WATCH: How Catholic Art Catechized Generations

Watch “Catholic Art and the Eucharist,” the presentation Elizabeth Lev gave at the Benedictine College Symposium on Transforming Culture on March 25, 2023. The presentation above skips the introduction and goes straight into her slides sharing beautiful Eucharistic art.

Author and essayist Elizabeth Lev came to Kansas from Rome to share a message about how beauty can save the world, even when it comes to the crisis of Eucharistic belief.

“Artists led the Church out of a Eucharistic crisis before,” said the author  who teaches at the Angelicum in Rome.

And artists led us out of a worse Eucharistic crisis, too: The Protestant Reformation divided the Church along Eucharistic lines, along with other issues, she said. The Council of Trent led the Catechetics of the counter-reformation, but the new message found its biggest successes in the arts.

Church leaders such as St. Charles Borromeo and Pope Sixtus V brought a new spirit of imaginative catechesis to the project through architecture and art. “Art and the saints are the greatest apologetic for our faith,” Lev said, and illustrated the point with examples such as the papal chapel at St. Maria Maggiore and Caravaggio’s Entombment of Christ altarpiece painting.


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Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.

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