Congonhas is a small historical city at 75 km south of Belo Horizonte, along the ‘Estrada Real’ to Rio de Janeiro. The city is well known for the statues of Brazilian artist Aleijadinho.
The prophets by Aleijadinho: prophet Joel.
Not much is known about Joel. The book of Joel is the second of the twelve minor prophets. His prophecies are about locust plagues.
The prophets (with clickable links),from left to right (names in Portuguese):
Statues of twelve prophets carved from soap stone are located in front of Santuário do Bom Jesus Matosinhos. Aleijadinho had sculpted them between 1795 and 1805.
Not much is known about Joel (‘He is the Lord’). Joel must have lived between the ninth and fifth century B.C. His prophecies tell about a locust plague that afflicted the country in the fourth century B.C.; And about the redemption of those plagues, when they repent. About Judgment Day, and the Judgment that would be passed on the Enemies.
On the shield that Joel is holding, one can read the following motto:
æ Qui Terræ/
bigo Sint Pa-/
(“Exponho à Judéia que mal hão de trazer à terra, a lagarta, o gafanhoto, o brugo e a alforra (ferrugem).
(I reveal to Judea that the country will be destroyed by the caterpillars, locusts, beetles and worms.)
Like the statues of Jeremias, Ezequiel, and Oseías, Joel is depicted as a lively figure, with a beard and mustache in Byzantine style. The clothes are similar to that of Oséias, only the length of the chain is different. Like Jeremiah and Baruc, Joel wears a turban. The statue – composed of two parts – almost does not show anatomical errors. Most striking is the intense facial expression, that must be attributed to Aleijadinho.
|Joel the Paring Prophet
By Dr. Adriano Antoine Robbesom
- Historic Minas Gerais: CONGONHAS. (01) An Overview (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (15). Aleijadinho in Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: Mariana (MG), 2011 (adrianoantoine.wordpress.com)