sacraments begin with Baptism, then Penance and then Holy Communion,
which is received with solemnity when the child is about eight years
old. This is the First Communion. Still in all its purity, the little
one receives the purity of the Cosmos, united with Jesus the Creator,
while passing from one state to another and one period of life to another.
Infancy left behind, this union opens on to the second period, childhood,
between eight and fourteen, to be followed by the third period, that
of youth, seven years between fifteen and twenty-one. Not so very long
ago, the last-mentioned age was when young people started to be considered
ripe for marriage, another sacrament.
The fourth septennial, from twenty-two to twenty-eight, was the age
for heroism,, to be preceded by the ages of Truth, Beauty and Good.
Confirmation strengthened a man for his maturity, while Extreme Unction
prepared him for his end.
And when one stands at the door of the eleventh septennial beginning
in one’s seventies, age of wisdom, now a grandfather, what then?
What does grandfather do to pass his time? Amuse his grandchildren?
Spoil them? Make conversation with them? Tell them stories of the olden
Grandfather, above all when he still feels young, will want to recall
with nostalgia his own childhood. And when he is a creative artist,
what will he be thinking about? Above all, when the time is nigh for
his granddaughter Chloë to receive her First Communion?
What he has done is to sketch the expressions on the faces of children.
Seen from different angles, little girls and boys express innocence,
hope, freshness and light. One may call them Margaret, Carmen, Maria
or Teresa, John, Francis, Fabian, James or Andrew, or one of the two
or three forms representing the name of Christ.
Grandfather may make some little compositions, which may be neither
large nor small but a whole reduced to a small scale, whether family,
group of friends, seaside party, pilgrims, people at prayer, a collection
of flowers, of trees or of bunches of grapes, in all some forty-two
works whose total area is scarcely one metre square, just to celebrate
this holy event of Saturday, 4th June, 2005.