Day 11 is Gemma Galgani, 12×12 oil on wood panel. Throughout her life, Gemma was to be favored with many mystical experiences and special graces, including the stigmata. These were often misunderstood by others, causing ridicule. Gemma suffered these heartaches in reparation, remembering that Our Lord Himself had been misunderstood and ridiculed.
Day 12 is Padre Pio. He was a facinating Saint that lived in our time. Padre Pio had many graces from God including the stigmata, that he had most of his life. He felt the physical pain that Christ experinced on the cross every time he consecrated the host at Mass. He would be able to bi-locate and would hear confessions in multiple places around the world at the same time. He could also read souls and had a deep devotion to Mary and the Rosary.
Day 13 is St. Therese of Lisieux 12×12 oil on wood panel. She is a beautiful saint that has the heart of a child. She is know for her "little way" which is to completly trust in Jesus with great love. She is also know as "the little flower" and promised to spend her time in heaven doing good on earth and that she will send down flowers from heaven. Often times when people pray to hear for her help, she will answer their prayers by sending them roses.
Day 14 is Bl. Miguel Pro, 12×12 Oil on wood panel. He was a courageous priest who stood up and was martyr for the Catholic faith during the Mexican "Cristeros" persecution in the 20's. His last words before he was killed were "Viva Cristo Rey", "Long Live Christ the King".
Day 15 is Venerable Fulton J. Sheen 12×12 Oil on wood panel. "God Love You" Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen touched the lives of millions worldwide with his warmth, wisdom and humor. A master communicator, he had the great gift of preaching and teaching the Gospel in a way easy to understand. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Ill., has already constructed a museum in honor of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, a native son whose Emmy-winning television show during the 1950s brought Catholicism to the American living room.
Day 16 is Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, 12×12 oil on wood panel. Jose Escriva was a Roman Catholic priest from Spain who founded Opus Dei, an organization of laypeople and priests dedicated to the teaching that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. He made a way for ordinary lay people to reach santity by their work and family life, holiness in everyday life.
Day 17 is St. John Bosco, 12×12 oil on wood panel. John Bosco educated the whole person—body and soul united. He believed that Christ’s love and our faith in that love should pervade everything we do—work, study, play. For John Bosco, being a Christian was a full-time effort, not a once-a-week, Mass-on-Sunday experience. It is searching and finding God and Jesus in everything we do, letting their love lead us. Yet, because John realized the importance of job-training and the self-worth and pride that come with talent and ability, he trained his students in the trade crafts, too.
Day 18 is Our Sorrowful Mother, 12×12 oil on wood panel. Being the Mother of Jesus, Mary shares in the joys and the sorrows of Jesus. During the passion a sword also peices Mary's heart (Luke 2:35) as she witnesses Jesus' death on the cross.
Day 19 is St. André Bessette, C.S.C., 12×12 oil on wood panel. Br. André as he was known battled sickness for much of his own life — humbly devoted his life to prayer, serving the Lord and comforting the sick and afflicted. Through his intercession prayers to St. Joseph, many received God’s healing graces. He dedicated his life to building a shrine to St. Joseph in Montreal with only the small change and donations that he received. Today it is great Oratory where many people have been healed.
Day 20 is St. Junipero Serra, 12×12 oil on wood panel. Junipero Serra is our newest saint just Canonized Yesterday, Sept 23rd by Pope Francis. This saint was the one who brought the Catholic faith and civilization to California, he founded 21 missions from San Diego all the way up the coast. Many of the cities in California are named after saints because of these missionaries. Being Catholic and Franciscan at heart and having been raised in California, these mssions encompass alot of who I am and what I believe.
Day 22 is Fr. Joseph Kentenich 12×12 oil on wood panel. Fr. Kentenich was holy man of God that lead as a deep and caring father. He is the founder of Schoenstatt, a movement of moral and religious renewal in the Catholic Church, Schoenstatt works to help renew the Church and society in the spirit of the Gospel. It seeks to reconnect faith with daily life, especially through a deep love of Mary, the Mother of God. I did a series of Shrine paintings that were all fashioned after the original shrine in Germany by Fr. Kentenich, There are now hundreds of shrines all over the world.
Father Kentenich was born in Gymnich near Cologne, Germany on November 18, 1885. He began his priestly life as a gifted teacher and educator in the Pallotine House of Studies in Schoenstatt, Vallendar. An extraordinary bond of trust developed between him and his students. They made his love for Mary their own and through his message learned to see her as a bridge leading to a deep, fervent love of God. Alert to the signs of the time and listening attentively in order to perceive God’s will, Father Kentenich – together with a small group of students – entered into a covenant of love with Mary in the chapel (now known as the Original Shrine) at Schoenstatt. This was the beginning and the lasting foundation of today’s worldwide development of the Schoenstatt Movement.
