Tag Archives: satire

Via pulchritudinis, non via satirae

There’s a famous anecdote about the emissaries of Vladimir the Great who were sent out to neighboring states to find some religion that might unify the sundry peoples under Vladimir’s rule. After rejecting several options (Judaism, Isalm, Germanic Catholicism) they came to the Hagia Sofia in Constantinople, about which they reported later: “We knew not whether we were in Heaven or on Earth… We only know that God dwells there among the people, and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations.” And thus, as the story would have it, beauty brought the kingdom of the Rus into the Eastern Orthodox orbit. A thousand years later, Pope Benedict XVI spent much of his career emphasizing the privileged place of the Way of Beauty—the Via Pulchritudinis—as the most attracting mode of evangelizing an increasing secular world.

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