“In 1498, Cardinal Jean Bilhères de Lagraulas, the French ambassador to the Papal court, commissioned his own funerary monument to be added to the chapel, from a 23-year-old Florentine sculptor named Michaelangelo Buonarroti. This is, of course, one of the most loved and admired sculptures in the entire world, the Pietà.” (New Liturgical Movement)When St. Peter’s was expanded dramatically in the 16th century (with all the drama that came with, thank you indulgence issues), St. Petronilla was moved over into her new resting place, at the opposite end of the aisle from the Pietà. For her new altar, a marvelous painting was commissioned, in which that guy in blue in the front is actually the artist’s tribute to Michaelangelo. Guercino [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]Fun fact: did you know that all the “paintings” in St. Peter’s are actually mosaics? They’re so incredibly detailed that they look like the paintings which originally hung there or were commissioned for the spaces, but each was then transferred into mosaic. In stone, the art is immortalized forever against the ravages of time, blazing sunlight, tourist flashbulbs, and candle and incense smoke. St. Petronilla is still beloved by French Catholics. On her feast day, May 31, they hang out in her chapel for a big Mass and celebration. With the feast of All Saints coming up, we should remember all the random holy people that have faded away into the mists of time. They’re saints in heaven, which means they have graces to share with us, if we only ask! And I can’t help but think these lesser-known saints have so many graces and so much love to share with us, their spiritual little siblings in Christ. Stay tuned for an Italian countess, a Swedish queen, and other gems of historical femininity on further appearances in the Nerd Corner!
Copyright 2018 Rebecca Willen
About the Author
Rebecca's love of the written word led to her current roles as associate editor of trade books at Our Sunday Visitor, and Daily Gospel Reflections editor at CatholicMom.com. She is a nerdy Catholic, book addict, Shakespeare fangirl, amateur baker, and musician. Follow @NerdCornerBooks on Instagram for book recommendations.