Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Three Crosier Designs by the Rev. Felix Granda

In the recent July 2010 Newsletter from Granda Liturgical Arts, they share three historical crosier designs, designed by the founder of Talleres de Arte Granda, Rev. Felix Granda, in 1891.

They comment: "These designs were published in the workshops' first catalogue in 1911, accompanied by Father Granda's own notes on the designs, which are translated below each photograph."

Here they are.

Crosier of the Wounded Shepherd

The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep.

The shepherd snatches his sheep from the mouth of the wolf, which tears at the shepherd's side. It is a beautiful allegory of the Bishop who defends his flock at the cost of his own life.

Around the volute, fantastic animals symbolize the sins and vices against which the faithful must struggle. Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves.

Crosier of the Church

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Within the volute of the crosier, a shepherd tears a sheepskin off of a wolf. The beast triest to tear the breast of a woman who stands at the helm of a ship. The figure on the ship's prow is a rooster's head (1), which houses an episcopal crest. Around the sides is written the motto: Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which recalls the words of St. John to the Angel of the Church of Sardis.

His Holiness Pope Pius X, in his encyclical Editae Saepe of 26 May 1910, recalls those words of St. Charles Borromeo to the Bishops: The primary and most important duty of pastors is to guard everything pertaining to the integral and inviolate maintenance of the Catholic Faith, the faith which the Holy Roman Church professes and teaches, without which it is impossible to please God. And later: How very diligent the Bishops must be!

Crosier of the Good Shepherd

I am the Good Shepherd.

A shepherd kneels to pick up a sheep, which he holds close to his chest. The figure is surrounded by an olive branch, and the crosier terminates in a serpent's head. This serpent's head was customary on ancient crosiers, examples of which can be seen in Cluny and Mondoñedo.

This is an allusion to the words of Christ: Be ye therefore wise as serpents. Bishops must shine with this splendor of this virtue, according to St. Paul's Epistle to Timothy: It behoveth therefore a bishop to be... prudent.

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