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Christ Portraits by Peter Howson: Christ/Christ in Agony

March 3, 2024

Christ Portraits by Peter Howson: Christ/Christ in Agony

In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered
them. To you they cried and were saved; in you they trusted
and were not put to shame. But I am a worm and not human,
scorned by others and despised by the people. All who see me
mock me; they sneer at me; they shake…

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Christ Portraits by Peter Howson: Jesus is Carrying the Cross

February 25, 2024

Christ Portraits by Peter Howson: Jesus is Carrying the Cross

Then [Jesus] said to them all, “If any wish to come after me, let
them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who
lose their life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit them

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Christ Portraits by Peter Howson: "What is Truth?"

February 18, 2024

Christ Portraits by Peter Howson:

Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say
that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the
world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth
listens to my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”

(John 18: 37-38, NRSV)

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Christ Portraits by Peter Howson: Study for "Ecce Homo"

February 11, 2024

Christ Portraits by Peter Howson: Study for

When I paint Jesus there are so many different facial expressions I can get. You could paint an infinity, millions, and trillions of pictures of Jesus and every single one will be different. (Peter Howson, When the Apple Ripens, documentary film, 2023)

British Artist Peter Howson has been fascinated by Christ portraiture,…

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Picture in Focus: The Stations of the Cross by Carl Dixon

February 4, 2024

Picture in Focus: The Stations of the Cross by Carl Dixon

Carl Dixon has taken on over forty commissions in the fifteen years he has worked with the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection.  My final new offering from the Mississipi-based self taught artist, on the eve of the season of Lent, posed a particular challenge for him. It is a single mixed media, carved wood…

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Picture in Focus: Thou Shalt Not Kill by Carl Dixon

January 28, 2024

Picture in Focus: Thou Shalt Not Kill by Carl Dixon

Southern Visionary Artist Carl Dixon takes on the contentious issue of gun violence in this week's new mixed media carved wood panel painting from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection. The scene at the top of the picture shows Cain slaying his brother, Abel, tracing the murderous intentions of the human heart back to…

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Picture in Focus: Peter's Vision: "Do Not Call Anything Unclean" by Carl Dixon

January 21, 2024

Picture in Focus: Peter's Vision:

This week's new mixed media carved wood panel painting from Southern Folk Artist Carl Dixon illustrates a momentous event in the history of the Early Church, when the Apostle Peter had a vision, directing the first Jewish followers of Christ to welcome Gentiles into their emerging faith community. As recorded in the Book…

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Picture in Focus: "We Shall Overcome" by Carl Dixon

January 14, 2024

Picture in Focus:

In remembrance this week of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., I'm presenting a new work by Southern Visionary Artist Carl Dixon, commemorating a pivotal event in the civil rights leader's campaign to end racial discrimination against African-Americans. In Dixon's carved wood panel painting, "We Shall Overcome," he recreates a…

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Picture in Focus: Felicidades 1979 Poster by Isabel Bernal

January 7, 2024

Picture in Focus: Felicidades 1979 Poster by Isabel Bernal

The coming of the Wise Men is celebrated throughout the Hispanic world on January 6th, El Dia des Reyes (The Day of the Kings), a time when gifts are traditionally exchanged. In this 1979 serigraph poster, Puerto Rican Graphic Artist Isabel Bernal shows a young girl, smiling in anticipation of good things to come, as she walks past a…

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Picture in Focus: The Nativity by Jos Speybrouck

December 24, 2023

Picture in Focus: The Nativity by Jos Speybrouck

The Fourth Sunday of Advent: Love and Restoration

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17, KJV)

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Picture in Focus: The Virgin Mary by Martinus Sumbaji

December 17, 2023

Picture in Focus: The Virgin Mary by Martinus Sumbaji

The Third Sunday of Advent: Joy and Adoration

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior...For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. (Luke 1:46-47, 49-50, KJV)

The reading…

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Picture in Focus: John the Baptist by Lyuba Yatskiv

December 10, 2023

Picture in Focus: John the Baptist by Lyuba Yatskiv

The Second Sunday of Advent: Faith and Preparation

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exhalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough…

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Picture in Focus: A Star in the East by David Wojkowicz

December 3, 2023

Picture in Focus: A Star in the East by David Wojkowicz

First Sunday of Advent: Hope and Expectation

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined... For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:…

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Picture in Focus: St. Roch by Marianna Wisnios

November 26, 2023

Picture in Focus: St. Roch by Marianna Wisnios

The last in my curious quartet of holy men in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection is Roch, a 14th century saint who is patron of invalids and the ailing, apothecaries and gravediggers, dogs and dog-lovers, the falsely accused and imprisoned, and bachelors. The son of the governor of the French city of Montpelier, Roch was marked from birth with…

