Many Ways to God; Path of Beauty Is One of Them

Russian Center in Rome Presenting “Epiphany”

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ROME, FEB. 3, 2010 ( According to the president of the Russia Ecumenical Center, there are many ways that lead to God, but the path of beauty is a special one.
 The center aims to illustrate that “path of beauty” in an eight-conference series on the “Epiphany of Beauty.”

The series is being held in Rome every Thursday of this month and next, starting this week.

“It is exactly 33 years that the Russia Ecumenical Center has been spreading in so many ways knowledge of the riches and beauty of the Christian East,” the director, Father Sergio Mercanzin, explained. “This year it is doing so with a series of eight meetings.
“Five authoritative scholars and three of the best masters of iconography present in Italy will speak about the liturgy, symbols, hymns and icons.”

Topics will include Holy Week in the East, the Shroud of Turin and its relationship to icons, gilding in iconography, the symbols and colors of icons, and others.

“To give a title to such a rich and varied series I was inspired to borrow an expression of Benedict XVI: ‘epiphany of beauty,’ an expression pronounced in his address to artists last Nov. 21,” Father Mercanzin told ZENIT. “Benedict XVI in turn borrowed from [Pope] John Paul II.”

The expression is found in John Paul II’s letter to artists for the Holy Year of 2000.
“The ways that lead to God are infinite; a special one is the ‘via pulchritudinis,'” Father Mercanzin said. “It is this one that the Russia Ecumenical Center proposes in these eight meetings.”

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