WW1 Centenary: The Last Absolution

Bishop Richard Moth

Richard Moth, Bishop of the UK Armed Forces, offers this poignant reflection on a World War One artwork, and on the importance of prayer in the most difficult circumstances of human life.

The CathNews YouTube channel is pleased to present this reflection by Bishop Richard Moth, made by the Catholic Church in England and Wales. 

As the world marks 100 years since the outbreak of World War One, Bishop Moth looks at the artwork, 'Last General Absolution of the Munsters', by Italian war artist Fortunino Matania, and reflects on faith amid the fires of war, and the importance of the vocation of military chaplaincy.

The artist was noted for his extraordinary finish and detail and to achieve this he visited the Western Front on many occasions. The painting shows Rev. Father F. Gleeson, Chaplain to the 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers, on horseback somewhere on the Rue du Bois in Northern France on the Western Front. Fr Gleeson gave absolution to 500 men on 8 May 1915 ahead of the Battle of Aubers Ridge that took place at 5:30am the following morning.

To watch and listen to the reflection on the CathNews YouTube channel, CLICK HERE.


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