Sister Wendy’s Nativity
By Sister Wendy Beckett
Submitted by Mary Beth Tipton, Director of Children’s Education
A favorite Advent book of mine is Sister Wendy’s Nativity by Sister Wendy Beckett. Nicknamed the “Art Nun,” Sister Wendy Beckett (1930-2018) was a British nun who appeared on a series of popular television shows and wrote numerous books as an art critic. She was known for offering eloquent and approachable commentary to help make art accessible to all.
This book features her personal selection of more than 40 beautiful paintings from manuscripts held by the Vatican and Italian State Libraries. Sister Wendy begins the story by looking at events that preceded the life of Christ, such as the Creation, the Garden of Eden, and the Visitation, leading to the Nativity story. Sister Wendy continues with stories from Christ’s time on earth, including the Feeding of the Five Thousand and the Last Supper. She concludes with the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ.
Sister Wendy, in her inimitable way, describes the artwork and the stories behind each illumination. I discover something new in the artwork every year. I am so grateful I happened upon this book in a bargain bookstore twenty years ago. You may find it on GoodReads or Amazon.