restricted access The Host
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The History of the Church 30 The Host As the central sacrament of Christianity, the Eucharist is naturally a classic theme widely depicted in religious iconography. Besides countless representations of the Last Supper—the blessing of the bread and wine on the occasion of Christ’s last meal—particular stories of eminent figures receiving Communion have furnished artists with a multitude of subjects: Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Lucy, Saint Jerome, Mary Magdalene, Bonaventure, Catherine of Siena, and so on. The elevation of the host at Mass and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament displayed in its monstrance have also been frequently represented . No less popular until the arrival of photography was a celebrated family theme: the First Communion of a child. This was always the occasion for a portrait of the first communicant, often surrounded by relatives. Accordingly, the Victor Hugo Museum has on display a painting of the First Communion of Leopoldine, the poet’s daughter. Francisco Goya (1746–1838) The Last Communion of Saint Joseph Calasanz Escuelas Pías de San Antón, Madrid ...