Was Michelangelo religious?

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Michelangelo was a deeply religious man, and his beliefs are reflected not only in his artwork but in his poetry.

Consider these lines from "A Prayer for Aid."

Thou gavest me on earth this soul divine;
And Thou within this body weak and frail
Didst prison it—how sadly there to live!
How can I make its lot less vile than mine?
Without Thee, Lord, all goodness seems to fail.

In this poem and numerous others, Michelangelo more pointedly addresses his faith; he trusted God to use his own "weak" body, relying on the power of the Holy Spirt living within him to bring goodness to fruition.

Michelangelo was a devout Catholic who lived far beyond the life expectancy of that era. While most didn't live to see their fifties, Michelangelo reached the age of eighty-five. He therefore thought a great deal about death as he continued to age far beyond the lives of most people he knew.

Michelangelo's faith can be seen in various artistic creations: the San Spirito Crucifix, depicting the crucifixion of Christ; Madonna of Bruges, which depicts Mary holding Jesus when Jesus was barely more than an infant; Moses, a sculpture depicting the leader from the Old Testament when he learns that his followers have turned to paganism; Pieta, which depicts Mary holding Christ after he has died on the cross; The Creation of Adam, which appears on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and is one of the most famous pieces of art in Western history; and David, which depicts the young man who fought Goliath in the Old Testament.

He also dedicated the last two decades of his life to working on Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. He realized that he would never live long enough to see the project completed (it took more than one hundred years), but his plans were respected enough that little was changed after his death.

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