Suggested Reading


Homily of Pope Paul VI to Artists in the Sistine Chapel 7 May 1964

First available english translation of this document online. Translation by Andrew Kelly. Click to download:           WORD        PDF


Pope Francis on the Way of Beauty and Sacred Art

Pope Francis’s exhortation on the church’s primary mission of evangeliztion in the modern world includes this paragraph addressed to artists.  Click to read or download –  Pope Francis Evangelii Gaudium

Pope Benedict XVI address to artists 21 November 2009

Pope Benedict, following  in the footsteps of Paul VI, met with artists from around the world in the Sistine Chapel urging them to inject spirituality into their work.  Click to read or download – Pope Benedict XVI address to artists


Letter of Pope John Paul II to artists  4 April 1999

Open letter to artists  Easter Sunday 1999 on the vocation of the artist to create beauty in the service of God and humanity. Click to read or download – Letter of Pope John Paul II to artists


Pope Paul VI instruction to artists 23 May 1971

Taken from the document “Communio et Progressio”, Pastoral Instruction on the means of Social Communication (55, 56)  Click to read or download – Instruction to artists Paul VI


Pope Paul VI address to artists 8 Dec 1965

Paul VI addresses artists at the closing of the 2nd Vatican Ecumenical Council. Click to read or download – Pope Paul VI address to artists


Dr Rowan Williams Lecture ‘Icons and the Practice of Prayer’ Royal Academy of Arts 16 January 2009


 A Chorus of Praise: Authentic Beauty in Sacred Art  – Uwe Michael Lang

At a recent occasion, Pope Benedict XVI has called artists “custodians of beauty,”  as his predecessors Paul VI and Blessed John Paul II had done before him. This title is significant, not least because in the Catholic tradition beauty is understood as a philosophical and ultimately theological category  – Evangelii Gaudium


The Beauty of Holiness: Sacred Art and the New Evangelization – Jem Sullivan

Click to read or download – New-Evangelization

The Meaning of Icons, Leonid Ouspensky and Vladimir Lossky, SVS Press, 1982


The Spirit of the Liturgy, Pope Benedict XVI, Ignatius Press, 2000


The Image of Christ, Gabriele Finaldi, National Gallery London, 2000


The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri J.M. Nouwen, Image Books, 1994


An Artist and the Pope Curtis Bill Pepper, C. Davies, 1969


The Stripping of the Altars Eamon Duffy, Yale University Press, 1992


Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting Aiden Hart, Gracewing, 2011


 The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron, Pan Books, 1995



 Ushpizin  Dir. Gidi Dar, Lionsgate, 2004