BECOME THE SAINT GOD MEANS YOU TO BE!
In the picture gallery are pictures of St. Lucy (2), the Blessed Virgin Mary (2 pictures + 2 Brooches), St. Sebastian (2), and finally a most beautiful picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A few of the pictures are from the Saintly Co. Artist Nicholas, from Aukland, New Zealand, who states his artistic intent is ” A modern twist keeping the spirit of the Saints alive”. Artist indicated in picture caption.
“Our Lady of Grace or Medjugorje,” is from a painting by artist RL George, who states that he reworked the image to create a “warm motherly face” of Mary; as in prayer or gaze, we can be assured Mary is alway’s looking at us, and this image coveys this meaning.
Several images of Mary are on 20th century brooches, and appear to focus on the Beauty of a Young Mary and in fact “Historians mostly agree that Mary was actually a young teenage girl when she had Jesus, as opposed to the more mature woman as she is usually depicted.” This cameo of Mary in the white /red head scarf, I believe captures such a “young Mary”, holding the boy Jesus. If you look closely at the black area of the brooch, over Mary’s head, the faint outline of a golden halo is visible.
Saintly Co encourages us to see the saints as individuals like you and me. The images are personally relatable and actually the sort of images we might aspire to, are inspired by or images that cause us to say, I want to be like that person. A young woman I know that I showed these pictures to, Nicole ( ~24y/o), said she sees in the modern picture of St, Lucy, (Lucy Journaling, by Saintly Co.,) a picture of a young woman, that could be a picture of herself, fashionable, “kind of sexy,” in a good way! She said the picture draws her in and causes her to pause and explore more. However when she looks at the St. Lucy picture dressed in 4th century clothing, she immediately identified the image as “historical” and mentally looked away, as she knew it was about history, as was no longer curious.
Much of the Art that I have included in this blog, has had the express purpose of drawing the viewer in, fanning their desire for God’s Love, and the Love from His Mother and the Love and Inspiration from the Saints for us. The most non-traditional and personally relatable images to date, for myself, are from the previous post about St. Lucy, from the Saintly Co. Frankly many of Nicholas’s images (St Lucy and the Blessed Virgin Mary) as well as RL George”s Medjugorje, “grab my attention, the most.” To me the St. Lucy image is very soft, warm, beautiful and contemplative. Perhaps a little sexualized, as Nicole told me, “in a good way.” When I gaze at the picture I do see a beautiful young lady, immersed perhaps in writing her Journal, likely with a Christian focus. I imagine this as it was forbidden to express many Christian feelings publicly in the 4th Century. Also I am aware that most 4th Century paintings of St. Lucy, pictured a very beautiful woman.
This very beautiful woman, though, had an interior focus or commitment to Christ, and she willingly sacrificed and DIED for her commitment, rather than marry a pagan or subject herself to being defiled in a brothel. Being personally drawn into the St. Lucy image, being curious about her, relating myself to her and then knowing her story, makes her life and faith example to me powerful and potentially transformative in my life. Now I’ve come full circle, from the Story of the Saint, their example and using their example as a source of inspiration and personalization of my faith journey.
The Saint begets the Art or the Art mirrors the Saint and this process has a transformative effect on my interior disposition, bringing me closer to God. I come away from that Gaze of Lucy journaling, having God more top of my mind than before, being more inspired to be more God-Mindful today, now and opening myself to the real presence of God, of Jesus, of the Holy Spirit in my life.mtj
Conclusion: Aside from the Halo, the St. Lucy Painting could be any woman. Nicole noted that Lucy has blond hair while the more “historical” image has perhaps “black hair with highlights :-)” Both images of Lucy are represented as Saints. Being a Saint means we see God when our bodies die and our souls leave earth; and our souls, i.e who we really are, live eternally in His Presence, because we died in a state of God’s Grace! The Lives of Saints, their stories, can inspire us in ways to bring more of God’s Grace into our lives, and assure us that we are on the right path to Eternal Life. The reader can use the remaining images I’ve not commented on, to contemplate on the image and meditate on their meaning as an opportunity to bring you closer to God.
The second to last set of images on this post, are a picture of a woman looking at herself in a mirror with rays of sun coming down from the heaven’s as if God is Blessing this moment in her life. Could it be she is gazing on a Saint-to-be, herself? The images of Saints and their stories are meant to transform us, bringing us closer to God. As a result of that transformation, when we look into a mirror, we will see more and more each day,
as we Look in a mirror,… the Saint, God means you to be! Fiat!MTJ
How will we know a Saint if outward appearances are not reliable?
We will know them by what is in their hearts, an outward reflection of their soul. And we know what is in a person’s heart, by their words and actions!
So what is in our heart? God-mindfulness or living each day with God in the center and following what He expects me to do. (Prayer Penance and Eucharist) and except for going to church to receive the Eucharist, God-Mindfulness, takes care of the practices of prayer and penance. Nicole reminded me that Jesus came to the poor, to the prostitutes, to the diseased of society and no matter who or where we are, He comes to us!
We are all called to be Saints, and if anything Saintly Co.’s art reminds us is that Saints look like us, and therefore the path is clear, BECOME THE SAINT GOD MEANS YOU TO BE!