在面對一個受苦的病人,人們可以專心於治癒他的病痛,或者可以如耶穌在《新約》中所做的那樣:擁抱他並接納完整的他。耶穌在清洗門徒的腳並命令他們互相幫對方洗腳,以表示彼此相愛之前,其本人就是這個洗腳行為的接受者。根據《聖路加福音書》(St. Luke’s Gospel)的第七章,一名罪婦以她的眼淚洗淨了耶穌的雙腳。而這個不知名的罪婦經常被認為是聖女抹大拉瑪利亞/瑪麗德蓮(St. Mary Magdalene),這也就是在繪畫中常以該故事情節呈現其形象的原因。
天主教教會以各種方式持續著耶穌對世人的慈愛與照看:創立醫院並敞開大門讓病人接受其應有的照顧;在聖保祿宗徒的書信(The Pauline letters)中,為客人洗腳成為一種象徵,表示此人如同耶穌本人一樣受到歡迎;在天主教禮儀中,洗腳禮成為聖週四(Holy Thursday)活動當中的其中一項儀式;而在教會漫長的歷史中,依據聖本篤會(the Benedictine)的會規,接待客人時也會實行洗腳儀式;此外,從藝術方面來看,在一系列敘述聖方濟各(St. Francis)生平故事的畫作中,可看到聖人正在清洗痲瘋病人雙腳的動人場景,以及錫耶納聖瑪麗亞德拉斯卡拉醫院(L’Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala di Siena)裡的濕壁畫(fresco)也有描繪病人被歡迎進行洗腳儀式的情景。綜上,我以聖經參考文獻與洗腳主題的相關畫作作為依據,針對多梅尼科·迪·巴托洛(Domenico di Bartolo)的濕壁畫進行特別分析。
Faced with a suffering patient, one can concentrate solely on trying to cure his illness, or one can do just as Jesus did in the New Testament: embrace his wounds and accept him as a whole. Before washing the feet of his disciples and commanding them to wash each other’s feet as a sign of mutual love, Jesus himself had been the object of this gesture. In chapter 7 of St. Luke’s gospel, a sinful woman washes the feet of Jesus with her tears. This anonymous sinner has often been identified with St. Mary Magdalene: this is why this episode is found in paintings dedicated to the saint. The Church has continued Jesus’ gaze on the person in various ways: through the establishment of hospitals, the sick are welcomed and cared for; in the Pauline letters, the washing of guests’ feet becomes a sign that the person is welcomed as if he were Jesus himself; in the Catholic Liturgy, this gesture has entered the rite of Holy Thursday celebrations; in the Benedictine and the mendicant orders, it has been carried on to receive guests throughout the history of the Church; in art, for example in a series of paintings dedicated to St. Francis, the saint is shown washing the feet of sick lepers, and in a fresco in Siena’s Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, a patient is welcomed with the ritual of the washing of the feet. This article will analyze in particular this fresco by Domenico di Bartolo in the light of its biblical references and other paintings with a similar theme, namely the washing of the feet. This gesture is not a simple hygienic practice but rather a representation of God’s mercy, the full meaning of which can be understood only if we have in mind a whole background of biblical culture.