The Many Faces of Jesus

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Nazareno de San Pablo (Caracas, Venezuela)

Some people get frantic or finicky about particular images of Our Lord Jesus Christ, especially those depicting Him apparently as an Anglo-Saxon or other type of European with blonde hair and blue eyes for example.  Who cares?!  It’s just an image, an artistic expression of one’s devotion to the Lord.  If you want to depict the Lord with dark skin, olive skin, or whatever else there is, then by all means.  The color of Jesus’ skin, hair and eyes does not matter.  The spirituality that these images stir in the soul matters.Throughout the ages, Christ has been drawn in different ways.  In some places, Jesus was depicted with brown skin like in Ethiopia for example.  In other places, He has been depicted with dark skin like among Afro-Hispanics.  In other places, He has been depicted with tan or olive skin like in Mediterranean countries.  In others, He has been depicted with white skin, blonde hair and blue eyes like in Central Europe, the British Isles and Scandinavia.  There are many more.  It had a lot to do with culture and how the locals viewed Jesus in light of their customs and what they were used to seeing.

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The Crucifix of Limpias, Saint Peter’s Church (Santander, Spain)

As I have explained many times, images of Jesus do not attempt so much to depict Jesus as the artist thinks He looked like, but more to capture the emotion.  Images have meaning regardless of what art style we’re talking about.  The purpose of religious art is to capture the emotion of the viewer and imagine the personality of Christ.  They’re not meant to supplement racial superiority over others although some modern groups like the Black Hebrew Israelites do it for those reasons; needless to say they are also very anti-Catholic.

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Chinese depiction of Jesus

Some popular depictions of Christ are El Nazareno de San Pablo in Caracas, Venezuela, the Miraculous Crucifix of Limpias in Santander, Spain, or El Cristo Negro de Portobelo in Boquete, Panama.  All are beautiful expressions that depict Jesus, maybe not ethnically, but spiritually.

You can find the picture and information here: http://noticiasvenezuela.info/2013/03/fotos-de-la-preparacion-del-nazareno-de-san-pablo/

On the Miraculous Crucifix of Limpias: http://www.miraclesofthechurch.com/2010/10/miraculous-crucifix-of-limpias-jesus.html

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