Monday, 31 May 2010

Book : The Catholic Priest, Image of Christ

This most important book on the priest to come out during this year of the priesthood places the beauty, charity and the sacra mentality of the priesthood in the forefront. With its 560 illustrations from all periods of art and parts of the world the author has taken an interest in all aspects of the life of the priest, obviously most particular the celebration of the Eucharist which is the heart of his very being. Covered are even the priest as a monk and the charity of the priest seen on its highest level in the giving of himself in martyrdom.

The first and principle part with texts by the Holy Father, Cardinal Medina Estivez amongst others, describes not only what the priest does, but moreover who he is. This is followed by several chapters on the holiness and charity of the priest and after two inspiring texts on the Mass several examples are given such as St Bernard, Saint Jean-Marie Vianney, not to forget outstanding priests like St Maximillian Kolbe and Bl. Ivan Ziatyk, one who died at the hands of Nazism and the other during the insane years of Stalin in Ukraine. Before the conclusion the question is asked what is a vocation.

As an added interesting element, the author desired to keep Jesus contemporary and has asked himself how the Church should present Christ’s message in art today, a clear refusal of ‘Financial art’ which often is just a mockery of Christ and at the very best only shows His Crucifixion, but not His Resurrection. The author has found inspiring and prayerful alternatives from around the world of paintings done by living artists, who work as the Holy Father requests "in a continuity with the past, but not copying it." These new canvases find themselves in good company with painters such as Fra Angelico or Zurbaran. The Irish and British Saints and Martyrs have indeed not been forgotten and can be briefly seen on the clip on You Tube : Like the Church, a truly universal book.

With its stunning and beautiful layout, this book in six languages is a masterpiece in itself. With its challenging texts and profound iconography, it emphasises the mystic, sacramental and divine aspects of the priesthood, as well as the vital importance of the priest as a man of charity. A truly positive and encouraging gift to existing priests and seminarians during these tough times to be a priest. A tribute to the many existing holy priests, who by their being and their ministry embodies 'Other Christs', but who today are unsung heroes. It also forms an excellent gift to young people to deepen their Faith or to families, as it can be read as a kind of catechism.

The author is of Danish origin, with degrees in architecture and art (Oxford Polytechnic) and holds a master of science degree in management. He is a convert and was received into the Church at Westminster Cathedral in London. He now lives with his French wife and children in Normandy, as an organiser of international art exhibitions.

The book can be purchased directly from GRACEWING :
Alternatively, by sending a cheque of 40 pounds in the name of Gracewing (P&P free in Britain, please add £5 per copy for overseas postage) : GRACEWING, 2 Southern Avenue, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 OQF, England.
For all inquiries : Tel : 01568 616835 E-mail :

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