A moment of silence

Of all the various sights of Rome, (and we did the full tourist program there with another homeschooling family), my favorite was this haunting image of the triumph of Christianity on the ceiling of the Sala di Constantino.  There are better paintings, and justly more famous ones, in the four Stanze di Raffaello, but there are none more powerful or poignant.

It would be hard to exaggerate the effect of the stark sepia simplicity of the image of the cross standing over the shattered pagan statue in comparison with the riot of colors and activity in the other paintings in the room, including The Vision of the Cross, The Battle of Milvian Bridge, The Donation of Constantine, and The Baptism of Constantine, an effect that is only heightened by the hordes of people shuffling through the Palace like vertical sardines. 

To look up from the press of that murmuring mass humanity and be viscerally reminded of the victory of the Cross, temporal as well as eternal, was both moving and inspiring.  Most of the messages encoded in the paintings are lost on modern Man, but this one is unmistakable.