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The Mass of Saint Gregory
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This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Simon Bening
Flemish, Bruges, about 1535 - 1540
Tempera colors and gold paint on parchment
5 3/8 x 3 15/16 in.
MS. 3, LEAF 1V

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While celebrating mass, Pope Gregory prayed for a way to convince doubters that Christ was truly present in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. His prayers were granted when the crucified body of Christ miraculously appeared on the altar, bleeding directly into the chalice. In this miniature depicting the vision, the viewer is invited to share in Gregory's experience by peering over his shoulder.