Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Inspirational Artwork Week," Day 4

If you're looking for Catholic religious artwork, statuary, Rosaries, or other sacramentals, Rome is about the best place in the world to find anything you could ever want. My husband's job has taken him to Rome countless times over the years, and he has brought back many lovely works of art--such as this painting, called the "Divine Mercy"--which now adorn the walls of our house.

The "Divine Mercy" painting has an interesting history, as it was divinely inspired. In 1931, Christ appeared to a young Polish nun by the name of Sister Faustina (born Helen Kowalska, and now a saint), and brought with Him a wonderful message of mercy.

Sister Faustina tells the story of this amazing visit from the Lord in her diary:

"In the evening, when I was in my cell, I became aware of the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening of the garment at the breast there came forth two large rays, one red and the other pale. In silence I gazed intently at the Lord; my soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After a while Jesus said to me, 'paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You.'" Later, Our Lord spoke to her again: "The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous; the red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My most tender Mercy at that time when My agonizing Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross...Fortunate is the one who will dwell in their shelter..."

This painting, as closely as possible, depticts Our Lord as he appeared to the humble nun. I think it is such a beautiful image of our merciful Savior.

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