Michelangelo was baptized in this building...Does that freak you out as much as it did me when I was standing there? An octagonal shaped building...the symbol of the eighth day...the day of eternity...the hope of Baptism is the hope of eternal life.
The stories, the icons, the intricately woven symbolism...even without the written word it all becomes so complexly symbolic. Were people in the early days of the Baptistery as awestruck by the mosaics and the stories as I was? No words could do justice.
We were so incredibly fortunate to have Monsignor Timothy Verdon as our guide in the Baptistery. Monsignor Verdon pointed out that the right hand of Jesus is lifting up and the left is motioning downward. Under the right hand hand side is a picture of souls coming from their tombs and being welcomed by heavenly bodies while the left side shows souls being greeted by fallen angels. The images of the promise of eternal life juxtaposed against those of eternal damnation must have put sheer terror in the hearts of the people attending baptisms in the early days.