A Message from His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols
For The Relief Society for Poles Trust
The Opening of the online exhibition ‘Reflection of Mystery’
I am delighted to offer these few lines of welcome and introduction to this Exhibition of Art in memory of Pope St John Paul II. I regret, as do all, that this Exhibition is limited to an ‘online’ format only. Yet the wonders of technology enable us all to share in its beauty.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Karol Wojtyła on the 18th May. This anniversary is widely celebrated, most powerfully in Poland itself. This Exhibition enables us all to share in those celebrations.
The theme of the Exhibition, ‘Reflection of Mystery’, points to the heart of the great man himself. As well as being a man of remarkable energy and action, he was also deeply contemplative, immersed in the mystery of God. This is illustrated in so many aspects of his life and writings: a man of deep prayer and silent contemplation.
There can be no doubt that Pope John Paul II saw the mystery of God reflected in the work of artists. His letter to artists of 4th April 1999 made this so clear. The beauty which we behold around us is a fragment, a reflection, of its source: the beauty of the essence and nature of God. The world can be understood as full of these fragments, or reflections: in nature, in architecture, in music and, of course, in art.
With these thoughts, I look forward very much to going online and enjoying this Exhibition. I hope you do, too.
With my prayers, blessing and good wishes,
+ Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster