was a Dominican friar and an Italian painter of the early Renaissance.
The young professional Italy pilgrims visited the San Marco museum where many of his frescoes are kept.
Fra Angelico painted frescoes on the walls of each of the friars rooms, so to view the frescoes you have to walk in and out of the smalls cells of the friars.
Instead of rushing from room to room, the pilgrims walked through San Marco praying the Rosary.
I was grateful for this time. First I thought about how awesome it would be to go to bed every night with a fresco painted on your wall. But I was also grateful for the meditative time because it gave me the opportunity to better reflect on this beautiful art and notice the detail of the individual frescoes.
I was struck by the expression of Jesus in the agony of the garden. I was fascinated by all the different details of the crucifixion scenes. I wondered who each of the friars were that were painted in the frescoes.
But remembering that all of this art points toward the beauty of God, and as one of our guides said to us, if all the wonderful mosaics and frescoes were lost from inside a church, it wouldn’t matter because the most precious thing is what is found inside the tabernacle—Jesus in the Eucharist.