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Picture in Focus: St. Anthony the Matchmaker by Jose Franciso Borges

November 19, 2023

Picture in Focus: St. Anthony the Matchmaker by Jose Franciso Borges

The saint known as Anthony of Padua was born as Fernando to a wealthy Portuguese family in Lisbon. He entered an Augustinian monastery at 15 but was drawn to the evangelical fervor of the Franciscan Order, where his intellectual prowess and rhetorical gifts soon made him one of the new movement’s most eloquent preachers and teachers. The personal sanctity…

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Picture in Focus: St. Isidore the Farmer by Santiago Lorenzo

November 12, 2023

Picture in Focus: St. Isidore the Farmer by Santiago Lorenzo

The story of Isidore the Farmer illustrates how saintliness has not so much to do with martyrdom or feats of self-denial but with honoring God in the workaday world with simple acts of devotion. Born around 1070 to devout Spanish peasants, Isidore lived out his life as a day laboror for a wealthy land-owner with an estate near Madrid.…

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Picture in Focus: St. Longinus by Rania Kuhn

November 5, 2023

Picture in Focus: St. Longinus by Rania Kuhn

The Gospel accounts of the Crucifixion tell of an unnamed Roman Centurion, so moved by what he witnessed at the foot of the Cross he proclaimed the dying Christ to be “the Son of God" (Matthew 27:54).  Later apocryphal narratives identify him as Longinus, a name probably derived from the Greek word for the lance he thrust into the…

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Picture in Focus: An Alphabet of Saints by Marie Romero Cash

October 29, 2023

Picture in Focus: An Alphabet of Saints by Marie Romero Cash

Western Christians celebrate All Saints' Day on November 1st, honoring those holy men and women whose lives of devotion to God and service to humanity have earned them the special regard of the Church.  Looking for images of the saints has not been a goal of mine in collecting contemporary sacred art with the exception, perhaps, of a few…

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In Memoriam: David Nebesky/Wojkowicz (1967-2022)

October 22, 2023

In Memoriam: David Nebesky/Wojkowicz (1967-2022)

My series on Czech artists in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection comes to an end this week with a tribute to the Prague-based artist, David Nebesky, who, I recently learned, died after a brief illness in the fall of 2022. Working under the pseudonym of David Wojkowicz, he produced new media prints on biblical themes like these digital images…

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Artist in Profile: Jan Hisek

October 15, 2023

Artist in Profile: Jan Hisek

Czech Graphic Artist Jan Hisek occupies a special niche among the East European small format printmakers in my collection. Entering his imaginative world is like voyaging twenty thousand leagues under the sea. In his monochrome mezzotints, biomorphic shapes gleam against backgrounds of black, resembling phosphorescent sea creatures lured out of sunless ocean trenches. They shape-shift into surreal scenes we…

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Artist in Profile: Jaroslav Dajc

October 8, 2023

Artist in Profile: Jaroslav Dajc

Czech Graphic Artist Jaroslav Dajc is the best represented book plate maker in my East European ex libris collection with over fifty small format works in my listings. His fertile imagination comes up with ever new visual interpretations of stories from the Bible and classical mythology in prints both moody and mystical, whimsical and witty. You might find the…

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Pictures in Focus: Two Book Plate Christ Portraits by Ludmila Jirincova and Renata Simlikova

October 1, 2023

Pictures in Focus: Two Book Plate Christ Portraits by Ludmila Jirincova and Renata Simlikova

Czech printmakers are the largest national group in my ex libris collection. With over 30 artists in my listings, I've selected two book plates this week with Christ portraits from two women artists of two different generations working in two different styles. Born in 1912, Ludmila Jirincova is known as "The First Lady of Czech Graphic Art," creating over…

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Artist in Profile: Michel Fingesten (1884-1943)

September 24, 2023

Artist in Profile: Michel Fingesten (1884-1943)

In a week when Jews around the world mark Yom Yippur, the Day of Atonement, my featured artist is Michel Fingesten, a creator of bookplates, born in the Habsburg Empire to a Czech-Jewish father and Italian-Jewish mother, whose life followed the tragic course of East European Jews of his generation. Fingesten studied art in Vienna and traveled the globe…

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Pictures in Focus: Two Book Plates by Jan Konupek and Antonin Kamenik

September 17, 2023

Pictures in Focus: Two Book Plates by Jan Konupek and Antonin Kamenik

Graphic artists from Czechia have long excelled in the arcane art of making owner tags for books. The two most senior ex libris artists in my collection are both Czechs born in the 1880s in the Austro-Hungarian Empire who were most active in the independent Czechoslovakia of the interwar period. Jan Konupek was steeped in turn of the 19th…

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Artist in Profile: Helena Bochorakova-Dittrichova (1894-1980)

