Madrid Youth Day Features 500-Year-Old Monstrance

9-Foot Gold Piece to Be Used for Eucharistic Adoration

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MADRID, Spain, JULY 19, 2010 ( The World Youth Day vigil with Benedict XVI, on Saturday night, Aug. 20, 2011, will culminate with Eucharistic adoration, in which a famous Spanish monstrance will be used.
The Arfe Monstrance, which is almost 500 years old and stands approximately nine feet tall, will be used next year in the main event of the youth day in Madrid.
This monstrance, covered with gold and silver, is used in the annual Corpus Christi procession through the streets of Toledo.

Enrique de Arfe worked on the monstrance from 1517 to 1524, at the request of the archbishop of Toledo at that time, Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros.

Francisco Portela, professor of art history at Madrid’s Complutense University, said that it is «the best example of Spanish silversmith craft of all times,» a press release from the youth day organizers reported.

He added that «the occasion for which it is being brought to Madrid is very worthwhile.»
Juan Sánchez, dean of the Cathedral of Toledo, where the masterpiece is usually housed, said, «We have gladly parted with the monstrance for the [youth day] celebration thinking of the very great end it will serve.»
Portela noted that these types of monstrances «had their monumental development both in cathedrals as well as in the processions in which they were used at the end of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th.» They were developed most in Flanders and Germany, where the Arfe family originated from.
The youth day organizers expressed the hope that this time of Eucharistic adoration in Cuatro Vientos will «allow multitudes of young people to contemplate and to admire a unique work of art in the world, used according to the purpose of its creators, and thus to rediscover the value of art in the liturgy.»

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