*Note: The photo above of the painting reflects the images on the opposite sides of they are on the actual painting.
Last week we unveiled the painting that will grace the chapel in our new Parish Center. Entitled “Sacra Conversazione”, it is an image of the Communion of the Saints. Surrounded by heavenly, golden light, at its center is the Madonna and Child. Mary, clothed in red, the color of the Holy Spirit of whom she was overshadowed at the Incarnation, sits on a marble plinth on which is carved a “fleur-de-lis”, the “flower of the lily”, a symbol of her purity. She presents to the saints below and to us, Jesus, her Son and our Lord, who opens his arms in a loving embrace. To the left of the painting we see Saint John the Evangelist (the original patron of our parish) holding the Gospel. At his feet is the golden eagle, a symbol of him and his high-flying Christology. Below is Saint Lucy (in honor of Saint Lucy’s chapel in Waltonville). She holds her martyr’s palm and her own eyes, cruelly removed in her martyrdom. She now sees with a celestial light (her name means “light”). At her feet to the right we see our own patroness, Saint Joan of Arc. Her helmet removed and her sword pointing down, she has put her earthly battles behind her and now enjoys eternal life. Standing above her is Saint Stephen, wearing his deacon vestments, his hair in the tonsure of a cleric. He holds the symbols of his martyrdom - the stones which took his life. Following the tradition of Renaissance art, a reference to the donor of the painting is included in the art. Saint Stephen is a reference to the parishioner who donated this beautiful work of art, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Please come to the chapel to gaze upon this piece of sacred art. May you recognize that you too are called to be part of the “sacred conversation” with the saints in heaven and, especially, with our Lord and his Mother!
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