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Michelangelo’s Puzzle

In the chapel, Michelangelo found Julius standing alone in the Cardinal’s Square, looking up at Jonah. “You disobeyed me, Buonarroti,” Julius said in a voice that was steely but quiet. “You promised me St. Peter on that throne. What do you have to say for yourself?” Michelangelo feigned surprise. “I thought you, of all people, […]

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All Saints’ Day

It was a bright crisp November morning, and the Sistine was filled with light. As the choir sang from the loft to begin the first mass in the finished chapel, those in attendance were more silent than usual. No one looked for the pope, or the other dignitaries. No one looked at anyone else around […]

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The Prophet Jonah

On the throne above the altar, Michelangelo painted Jonah, a minor prophet from a two-page book in the Bible, whose story he would use to tell his own. Jonah was called by God to go to Nineveh and proclaim God’s judgment there. Jonah resisted the call, fearing what might happen. He ran away and boarded […]

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