“My son has an assignment …”

From a helpful reader in the NYC area whom I have met with several times:

Had to share this with you. You are part of the reason these things happen, your witness to my witness to my sons. As you say, brick by brick; but also one person at a time.

My son has an assignment and part of it asks to describe and provide a picture if his hero. He chooses St Michael the ArchAngel. I also love that among the images he recognized the new statue in the Vatican gardens from the google search for images and chose to use that one!

He wrote: St Michael defends me in battles in faith. He is my safety against the wickedness of the devil.

My work for the day is done. Couldn’t be more proud.

Wow!  Good parenting and grace!  Grace and elbow grease.


It takes a blog to raise a child?

No, that might be going a little too far.

Fr. Z kudos to the spring-off.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Supertradmum says:

    Sigh, happy days when my son use to teach me, and I thought I was teaching him….thanks for sharing.

  2. DavidJ says:

    Simply put, that is awesome!

  3. Michelle F says:

    I was happy when the Vatican unveiled the new St. Michael statue. So much of what passes for art in parishes these days is wretched.

    I admit that I was startled by St. Michael’s lack of clothing in this work, but I looked at some large, high-resolution photographs of the statue online. I see that St. Michael’s physique and skin resembles that of classical statuary while Satan’s resembles much of what I’ve seen in Modern Art: rough-hewn and scaly. For a few years now I have thought that Modern Art, particularly when it appears in Churches, is a Satan-inspired perversion of the human form.

    I don’t know what the original artist’s intention was, but for me as an artist, this statue in the Vatican garden portrays the Good, the True, and the Beautiful (the things made by God) overcoming the Evil, the False, and the Ugly (the things made by Man inspired by Satan).

    I am glad that the reader’s son found and used the picture of this statue; I hope more people get to see it since it is (to me) such a thought-provoking representation. Thanks for sharing this with us, Fr. Z!

  4. wecahill says:

    That’s a wonderful story! I also live in NYC, so I’m curious as to the teacher’s response. You don’t say if the child is in a Catholic school, public school, or is home schooled. If he is in a public school, or even a Catholic school, I think the teacher’s reaction would be interesting.

    Michelle F. – You’re right on the money. Read about the avante-garde artist Laurencic, who built torture cells filled with modern art, and based on surrealist ideas during the Spanish Civil War. C.S. Lewis also has an interesting passage about psychological torture using modern art, in That Hideous Strength.

  5. mamamagistra says:

    Besides the near-nudity, the very effeminate way this rendition of the archangel is standing was pointed out in Les Femmes blog: “St. Michael the Archangel Can You Please Defend Us from the Vatican Sculpture?” Thought-provoking indeed.

  6. Sonshine135 says:

    Interestingly enough, I sent my two youngest to a Catholic Elementary School where they learned the Prayers After Mass. These include the Prayer to St. Michael. My youngest knows the prayer by heart, and I often ask her if we can pray it together. Thanks for the wonderful story Fr. Z.

  7. lucy says:

    We homeschool our five children ages 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16. I may not be the world’s best mom, but I put the emphasis on religion and Mass. They are good kids whom I doubt will leave the Church. Even though I’m not great at making sure everything is done every day and my children are behind in their work, three so far have chosen to be confirmed and have owned their faith. I asked them each to really think about whether or not they accept our faith as their own; I don’t want them getting confirmed without their solid consent. Thanks be to God for you, Fr. Z., and for all the other incredible priests in our lives who teach the true faith and live their religious lives in complete joy for my children to see. My oldest daughter is discerning cloistered religious life, and two of my sons have said they are discerning for the priesthood. This is all due to the particularly great role models we’ve made sure to include in our lives.

  8. Michelle F says:

    wecahill and mamamagistra,

    Thanks for the tips!

    wecahill: I hadn’t heard of Laurencic. I will look for him, and for the piece by C.S. Lewis.

    mamamagistra: I checked your link, and I hadn’t seen the statue photographed from that particular angle before. Yes, St. Michael looks a little feminine from that angle, but I also noticed that he isn’t clenching his spear tightly. In fact, he’s barely holding it. The artist may be trying to show that St. Michael uses God’s strength instead of his own by placing the spear loosely in his hand, and by portraying him as slightly effeminate (as some might see it).

  9. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    There are things to like, here, in Giuseppe Antonio Lomuscio’s sculpture-group – for instance, imagining that Lucifer would have gone on looking like St. Michael had he not sinned – realizing that all the deformity, and parodying of the the unfallen form (the wings, for example), are the effect and expression of sin.

    Then again, the more I see of his work(s), the uneasier I get.

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