Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Holy Face (Tears into Pearls)

I got in a creative mood today and just had to draw something, so out came my sketch pad and various other art supplies.  And I knew exactly what I wanted to draw.  For several days I'd had an image in my head.  It was inspired by these words, part of a Prayer to the Holy Face printed on the back of a St. Veronica card that I have started to read daily during morning prayers:

"I am consumed with the desire of loving Thee and making Thee loved by all mankind.  The tears that streamed in such abundance from Thine eyes are to me as pearls which I delight to gather, that with their infinite worth I may ransom the soul of the poor sinners."

Wow, isn't that beautiful?!

Meditating on that prayer, a vivid picture developed in my mind's eye of Jesus' tears turning into pearls, and I wanted to capture this image with my colored pencils.  (Especially after it hit me that as much as I've always loved to draw human faces, I've never attempted a portrait of the one person who was both human and divine at the same time!)

I got to work.  I did my best, such as it is.  And this is what I ended up with.

This humble picture doesn't begin to live up to the image I've had in my head.  (That one was glorious, I tell you--Michelangelo or Raphael might have been able to achieve what I had in mind.)  I know it's not professional quality and a better artist could have created something truly extraordinary.  But I used the Shroud of Turin as a guide to get the facial proportions as accurate as possible, and I worked on this with joy in my heart, a song on my lips, and so much love for the subject.  I believe that all the Lord asks of us is that we use whatever talents we've been given by His Father to the best of our abilities--in a way that gives glory to God.  So I hope He is well pleased.

I wish I could make a portrait of Jesus that looked more like this one, which I found online (I'm sorry I can't figure out who to give credit for it!).

But that kind of work is not in my skill set!

When I showed my drawing to my husband, before he could say a word about it I made sure to tell him that I knew it wasn't very good, but I thought Jesus would like it anyway because I did the very best that I could.  And my husband answered that of course He would like it!!  "If one of your sons drew a picture of you, you would love it no matter what.  You are God's precious child; of course He would love any gift you made for Him!"  (I'm paraphrasing but those are essentially his words.  Doesn't he always know the perfect thing to say?)

I may tweak my picture a bit before I'm completely satisfied.  I think perhaps there is too much gray shading in the pearls, so I may make them whiter.  But otherwise, I think I'm going to leave well enough alone.

However...I won't be surprised if, at some point in the near future when the creative juices are flowing, I feel compelled to give Our Lord's Holy Face another try.  If I do, I'll be sure to tell you all about it! ;) 


  1. Beautiful. Depictions of our Lord have so much meaning behind them and I appreciate how your faith speaks through art.