Visages de la contemplation

Faces of contemplation

Visages del la contemplation (1980) is the title of a photography book with images by Michele Pellegrino, a preface by Roger Etchegaray, Archbishop of Marseille at the time of publication, and Cardinal Presbyter of St. Leo I, former president of the Council of Conferences of Bishops of Europe and of the Episcopal Conference of France, with the full text and historical notes by Jean Pier Ravotti. The work, now quite rare and preserved in the Vatican Apostolic Library, unparalleled in its reflection, remains a powerful fresco of monasteries and contemplative life, the identities and differences of charisms, and the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience of the different orders and monasteries: the Benedictines, the Camaldolese, the Cistercians, the Canons Regular, the Trappists, the Carthusians, the Poor Clares, the Dominican and Carmelite nuns, the Passionists and the Little Sisters of Bethlehem, and the Little Brothers. A sister dimension to that of the cloistered emerges in the book, a dimension that could be considered the most neglected by historians, especially in the oblivion of sapiential traditions: cloistered monasteries as citadels of culture and art, custodians of priceless heritages, and at the same time extraordinary centres of production that admirably shape territories and landscapes. This world of partially lost sapiential traditions, of care, intelligence, love of nature, harmony, sustainability, invites us to think about the issue of sustainability in the mountains.