Apart from being a catholic dictator, Julius the second was also vehemently upset. Julius used to be yelling all the time, anything he said – was obeyed to be operated. Julius was not open to other opinions – even though his projects failed systematically, he was not open to change his ways.(By systematically we are not cluing that Julius had always failed. That would be a distortion, as he had some great project. But – despite his many successes, Julius had a failed many projects due to his lack of openness to other opinions.)
Because of his fear of being assassinated(as there were many people who wished to cause a religious revolution), he raised a private army of guards. The guards were mostly from Switzerland(while by that time this country held the finest army), and their uniform were very weird with outlandish colors. Imagine soldiers wearing women cloth, absolutely provocative.
This kind of life had led him to a deep desperation, which Rafael is trying to portray in the picture. It was like everybody were laughing at him – the richest men in the Vatican is the man lying on the floor. The pope after him has cut most of his wasting, and the Vatican started its decrease.
According to the New Testament, before Jesus died, he told his supporters not to be sad, as his blood will remain in their wine and his meat will become the bread they are fed with. You may notice the ritual in the picture. In this ritual, which is called “liturgy”, the Catholics are asking for forgiveness from God.
How is it done?
Only the priest can listen to those who’re asking for the forgiveness, but he cannot see them. After the people have finished to confess all their weekly sins, the priest puts little pieces of bread in each mouth.
The picture describes the process of making the bread – leaving the bread in the church for a night till it is covered by “blood”. Science explains this phenomenon as there’s a bacteria called “serration”, whose color is red. While the authorities knew it was a deception, the common believers thought of it as the very proof of Jesus’s existence.
Every person at Misa receives his piece of bread to directly to his mouth, symbolizing the connection of him and Jesus’ body. This process is called consecration. Despite the Misa’s success, some priests insisted they are refusing to deceive the public.
An interesting point about the picture –
When checking closely, while the pope is “supervising” the coloring of the bread, you may notice that the people in the picture are not really in the spiritual ecstasy. Quite the opposite, the men in the picture are trying to touch the women around them, what brings us again to the old mystery – why would the pope invite pictures that contradict the religious content?!
I want to focus on the left side of the picture.
If we take a quality look, we will notice that the woman has three hands. This, I believe, a great proof for Rafael’s understanding of the religious deception.
I would like to add that Bolsena was a very far church (from Rome, where the Pope lived), as to make this ceremony on law profile.