The Foundation Mass of the Order of Trinitarians T-Shirt
Sourced from the Trinitarian order, tradition holds that John de Matha was born in Faucon (Provence), France around the year 1154. He completed his graduate studies with honors at the University of Paris where he later taught theology.
Ordained to the priesthood he experienced a heavenly vision while celebrating his first Mass [which is depicted in this monumental canvas by Juan Carreño de Miranda]. He quickly realized that he had been destined by the Lord to redeem Christians captured by Muslims.
To attain this objective, he founded the Order of the Most Holy Trinity at Cerfroid, France about 1193. He wrote the Order’s Rule, which was approved by Pope Innocent III in 1198. Professing the Rule with great zeal, he was very active in redeeming Christian captives and performing works of mercy.
That's the vanilla version. 800 years ago during the Cursades there was no Geneva Convention, no Miranda rights, barely secure nation states, no concept of "enemy combatants", no torture prohibitions, and a feudal outlook on life. Men, women, and children of all ages were all fair game for capture, abuse, slavery, murder, and ransom whether combatants or not.
The painter, Juan Carreño de Miranda had a different charge to execute in order to make his point and to keep his job. Because he did not have a television crew at his disposal, he had to imply the herald sound of trumpets and harps, the sweeping motion of the retreating, revealing cloud cover, and by extension, the voice of God.
All this happens in a matter of seconds as the Host is eleveted to its apex. The artist challenges us to become part of the congregation and to experience what happens next!