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Oratory celebrates papal visit

Friends of the London Oratory put on an exhibition at St Wilfred’s Hall to mark the papal visit

By on Wednesday, 6 October 2010

On the left is a portrait of Pope Gregory XVI from the exhibition and, right, is a detail of a plate showing standards carried in the Corpus Christi procession by various religious and lay folk in regional costume

On the left is a portrait of Pope Gregory XVI from the exhibition and, right, is a detail of a plate showing standards carried in the Corpus Christi procession by various religious and lay folk in regional costume

To mark the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain the Friends of the London Oratory, with the support of the Marco Besso foundation, put on a special exhibition in St Wilfred’s Hall.

On display were hand-coloured engravings by the Maltese artist Salvatore Busuttil illustrating a Corpus Christi procession in St Peter’s Square during the pontificate of Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846). These processions took place after the first Sunday of Pentecost as a form of devotion to the Eucharist, affirming the Real Presence. They became popular in the 13th century. The pictures also illustrate the costumes of the period and the splendour of the papal court before the Risorgimento.

Salvatore Busuttil (1798-1854) studied at the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Rome and painted the altarpiece of St Gregory Interceding with the Virgin for the Plague-stricken in the church at Kercem in Malta.
Gregory XVI issued the encyclical denouncing slavery In Supremo Apostolatus.