|Angel with the Sudarium, Ponte Sant'Angelo, Rome, Italy © Doug Hickok|
From yesterday's natural angel we cross the ocean to a man made angel (young in comparison, a mere 342 years old). Designed by the great Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and sculpted by Cosimo Fancelli in 1669, this stone angel is one of ten on the ancient Roman bridge that spans the Tiber River between Castel Sant'Angelo and the city's historic center. Each angel holds an instrument from the Passion. This one displays the Veil of Veronica, often called the Sudarium, which is said to have the likeness of the face of Jesus imprinted on it from when Veronica wiped the sweat off Christ's face during his struggle toward Calvary. The genius of Bernini can be seen in the complex textures and curving shapes of an angel transformed from stone to art.