My mother, Juana Rosa Pita, recently returned from (yet another!) trip to Italy. She went to Pisa, a city beloved to her, and then Naples, where she visited the Museo Capella Sansevero. She described to me how she slowly circled this magnificent sculpture – carved in marble from a single block of stone – located in the Sansevero Chapel, drawing ever closer to it through the crowds of tourists. She was so impressed, in the most profound sense, with this work of art by Giuseppe Sanmartino that, after she spent some time in its presence, she turned, and walked out of the building. It wasn’t until hours later that it occurred to her she had not seen anything else in the museum!
The experience of the veiled Christ, “Covered from head to toe in a fine veil made of marble, a transparent veil clinging to all parts of His body carved of marble,” she told me this morning, the awe in her voice clearly distinguishable over the phone, was so intense, she completely forgot to visit the rest of the museum, as if, by comparison, there could be nothing else worth seeing there. Photos are a poor substitute, but for anyone who loves Christ, and may never visit Naples, they are better than nothing.