September 10, 2023

Artist in Profile: Helena Bochorakova-Dittrichova (1894-1980)

Czech Artist Helena Bochorakova-Dittrichova was a contemporary of my featured printmakers, Jaroslav Vodrazka and Bohuslav Reynek, blazing her own trail on the modern art scene as "The First Woman Graphic Novelist." When she was studying art in Paris in the 1920s, she discovered wordless book-making, an art form dating back to the woodblock devotional tracts of the Middle Ages,…

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Picture in Focus: St. Peter and the Fish by Bohuslav Reynek

September 3, 2023

Picture in Focus: St. Peter and the Fish by Bohuslav Reynek

If Bohuslav Reynek had not been a gifted printmaker, he would still be honored by Czechs as one of their most important poets of the modern era. Like Jaroslav Vodrazka, the artist-poet's life was determined by history. A recognized author in his homeland, Reynek settled for a time in France, married a French writer, held his first public art…

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Pictures in Focus: Two Prints by Jaroslav Vodrazka

August 27, 2023

Pictures in Focus: Two Prints by Jaroslav Vodrazka

 Jaroslav Vodrazka belongs to a special "lost generation" of Czech artists who were born under Austro-Hungarian rule, witnessed the break-up of the Empire in World War I, enjoyed national freedom in the interwar period, endured Nazi Occupation in World War II, then, Soviet domination in the post-war years. A few lived to experience the all too brief Prague Spring.…

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Picture in Focus: The Martyr by Jaroslav Vodrazka

August 20, 2023

Picture in Focus: The Martyr by Jaroslav Vodrazka

August 21, 1968 will be remembered as a day of infamy by the Czechs and Slovaks. Fifty-five years ago this week, Warsaw Pact forces led by the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovaka to bring a brutal end to reforms by the country's Communist government during the "Prague Spring" aimed at creating "socialism with a human face." Czech Graphic Artist Jaroslav…

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Picture in Focus: The Sermon on the Mount by Elsie Anna Wood

July 23, 2023

Picture in Focus: The Sermon on the Mount by Elsie Anna Wood

 

              

                The Sacred Art Pilgrim is taking time off to
                "consider the lilies of the field" and will be
                              back on-line in August.

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Donkeys of the Bible: The Prints of Sadao Watanabe

July 16, 2023

Donkeys of the Bible: The Prints of Sadao Watanabe

My summer series on Donkeys of the Bible comes to an end this week with a selection of works by the artist with the most images of our beast of burden in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection--Sadao Watanabe, the foremost Japanese Christian artist of the 20th century. Depictions of donkeys bearing poets, priests, sages and samurai warriors are a…

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Donkeys of the Bible: The Triumphal Entry

July 9, 2023

Donkeys of the Bible: The Triumphal Entry

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Zechariah 9:9, KJV)

The donkey's finest hour in the Bible comes in Christ's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. This reference to…

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Donkeys of the Bible: The Flight into Eqypt

June 25, 2023

Donkeys of the Bible: The Flight into Eqypt

The angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and…

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Donkeys of the Bible: The Nativity

June 18, 2023

Donkeys of the Bible: The Nativity

"An ox knows its owner, an ass its master's crib: Israel does not know, my people takes no thought." (Isaiah 1:3, The Jewish Study Bible)

The ox and ass are such a traditional part of Nativity art it may come as a surprise to learn they are not mentioned in the New Testament account of the Bethlehem birth.…

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Donkeys of the Bible: Balaam's Ass

June 11, 2023

Donkeys of the Bible: Balaam's Ass

Then the Lord opened the ass's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times?" Numbers 22:28 (The Jewish Study Bible)

In the only miracle of its kind recorded in the Bible, a donkey actually speaks in the story of Balaam's ass in the Hebrew Scriptures. What…

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Picture in Focus: Christ Stopped at Eboli by Grzegorz Marszalek

June 4, 2023

Picture in Focus: Christ Stopped at Eboli by Grzegorz Marszalek

Setting aside the Chinese lunar calendar, there is a good reason to consider 2023 as the Year of the Donkey. Unaccustomed to the limelight, these humble beasts of burden played starring roles in two films nominated this year for Academy Awards in the Best Picture and Best International Feature Film categories. It was a real coup for these less…

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Picture in Focus: Descent of the Holy Spirit by Kateryna Kuziv

May 28, 2023

Picture in Focus: Descent of the Holy Spirit by Kateryna Kuziv

My series on new Marian images from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Ukrainian Collection comes to an end this week with an icon celebrating the Feast of Pentecost on May 28th. The Book of Acts tells how Mary was gathered with the followers of Christ when the Holy Spirit descended upon them in a mighty gust of wind with tongues…

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Pictures in Focus: Christ the Ruler of All and the Virgin of the Sign by Hlafira Shcherbak

