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Advent Calendar 2004

December 12

The Creation of the Stars and the Planets, and
The Creation of Adam, by Michelangelo Buonarroti

Article by Joseph Phelan
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Michelangelo: The Creation of the Stars and the Planets The Immaculate Conception of Mary means that unlike all other women, Mary is born without original sin. She is meant to be a second Eve who will undo the work of the first one. Why did Mary have to be a second Eve? What is original sin? These questions lead us back inevitably to the very first pages of the Book which Jews call the Hebrew Bible and Christians refer to as The Old Testament.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth...

On the first day, God created light, and thus Day and Night. On the second day, he created the firmament, which He called Heaven. The third day, He created land, called Earth, endowed with plants, flowers and trees.

On the fourth day, He created the lights of heaven, including the sun, moon and the stars. On the fifth day, he created the birds of the air and the fishes of the sea. Finally, on the sixth day, God created the beasts of the earth, and then the Lord said:

Michelangelo: The Creation of Adam Let us make a human in our image, by our likeness, to hold sway over all things... And God created the human in his image, in the image of God He created them; male and woman, he created them.

After surveying his work,the Lord called it very good and rested. Man and Woman, soon to be called Adam and Eve, were meant to be the apex of Godís Creation. Our first parents were meant to spend their lives pleasantly in Eden, masters of the Earth and companions of God. But... as we will see tomorrow there is a serpent in Eden.

(Note: There are two versions of Creation in Genesis (1:1-2). The first, which we have quoted above, and the second, in which God fashions Eve out of the rib of Adam. Painters have always favored the second version)

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[Note that several reproductions of Michelangelo's Creation of Adam (and other Sistine Chapel frescoes) are currently available from]


This article is copyright 2002-04 by Joseph Phelan. Please do not republish any portion of this article without written permission.


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