The Antwerp jesuit church, a revelation.
At the back of the church, both at the Northern and the Southern side, there is a side door that looks like a compartment of the wainscoting. They give access to one of both stair towers by which the upper floor and the attic can be reached. Both staircases also have doors that open straight on to the church square, because they were mainly destined for the members of the Marian congregations and the pupils of the Sunday classes. As a matter of fact, it was for them that the two galleries were conceived as didactic chapels. It is not a coincidence that both altars have been devoted to the patron saints of youth: Aloysius Gonzaga (in the Northern gallery) and Stanislas Kostka (in the Southern gallery). Because of the great number of penitents 6 supplementary confessionals were placed on these galleries.
After the 1718 fire the didactic function remained, which shows from the oval medallions (120 cm / 47 inches high) of the oak wainscoting (ca. 1720). In the cycle on the South wall a few scenes from Jesus’ public life have been represented and on the North wall scenes from the passion. On the Western wall Christian charity, more particularly the works of mercy, have been depicted. Often these reliefs are attributed to Jan Pieter I van Baurscheit and Michiel Van der Voort, but according to contemporary sources they were cut by anonymous Jesuit artists from the profess house.
The Works of Mercy
On the gallery, underneath the upper rood loft the Works of Mercy (Mth. 25:31-46) have been depicted by means of Biblical stories. Near the two school chapels that were intended to stimulate the youngsters to a humanitarian attitude to life.
|The stories of the prophet Elisha and those of his master Elijah are sometimes quite similar. Therefore, in some scenes it is often impossible to decide who of these two is concerned. Here we see a woman offering food to the man of God. Afterwards the prophet resurrected her son. The scene is situated in a rich interior and this is what makes us conclude this is not about the poor widow of Sarepta, whom Elijah asked for a loaf of bread, but about the “wealthy Shunamite woman”, who herself “urged him [Elisha] to dine with her. Afterward, whenever he passed by, he used to stop there to dine” (2 Kings 4:8). As a reward Elisha foretold that her desire to have children would be fulfilled despite her husband’s old age (vv. 13-17). When the little boy died, Elisha brought him back to life (vv. 18-37). Here the little boy is running playfully after his mother.
Abraham sends his oldest servant on a journey to find a wife for his son Isaac. The servant sets off with ten camels to Abraham’s country of origin. At a well a nice young girl with a jug on her shoulder comes to draw water from the well and gives drink to both the man and the camels. From this friendly sign, he can see that this Rebecca is the eligible wife for Isaac, sent by God (Gen. 24:1-27).
The good, old Priest who is a member of a religious order. dresses his scruffy son, who has just come back, with a beautiful robe (Lc. 15:11-32).
Abraham welcomes God Himself in the shape of three men (later the image of The concept that there is one God who shows himself in threefold form: Father, Son (Jesus of Nazareth) and the Holy Spirit.). He has their feet washed, bread baked and a calf slaughtered, and he stays next to them until they are satisfied (Gen. 18:1-15).
Abraham has taken off his hat in greeting and invites them to come inside. The pilgrims are dressed in pelerines and have long traveller’s staffs in their hands. Because they also have large wings they can be identified as angels mediating God’s presence.
Although first he had announced to the mortally ill king Hezekiah of Judah that he would die soon, the prophet Isaiah promised that he would live another fifteen years (Is. 38:1-8.21-22). It is hard to think of a more beautiful present.
In a rich interior, the ill king is lying in bed. Next to him on a table there is a crown, a sceptre, a dish and a pitcher. Isaiah and two other men pay him a visit. As a sign of God’s promise the shadow on the sundial goes back ten degrees. Everybody looks up frightened.
King Darius proclaimed a law to venerate no other god than the king. When pious Daniel ignored this ban, he was condemned to be thrown into the lion’s den, to king Darius’ great sorrow. Daniel spent the night amidst the lions, which remained extremely calm.
In the morning king Darius looks anxiously into the (brick) pit and is happy to find Daniel still alive. Two executioner’s servants haul Daniel up (Dan. 6:17-25). An amusing detail: the lions keep so quiet that at Daniel’s liberation they allow him to lean on their heads with his feet.
In the middle of a big prison courtyard with high walls, round barred windows and a gate with open portcullis, the beheaded body of This is a title that the Church bestows on a deceased person who has lived a particularly righteous and faithful life. In the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church, saints may be venerated (not worshipped). Several saints are also martyrs. John the Baptist is carried by three sad men. Three passers-by are ready with spades and shovels. Beneath the corpse a small lamb holding a banner with a cross is watching: an allusion to Jesus, whom John indicated as the ‘Lamb of God’. On the left, we can see a small dog. (Mth. 14:3-12; Mc 6:17-29; Lc. 3:19-20).
In the 18th century the spaces between the windows of both galleries were decorated with no less than 16 paintings by A male religious who is not a priest. Daniel Seghers S.J. In the centre of each of these colourful flowers still lifes there is a small image in colour or grisaille by Cornelis Schut. Three of them were taken to Vienna, the other ones were sold. In 1839, they were replaced by the 14 stations of the cross, painted by E. Dujardin and H.E. Janssens. In the niches above there are busts in pseudo-antique style, most of which represent the apostles.
Saint Hubert’s The altar is the central piece of furniture used in the Eucharist. Originally, an altar used to be a sacrificial table. This fits in with the theological view that Jesus sacrificed himself, through his death on the cross, to redeem mankind, as symbolically depicted in the painting “The Adoration of the Lamb” by the Van Eyck brothers. In modern times the altar is often described as “the table of the Lord”. Here the altar refers to the table at which Jesus and his disciples were seated at the institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper. Just as Jesus and his disciples did then, the priest and the faithful gather around this table with bread and wine. of the hunters
In 1798, during the French Rule, the guilds were abolished. This was also the case for Saint Hubert’s guild of the hunters, who had had their own altar in Our Lady’s Church (later The main church of a diocese, where the bishop’s seat is.) since the 16th century. The last Priest – usually a parish priest himself – who coordinates the work of several neighbouring parishes [a deanery]. of this guild became chairman of Saint Charles’ church committee and bequeathed the guild’s possessions to this church. Still it lasted until 1954 before the guild revived. In 1961 the painting of Saint Hubert was placed on the altar of the Northern gallery. The annual guild’s The liturgical celebration in which the Eucharist is central. It consists of two main parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The main parts of the Liturgy of the Word are the prayers for mercy, the Bible readings, and the homily. The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the offertory, whereby bread and wine are placed on the altar. This is followed by the Eucharistic Prayer, during which the praise of God is sung, and the consecration takes place. Fixed elements are also the praying of the Our Father and a wish for peace, and so one can symbolically sit down at the table with Jesus during Communion. Mass ends with a mission (the Latin missa, from which ‘Mass’ has been derived): the instruction to go out into the world in the same spirit., during which game is sacrificed for the benefit of needy parishioners, takes place on the first Tuesday after 2nd October (Saint Hubert’s feast day is 3rd October). At this occasion, the magnificent Container for relics. Often this is a philatory: a decorated glass holder on a pedestal, in which a relic can be placed for veneration. It is important to know that relics cannot be worshipped, only venerated. horn (16th century) is presented to the believers for veneration. Touching or kissing the reliquary is a tangible sign to express one’s confidence in God’s assistance. Afterwards there is a blessing of dogs in the church square.