Last week I installed the two finished saint panels at St. Francis de Sales church in Paducah, Kentucky. This was a commission to do two paintings of saints for a side altar or “Remebrance Niche.”The basic idea was created by Friar Mark Joseph Costello, a Chicago based Capuchin Friar who serves as a liturgical consultant for many churches.
Here is the St.Jane de Chantel panel:
And the St. Francis de Sales Panel:
St Francis de Sales was a swiss bishop and prolific author. He is the catholic patron saint of writers , journalists and also the deaf. He shouldn’t be confused with St. Francis de Assisi. St. Jane de Chantal was influenced by St. Francis de Sales and they co-founded the Order of the Visitation of Mary.She is the patron of widows, forgotten people, in-law problems, loss of parents, and parents separated from children.
Some Explanation of the designs in the Trompe l’ oiel frame may be interesting. Both panels in the upper corners have a Goldenrod and a Cardinal. These represent the state of Kentucky, being the state flower and the State bird.
St. Francis de Sales: In the center of this panel we have a scroll, quill pen, and ink-pot. These represent his prolific writing as well as his being patron of writers and journalists. St. Francis de Sales most well-known book is “An Introduction to the Devout Life”.
In the bottom medallion area we have a Crown of Thorns :
From Wikipedia: “The crown of thorns is also an allegory of the episcopal (episcopal = by bishop) governance of the church. Contrasted to a kingly crown, the crown of thorns signifies the difference between episcopal governance, and kingly governance of state. It serves as a reminder of the humility required of all bishops.” For Example St. Francis de Sales was offered a rich diocese in France, but did not abandon the poor and troubling one in Geneva where he was at.
St.Jane de Chantel: In the center of this panel we have a scene of the Visitation. St. Jane founded the Congregation of the Visitation. The Visitation is the visit of Mary with Elizabeth as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, 1:39–56.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
“The Congregation of the Visitation was established on 6 June, 1610. Its aim was to receive, with a view to their spiritual advancement, young girls and even widows who had not the desire or strength to subject themselves to the austere ascetical practices in force in all the religious orders at that time.
The design is based on a Fra Angelica Painting:
At the bottom in the Medallion area we have a The Sacred Heart. St. Jane de Chantel is often represented holding a Sacred Heart.
From Wikipedia: “The Sacred Heart (also known as Most Sacred Heart of Jesus) is one of the most famous religious devotions to Jesus’ physical heart as the representation of His divine love for Humanity.
Here is a slideshow of more images: