In Poland, diocese of Gniezno…

Undignified: Novus Ordo Chapel Sign Depicts Precious Blood of Jesus as Blood Spatter

Image source: Facebook (fair use)

On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, the Novus Ordo parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Miescisko, Poland (diocese of Gniezno), held a dedication ceremony for its chapel of the Precious Blood. It was presided over by the local ordinary, ‘Archbishop’ Wojciech Polak, who is also the Primate of Poland.

A 12-minute video with highlights of the ceremony is available on YouTube.

The title image shows the entrance to the chapel. The red ink blotches that look like blood spatter are apparently supposed to depict the Most Precious Blood spilled by Our Savior. Here is a close-up detail view:

Inside the chapel, next to the crucifix in the sanctuary, there is a mural of a slain lamb, likewise with blood spatter:

Image source: YouTube screenshot (Parafia Mieścisko)

Interestingly enough, the blood spatter here is not random but is actually in the shape of the two-dimensional map of the world, with Australia on the very right and the Americas to the very left.

Of course it is true that our Blessed Lord is “the Lamb of God … who taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29); and in the Apocalypse He is described as “a Lamb standing as it were slain” (Apoc 5:6) when the heavens open. That is not the issue.

But contrast this with the way the Flemish painter Jan van Eyck (d. 1441) depicted this scene in his famous Ghent Altarpiece, also known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb:

Image source: Shutterstock (Pecold; cropped)

Obviously, not every church can have a master artist like van Eyck paint its artwork, but all Catholic artwork should still be dignified and edifying — and not look like someone vandalized the church exterior by hurling a can of paint at it.

In the June 30, 1894 issue of The Sacred Heart Review, p. 5, we read:

“In old pictures and engravings of the crucifixion,” says Father Clarke, S. J., “we often see angels holding a chalice to catch thedrops of the Precious Blood, as they fall from the sacred wounds in the hands and feet of Jesus. We are also told that the angels collected all the blood that our Lord had shed during his passion, so that not a drop might be lost. How they must have counted each drop as a treasure of infinite value. Pray that you may scorn all earthly things in comparison with the Precious Blood of Jesus.

“The angels not only treasure up the Precious Blood, but they pay to each drop supreme homage. So we kneel and adore the Precious Blood in the chalice upon the altar. In each drop Christ is present, whole and undivided. Make an act of faith in this wondrous miracle, and pray that you may adore with a reverent homage like that of the angels present at the crucifixion.

“When our lips are parched and dry in sickness or in the agony of death, may we remember thee, O Lord, and thy sacred thirst endured for us, and may we offer up our sufferings in union with thy unspeakable and agonizing thirst upon the cross.”

These beautiful and holy sentiments, it is clear, are not communicated by the undignified blood spatter next to the entry of the Chapel of the Precious Blood of Jesus in Miescisko.

Most Precious Blood of Jesus, save us!

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