Throughout his life as founder, Father Kentenich gave his followers a deep experience of God’s fatherhood and led them into his own profound love for the Church. On September 15, 1968, the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, immediately after celebrating the holy sacrifice of the Mass, Father Kentenich was called home to the Heavenly Father. At his request, the words Dilexit Ecclesiam (He loved the Church) were inscribed on his tomb.
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30 Days Challenge – Day 23
Day 23 is St. Maria Goretti, 12×12 oil on wood panel. Maria Goretti died a martyr before her twelfth birthday. Young as she was, she made a choice of pruity based on her faith. She forgave the man that stabbed her before she died and appeared to him in a dream. She a patroness of all youth and a model of Christian purity.
The daughter of humble sharecroppers, Maria and her family moved to the little town of Ferriere, Italy in 1899 in search of work. Desperately seeking to support his family, Luigi Goretti struck up a bargain with Signor Serenelli, who had a son named Alessandro. The two families lived together in a building (see photo) owned by Count Mazzolini.
Maria quickly matured in grace and holiness in the eyes of friends and other acquaintances. After losing her father to malaria, she developed great strength and maturity. Her charming modesty, cheerful obedience and the serious, but free acceptance of a hundred thankless home chores distinguished her from the other children who would play in the dusty streets of Ferriere. Perhaps the highlight of her life was her First Holy Communion, which she dutifully prepared for and awaited with great anticipation. She truly seemed to be advancing “in wisdom, and age and grace before God and men.”
Lured by the passions of his day and nurturing the dark side of his soul with impious reading and thoughts, Alessandro Serenelli had been a thorn in lovely Maria’s side. He propositioned her on several occasions and harassed her with impure suggestions. On July 5, 1902, he would be denied no longer. As she once again rebuffed his sexual advance, shouting, “No! It is a sin! God does not want it!”, Alexander lunged to the deed, stabbing Maria 14 times.
Doctors in Nettuno tried to save Maria’s life to no avail. After 20 painful hours of suffering during which she forgave and prayed for Alessandro, Maria entered Heaven fortified with the Last Sacraments. Her last earthly gaze rested upon a picture of the Blessed Mother. It was July 6, 1902.
After she had died, she appeared to Alexander in a dream when he was in prison. She led him to a garden and forgave him, and presented him with 14 lillies symbolizing the 14 stab wounds. He was a changed man and lived a repentance and after he got out he begged forgiveness from her mother.
Almost fifty years later on June 24, 1950, Pope Pius XII stood on the steps of St. Peter’s in Rome and pronounced Maria Goretti a Saint and Martyr of the Universal Church to half a million people. He proposed her as the Patroness of Modern Youth and set July 6th as her feast Day. Her mother, and her murderer, attended the canonization ceremony together.
This was the triumph of the little girl who loved God and hated sin.
Maria Goretti had led a very ordinary life. But in spite of her simplicity, her great faith and love for God made her truly extraordinary.
Many recorded miracles, both spiritual and physical, have been worked through St. Maria Goretti’s intercession. Worldwide, there are many places of devotion to St. Maria Goretti, such as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Graces and St. Maria Goretti in Nettuno, Italy, pictured here.
Day 24 is Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. Francis Xavier Seelos was a German Redemptorist who worked as a missionary in the United States frontier. He was known for beeing an excelent confessor and spiritual director, and worked amonst the poor. He traveled to many diferent states and lived a simple Redemptorist life.
Day 30 is Ruth Dossett, 12×12 oil on wood panel. This is my Grandma Ruth. We called her Grandma G when we were young. She was the Matriarch of the family. Grandma was the sweetest lady ever and loved and was dedicated to our family and especially the grandkids. She taught us piano out of her house and directed us in children's chrior at church, she was the director of our CCD program at St. Dorothy's. She was involved in everything we did. Every year she would help all of us grand kids put on a play for our parents. The plays I remember the most were Annie & The sounds of Music. After I had my spiritual conversion in 1992. She was one of the people that I felt understood me. We both had a deep love for the Catholic faith, and we had an unspoken conection. When she and Carl had adoration from 11 to 12 at night, mine was from 12am to 1am. So every week we would see each other in passing and Adortation is what got me through the challenging College years and decerning what God wanted for my life. I felt Grandma and Grandpa were right there with me every week. We had the privelage of having them all at our wedding in Wisconsin, Grandma and Grandpa, My Mom, Grandma Butz, Bobci, Cass' Grandma Eskine. Shorly after Ruth passed away, this was the last great memory Cass and I shared with her.