Parish Church of Saint Peter of Masnou
For their interest, we reproduce below a letter from the author, Don Rafael Rosés Rivadavia, written on the occasion of the restoration of the baptistery of "Sant Pere" in Masnou in 2010, where in his own hand he records both the work undertaken and the emotions aroused by such work.
Who would have thought that after 50 years I would paint the Baptistery of the church of San Pedro de El Masnou again!
It all began in 1958 with Mosén Sabater, when he suggested that we paint a complex work based on the symbolism of baptism. With his advice and total complicity, a whole biblical narrative emerged. I remember that it was a great project painted in encaustic with a lot of drive, many hours of dedication and a lot of enthusiasm. After 50 years, Mosén Felipe proposed that we climb the scaffolding again and return to a pictorial era and some almost forgotten experiences with the restoration of the Baptistery, and I took it on with the same enthusiasm and dedication as in 1958. Although this time I have not been weighed down by the work but by the years.
It has been an almost miraculous work where the intervention and collaboration of my wife, my daughter and my granddaughter forming a family team has been a very important support.
Water is the symbol of purity and life, and the whole baptistery revolves around this idea. If we take a visual tour, first of all we enter the Christian catacombs with symbols and quotations in Latin that identified the early Christians, on the vaulted ceiling is represented the liturgical year with the four seasons.
We continue walking and find on the floor a beautiful mosaic depicting a ship with sails full sail and fish as Christian symbols inviting us to enter the baptistery.
A magnificent space opens up around us with a series of pictorial representations under the meaning of baptism. We look up and find a small dome, the highest of the baptistery, on which is painted the Holy Trinity. Below a large dome presents four angels, representing temperance, prudence, fortitude and justice. We look down and see the four pendentives with the four evangelists. Below, a large mural painting depicts original sin and behind it another large mural painting represents the baptism of Jesus by St. John the Baptist.
Following the visual tour, another large dome with four angels carrying the attributes of baptism: the salt, the oils, the tunic and the candle representing the light. Below this large dome is a large mural with two deer symbolising peace, drinking Christ's water that flows from the cross. Water gives life, and two trees represent it, one leafy and the other dry and dead. Two murals on the left and right, one with the universal flood and Noah's ark and the other with the Immaculate Conception and the lily complete the visual interpretation of the baptistery.
The magnificent six square metre stained glass window depicts the theological virtues: faith, hope and charity, with the gifts of the Holy Spirit represented at the top.