The Salesians of Don Bosco are holding a large exhibition of paintings on June 15 and 16, between 8.30am and 7pm, at St Patrick’s School, in Sliema.

Eighteenth-century paintings, works by artists like Annigoni, Guttuso, the son of Mussolini and others will be on sale.

Visiting the exhibition and purchasing paintings means helping the Salesians in their sterling work among the young, especially those most in need.

A noted Polish poet, Cyprian Morwid, wrote that “beauty is to enthuse us for work and work is to raise us up”.

Not all people are endowed to become artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art – a masterpiece.

Sadly, at the moment, in Malta, we are living a cultural crisis.

St Pope John Paul II, in his letter to artists – whom he defined as “image of God the Creator” – wrote: “Only beauty, art and culture can save the world.”

Referring to “beauty that saves”, he concluded that letter thus: “On the threshold of the third Millennium, my hope for all of you who are artists is that you will have an especially intense experience of creative inspiration. May the beauty which you pass on to generations still to come be such that it will stir them to wonder! Faced with the sacredness of life and of the human person, and before the marvels of the universe, wonder is the only appropriate attitude.”

The heart of man is like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and, in its depths, it has its pearls too- Vincent Van Gogh

Many people, nowadays, are deeply scrutinising their security, their teachings, which they have received in life. They abandon truth and the gift of faith, which are the most important values on which one tries to establish one’s existence: a precious gift from God.

Lately, Pope Francis, during the Angelus in St Peter’s Square, said: “Fear in our heart blocks the door of our peace. Fear blocks our heart. When the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles, He changed their life, filling them with courage.”

Another painting at the exhibition.Another painting at the exhibition.

During our journey, we try to find an answer to the daily struggles that harass our heart. God is always in search of a deep answer. We need to cherish the value of love and the power of faith.

“The heart of man is like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and, in its depths, it has its pearls too.” Thus wrote the great artist Vincent Van Gogh. Human beings face their own storms, struggling all their life to fill their heart with beauty and culture. Let us not forget that it is only beauty that saves the world.

Vatican Council II had noted that “beauty and truth fill the heart of human beings with the gift of joy and peace”. St Francis, after receiving the stigmata on the mountains of La Verna, had declared: “You are beauty.”

A painting is always well accepted by families and friends; it will remain forever remembered and embellish one’s house and, indeed, any abode.

Most of all, it contributes to the education of children and friends because, as John Paul II had put it: “Beauty is the mystery to transcendence. It is an invitation to savour life and to dream of the future. But, most of all, it stirs the hidden nostalgia, called God.”

For more information, please, do not hesitate to contact 7949 2555 or Fr Charles Cini is the organiser and coordinator of the exhibition.

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