Pope Francis: The Incarnation is the ‘heart and inspiration’ of Dante’s Divine Comedy

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Vatican Metropolis, Mar 25, 2021 / 10:00 am (CNA).- In a letter for the 700th anniversary of the demise of Dante Alighieri, Pope Francis stated that the thriller of Christ’s Incarnation is the “true heart and inspiration” of Dante’s nice poetic work, the Divine Comedy.

“The mystery of the Incarnation, which we have fun as we speak, is the true coronary heart and inspiration of the whole poem,” Pope Francis stated, writing on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation.

The Divine Comedy “effected what the Fathers of the Church call our ‘divinization,’ the admirabile commercium, the prodigious trade whereby God enters our historical past by turning into flesh, and humanity, in its flesh, is enabled to enter the realm of the divine, symbolized by the rose of the blessed,” he stated.

Pope Francis issued the& apostolic letter& Candor Lucis aeternae& on the event of “Dantedì,” the Italian identify for Dante Day.

Dante Day is a part of a& year-long& celebration of the good Italian poet and philosopher, who died in 1321.

Pope Francis stated that& together with his letter& he needed to hitch previous popes “who honored and extolled the poet Dante, notably on the anniversaries of his delivery or dying, and to propose him anew for the consideration of the Church, the good physique of the trustworthy, literary students, theologians and artists.”

March 25 is the date many scholars consider marked the start of Dante’s journey in the Divine Comedy.

“On this anniversary,”& Francis stated, “the voice of the Church can hardly be absent from the universal commemoration of the man and poet Dante Alighieri. Higher than most, Dante knew tips on how to categorical with poetic magnificence the depth of the mystery of God and love.”

“His poem, one of many highest expressions of human genius, was the fruit of a brand new and deeper inspiration, to which the poet referred in calling it: ‘the Poem Sacred / To which both heaven and earth have set their hand’ (Par. XXV, 1-2),” he continued.

The pope stated that “in Dante we will virtually glimpse a forerunner of our multimedia culture, during which phrase and picture, image and sound, poetry and dance converge to convey a single message.”

“But the work of the supreme poet additionally raises provocative questions for our own occasions. What can he communicate to us this present day? Does he nonetheless have anything to say to us or supply us? Is his message related or useful to us? Can it nonetheless challenge us?” Francis asked.

In response to the pope, Dante invitations us to be his companions on the journey: “If Dante tells his story admirably, utilizing the language of the individuals yet elevating it to a universal language, it is as a result of he has an necessary message to convey, one meant to touch our hearts and minds, to rework and change us even now, on this present life.”

“A message that can and will make us recognize absolutely who we are and the which means of our day by day struggles to realize happiness, achievement and our ultimate finish, our true homeland,” he wrote, “where we can be in full communion with God, infinite and everlasting Love.”

“Dante was a man of his time, with sensibilities totally different from ours in sure areas, but his humanism stays well timed and relevant, a positive reference point for what we hope to accomplish in our personal day.”

In the first a part of his letter, Pope Francis provides an summary of the statements that popes of the last century have made about Dante, comparable to Benedict XV’s& encyclical& In praeclara summorum, revealed for the 600th anniversary of the poet’s dying, and St. Paul VI’s& apostolic letter& Altissimi cantus.

Pope Francis quoted from& Altissimi cantus: “There may be some who ask why the Catholic Church, by the desire of its visible Head, is so involved to cultivate the reminiscence and rejoice the glory of the Florentine poet. Our response is straightforward: by particular right, Dante is ours! Ours, by which we imply to say, of the Catholic religion, for he radiated love for Christ; ours, as a result of he liked the Church deeply and sang her glories; and ours too, because he acknowledged and commemorated in the Roman Pontiff the Vicar of Christ.”

He famous that St. John Paul II typically referenced Dante in his speeches, and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI incessantly drew points for reflection and meditation from his poetry.

Pope Francis also used an image from Dante’s Paradiso in his first encyclical,& Lumen fidei, and marked the 750th anniversary of the poet’s start with a& message& in 2015.

Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1262. He married Gemma Donati, with whom he had four youngsters. Political unrest and disputes in Florence led to the poet’s perpetual exile from his beloved metropolis in 1302.

In 1315, he was sentenced to demise together with his adolescent youngsters. His ultimate place of exile was Ravenna, where he died on September 13-14, 1321.

“Reviewing the occasions of his life above all in the mild of faith, Dante discovered his personal vocation and mission. From this, paradoxically, he emerged not an apparent failure, a sinner, disillusioned and demoralized, but a prophet of hope,” Francis stated.

He explained that whilst Dante denounced corruption in elements of the Church, he also advocated renewal, imploring God’s windfall to convey this about.

Dante reminded his readers that freedom is just not an end in& itself, but “a situation for rising continuously larger,” the pope stated. “His journey via the three kingdoms vividly illustrates this ascent, which finally reaches heaven and the experience of utter bliss.”

In accordance with Pope Francis, Dante’s work additionally incorporates a “splendid treatise of Mariology.”

He stated: “With chic lyricism, notably within the prayer of St. Bernard, the poet synthesizes theology’s reflection on the figure of Mary and her participation in the mystery of God: ‘Thou Virgin Mother, daughter of thy Son, / Humble and high past all different creature, / The limit fastened of the eternal counsel, / Thou artwork the one who such nobility / To human nature gave, that its Creator / Didn't disdain to make himself its creature’ (Par. XXXIII, 1-6).”

The pope famous the necessary presence of girls within the Divine Comedy, including the Virgin Mary, Beatrice, and St. Lucy. He& additionally highlighted Dante’s inclusion of St. Francis of Assisi, who is portrayed in Canto XI of the Paradiso, the sphere of the clever.

“St. Francis and Dante had a lot in widespread,” he stated. “Francis, together with his followers, left the cloister and went out among the many individuals, in small cities and the streets of the cities, preaching to them and visiting their houses. Dante made the choice, uncommon for that age, to compose his nice poem on the afterlife in the vernacular, and to populate his story with characters both well-known and obscure, yet equal in dignity to the rulers of this world.”

He steered that& another widespread function of the two was their sensitivity to the great thing about creation as the reflection of its Creator.

“We will hardly fail to listen to in Dante’s paraphrase of the Our Father an echo of St. Francis’s Canticle of the Solar: ‘Praised be thy identify and thine omnipotence / By each creature…’ (Purg. XI, Four-5),” he famous.

“Dante,” he concluded, “may help us to advance with serenity and courage on the pilgrimage of life and religion that each of us known as to make, till our hearts discover true peace and true pleasure, until we arrive on the final objective of all humanity: ‘The Love which strikes the sun and the other stars’ (Par. XXXIII, 145).”

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