Pentecost: the descent of the Holy Spirit

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

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The Ascension

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Giotto, The Ascension, 1304-06.

After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’Read More »

Zacchaeus

The bas-relief tablet is among the finest examples of late Roman ivories. It is a justly famous piece because it is one of the first ivory diptychs with religious content and one of the earliest known representations of the Holy Sepulchre, which appears below the images of two Evangelists: Luke, symbolised by a bull, and Mathew, by an angel. In the scene below, the women, united in mourning for the dead Saviour, encounter a character, who represents an angel or the risen Christ. The presence of only two evangelists suggests the existence of a second piece, now lost.

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