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Essay on VSI’s Logo

Dr Eric Hewett, PhD

VSI’s logo is based on a famous school of mosaic artists, active in Italy in the Middle Ages, named “Cosmatesque” after the Cosmati family who supposedly developed the style. Many of the churches in Rome are paved with Cosmatesque stonework, and some have other items decorated in this style.

Green and purple stand out in Cosmatesque artworks. The colored marbles used in the original artwork are serpentine and porphyry. The provenance and history of these actual bits of stone correspond precisely to the history of the transmission of intellectual & cultural contents through the history of our civilization.

Porphyry comes from Egypt, where one of the first great theocratic urban civilizations of the Fertile Crescent began millenia ago. Serpentine comes from Greece, the birthplace of Hellenic civilization. Great slabs of these stones were quarried and brought to the capital city during the heyday of the Roman Empire, which organized and regulated the common life of the Mediterranean into a single culture and polity. There they decorated the temples of the gods and the palaces of the Caesars while God chose a humble stable in a corner of this great Empire as the scene of His Incarnation.

The slabs shattered and broke together with the great Empire that had put them in place. A new Christian civilization rose from the ruins and preserved and reused both the stone fragments of antiquity and its literary-cultural fragments, resorted them into new contexts, and created new patterns of beauty out of them.

The concentric arrangement of central square, different triangles, and ovals suggests the harmony, wholeness and perfection of a flower, the surprising culmination of painful but satisfying growth. Each circle expands out from the central point, not only continuing and completing a previously-existing order, but also giving rise to something new and unique. Meanwhile, the quadratic starting point structures that pattern firmly into the shape of a cross.

Through its logo, VSI honors the history of civilization in the Western world and God’s providential choice of the Roman Empire for His Incarnation, which have given the Latin and Greek languages a permanent role in the Church. VSI seeks both to restore a previously existing order and give expression and form to something new and unique.

VSI expresses its thanks to Meg Prom for donating her time and talents in creating the logo. Please consider her for your own graphic design needs!

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