To the one from whom much was despoiled and plundered, the gaze of God goes most directly, and the holiest help He gives. ~Marie Hosdil~

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Skull Cathedral

The Skull Cathedral, Otranto, Italy. On August 12, 800 citizens were taken to the hill of Minerva, now called the Hill of the Martyrs, and beheaded by the Ottoman Conqueror's because they refused to renounce their Catholic faith. Their remains were taken to the cathedral and the skulls preserved in the altar piece as a prominent reminder of these 800 martyrs. The Madonna in front of the skulls.

The year was 1480 and the fateful day July 28 when a fleet of 70 to 200 Ottoman ships reached the city of Otranto, then part of the Kingdom of Naples. It was the beginning of the Ottoman wars (1453-1683) in Europe and invader Mohammed II had conquered Constantinople just 28 years earlier. The garrison and the citizens took cover in the Castle of Otranto but as it had no cannons for defense, it was soon conquered and the garrison killed.
 — with Joseph Ruo Se Tsang.

My well intentioned, but misguided brother made fun of this Church on Twitter recently.  It was a perfect example to me of how differently Catholics and those of the modern pseudo-Christianity look at the very same thing.  I see hundreds of remains of people who stood the final test of martyrdom.  I see mothers and fathers and children and grandparents who loved one another and wanted to protect one another, but who sacrificed even their togetherness for their Catholic faith.  They paid the ultimate price and in so doing will stand before Christ and all the Saints as Holy Martyrs.  My brother's followers see "creepy."  My heart aches over what they are too blind to see.  Someday these people, whose remains are entombed in the altar of this Church, will stand in judgement of the angels.  Take a good look.  You will see them again someday.


Leslie Klinger said...

the first time I saw this place, I cried. Creepy? Hardly. It is a testamony to the power of FAITH.

Ajay Paul Karippeli said...