May 21, 2023

Pictures in Focus: Christ the Ruler of All and the Virgin of the Sign by Hlafira Shcherbak

This week's new Marion image from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Ukrainian Collection by Ukrainian Greek Catholic Artist Hlafira Shcherbak offers a contemporary variation on the ancient Byzantine prototype of the Virgin of the Sign, where the Virgin Mary reveals the infant Jesus in her womb. The image is paired here with an icon of Christ the Ruler of All…

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Picture in Focus: The Ascension by Kateryna Shadrina

May 14, 2023

Picture in Focus: The Ascension by Kateryna Shadrina

The Feast of the Ascension falls this year on May 18th. The New Testament narratives of how Jesus was taken up into heaven do not mention the Virgin Mary among the eyewitnesses gathered on the Mount of Olives, but the account in the Book of Acts does include her among Christ's followers gathered in the Upper Room after the…

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Picture in Focus: The Mother of God by Ivan Dashko

May 7, 2023

Picture in Focus: The Mother of God by Ivan Dashko

This week's new Marian image from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Ukrainian Collection is a contemporary variation on the historic Byzantine iconographic prototype of the Virgin Who Shows the Way by Ivan Dashko, an artist from the new school of Ukrainian Greek Catholic icon-making in the West Ukrainian city of Lviv. Dashko parts company with fellow art-makers who are experimenting…

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Picture in Focus: The Mother of God of Sambir by Roman Vasylyk

April 30, 2023

Picture in Focus: The Mother of God of Sambir by Roman Vasylyk

May is the time of year traditionally devoted to the Virgin Mary. We return to the the West Ukrainian cultural center of Lviv for this week's image of the Mother of Christ by Ukrainian Art Educator and Icon-maker Roman Vasylyk, the first in a month-long series of new Marian art offerings from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Ukrainian Collection. Vasylyk…

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Picture in Focus: Noli me tangere by Andriy Vynnychok

April 23, 2023

Picture in Focus: Noli me tangere by Andriy Vynnychok

To round out the Easter season, I have an icon by Ukrainian Artist Andriy Vynnychok to present this week of Christ's first post-Resurrection appearance to Mary Magdalene, when he asks her not  to touch him, since he has yet not ascended to his Father. The scene is often depicted in European art under the Italian title, Noli me tangere

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Picture in Focus: The Harrowing of Hell by Kateryna Shadrina

April 16, 2023

Picture in Focus: The Harrowing of Hell by Kateryna Shadrina

                          

                            Khrystos voskres!
                            Voistynu voskres!

                               Happy Easter!

                               Pray for peace!

                            

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Picture in Focus: The Resurrection by Anton Kaminski

April 9, 2023

Picture in Focus: The Resurrection by Anton Kaminski

                                        

                       Christ is risen!
                    He is risen, indeed!

                         Happy Easter
                        Pray for Peace!

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Picture in Focus: The Crucified Christ by Louis Jou

April 2, 2023

Picture in Focus: The Crucified Christ by Louis Jou

They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10, KJV)

As we enter Holy Week, I've selected an image for Good Friday of the Crucified Christ by…

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Picture in Focus: Divine Mercy II by Martinus Sumbaji

March 26, 2023

Picture in Focus: Divine Mercy II by Martinus Sumbaji

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5. KJV)

Indonesian Artist Martinus Sumbaji redefines Passion…

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Picture in Focus: Mountblow by Peter Howson

March 19, 2023

Picture in Focus: Mountblow by Peter Howson

But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. (Psalm 22:6-8, KJV)

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Picture in Focus: Ecce Homo by Michael Vargas

March 12, 2023

Picture in Focus: Ecce Homo by Michael Vargas

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7, KJV)

The Latin words, "Ecce Homo," in the title of this week's portrait of Christ by New Mexican Artist…

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Picture in Focus: Theater Poster for Ewangelia by Robert Czerniawski

March 5, 2023

Picture in Focus: Theater Poster for Ewangelia by Robert Czerniawski

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3, KJV)

Christ raises his hand to shield himself from the blows of his persecutors in this week's variation of what appears to be…

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Picture in Focus: Nativity by Kateryna Shadrina

December 25, 2022

Picture in Focus: Nativity by Kateryna Shadrina

 

                                      Merry Christmas
                                      Happy New Year
                                  Pray for Peace in 2023!

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Picture in Focus: The Ascension by Kateryna Shadrina

May 14, 2022

Picture in Focus: The Ascension by Kateryna Shadrina

The Feast of the Ascension falls this year on May 18th. The Gospel narratives about how Jesus was taken up into heaven do not specifically mention the Virgin Mary being with the disciples who looked on when Christ disappeared from their sight, but we know from the account in the Book of Acts she was among the followers of…

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