Paradiso Canto XXIII

Paradiso 23

I saw, above the many thousand lamps,
a Sun that kindled each and every one
as ours lights up the sights we see above us,

vv. 28-30

The Triumph of Christ. 

Reaching the Fixed Stars—the eighth sphere of Paradise—Dante beholds the saints in triumph. At the head of the procession is Christ, imagined as a light too pure and bright for Dante‘s eyes to behold. This temporary blinding has a side effect, however, as Dante can now tolerate the comparably mild radiance of Beatrice‘s smile. Beatrice gently reproves him for staring.

Looking back over the rejoicing crowd of saints, Dante is still unable to find fitting words for what he beholds. Grasping for images, he likens the sight to a field of flowers, a sea of torchlights, and a “swirling crowd of splendours / flung out like thunderbolts.” The angel Gabriel is heard singing a hymn of praise to the Virgin Mary, its refrain taken up by the other blessed souls: Regina Coeli, “Queen of Heaven.” Dante marvels at the atmosphere of exultant love that seems to pervade this layer of Paradise.

Riassunto in inglese tratto da

The Sun Dante sees illuminate thousands of other lights is Christ, represented by the Cross “signum gloriae”. This Cross shines in the middle of the apse of the Archiepiscopal Chapel, with the starry sky that seems to rotate around it. It is located in the Cathedral of Ravenna, the most important religious site in the city.

Canto adopted by Dott.ssa Patrizia Re – Dott. Giorgio Re Presidents Lions Club Ravenna Host

For further information on Cappella Arcivescovile (o di Sant’Andrea)

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