Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola
Founder of the Jesuits, Society of Jesus.
In today's mass homily, we were asked to recall again the readings from last Sunday and yesterday regarding the pearl of great price and to think about how St Ignatius (whose feast day it is), worked in his life to attain that one great pearl.
“During his long weeks of convalescence, Ignatius asked for some romantic novels to read. Instead he was given two other books that he had little taste for: the Life of Christ, and The Lives of the Saints. For the want of something else to do, he began to read these books. Gradually, he began to see the world in its true perspective. Realizing that he had found the pearl of great price he was willing to sell all to buy it. He resolved to do two things when he got up from his sick bed: he would do penance for his sins and transfer his allegiance from the King of Spain to the King of Kings.” link.
À Mon Seul Désir, My Only Desire
A particularly beautiful set of tapestries called The Lady and the Unicorn are featured centerpieces at the Cluny Museum in Paris. A total of six tapestries focus on the allegory of the five senses and a sixth sense- that of the heart.Shown above is a framed print of tapestry number six.
These were produced at the end of the 15th century; at a time when zealous offspring of noble birth often (but not always) set aside family titles and rights in order to pursue a religious vocation.
St Ignatius Loyola, born in 1491 and from a family of Spanish minor nobility, certainly fit this pedigree mold. His notable "surrender" (and that of others less known), became a well spring of grace for the Catholic Church.
In the sixth tapestry the lady stands before the entrance to a tent with the title
À Mon Seul Désir:
She has removed her elegant necklace which appears to be the same one that she is shown wearing in the "taste" tapestry (#4). But now, she is thoughtfully placing it into a chest as if to renounce it for something more, perhaps alluding to the biblical passage, "Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it." 
If I were to suggest one interpretation for The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, it would be that the "Lady" depicted is slowly "emptying her suitcase" of worldly treasures in favor of the one great pearl and only desire.
The museum is careful not to "read" too much into any one interpretation concerning their meaning and symbolism because, frankly, much was lost to history and my guess might be as good as any.
The below description of The Lady and the Unicorn is one of several offered in the large viewing gallery. A thorough explanation is too long to work out here. Any website perusal will bring up all sorts of facts and myths.
About the stained glass windows Gesu
Hundreds of craftsmen were employed by Munich Glass to create monumental windows during the late 19Cth and early 20th century, resulting in a variety of window interpretations. Over the years, the company had its list of "star" performers as well as secondary artisans.
The Gesu windows (listed below) and the "sentimental style" :
"The windows in the Upper Church of Gesu were made at the Royal Bavarian Art Institute in Munich, Germany under the supervision of the noted German artist Franz Xavier Zettler in the first decades of the twentieth century. They manifest the “Munich Style.” In this style, religious scenes are painted on larger sheets of glass and then fused to the glass through firing in intense heat. This allows for a blending of colors not attainable by the old medieval style, in which any change of color required a separate piece of colored glass which had to be cut to size and fitted with its own leaded framework.
In windows of the Munich Style the leaded seams do not interrupt or intrude upon the scene, but are camouflaged by the design in a way that made them hardly noticeable. This allows for extremely detailed depictions of scenes. The Style was heavily influenced by the emotion and sentimentality of the 19th century European Romantic style of painting and the detail and ornateness of the German Baroque.
The Munich Style was later adapted and modified by the great American designer, Louis Comfort Tiffany. While the latter’s name may be more known to people today, in their own era it was apparent who was the master and who was the student: at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, a Zettler window won top prize over a Tiffany!"
More on Munich style
ABOUT THAT UNICORN
Because of multiple confusions surrounding its symbolism, the Council of Trent, in 1563, discontinued the use of the the unicorn as an allusion to Christ.
"The unicorn, according to myth, was a small animal, similar in size to a kid, but surprisingly fierce and swift with a very sharp, single horn in the center of its forehead like the rhinoceros. Supposedly no hunter could capture the animal by force, but it could be taken by means of tricking with bait, that of a pure virgin. The unicorn, sensing the purity of the maiden would run to her, lay its head in her lap, and fall asleep. Thus it was captured. For obvious reasons the mythic unicorn was early accepted as the symbol of purity in general and of feminine chastity in particular, an allegory of the Annunciation and the Incarnation of Christ, born of a Virgin. Thus, the unicorn is usually an attribute of the Virgin Mary, but also of St. Justina of Padua and of St. Justina of Antioch, who retained their purity under great temptation.
The unicorn is mentioned many times in Scripture, in truth the rhinoceros, for this term was not yet coined. One instance is Psalm 91:11: 'But my horn shall be exalted like the unicorn .'" link
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