Friday, May 13, 2011

Miracle of the Son

Image used with permission.
  Art Prints available through
 Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima:
Our Lady of Fatima
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. (See February 20 entry for Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto). Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners and for the conversion of Russia. The third visionary, Lucia dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and died in 2005 at the age of 97.
Mary gave the children three secrets. Since Francisco died in 1919 and Jacinta the following year, Lucia, who later became a Carmelite nun, revealed the first secret in 1927, concerning devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The second secret was a vision of hell.
Pope John Paul II directed the Holy See's Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in 2000; it spoke of a 'bishop in white' who was shot by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows into him. Many people linked this to the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981.
The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was approved by the local bishop in 1930; it was added to the Church's worldwide calendar in 2002.
The image above was created by an amazing artist who is wholeheartedly dedicated to the Pro-Life cause.
I found her website while searching for a certain image online, and when I stumbled onto it I was so touched by the way all of her art work brings together God's tremendous love and power, and the humanity that He uses to bring it into our experience.  Below is the story of Nellie Edwards and her vocation of mother and artist.
(This version of the painting above will not be on the website for a week or so. To order prints you can request Word Made Flesh with "Rosary text."  Art Prints may be ordered bulk at wholesale.)
 I was born in Yakima, Wa., one of nine children.  As far back as I can recall, I wanted to be two things when I grew up...a mother and an artist.  God was good to give me nine children, one of whom is with the Lord, interceding for us before his throne. It was evident He had granted me the motherhood prayer but I couldn't paint, though I tried off and on over the years!   
I read Humanae Vitae as a newlywed and felt led to promote it's beautiful truth, whenever I was given the opportunity.  In 1983, I co-founded a chapter of Catholics United for Life, to go to the place where babies were being killed by pray the holy Rosary and offer help to young mothers arriving for their 'appointments.'  At the end of four years, numerous babies and their mothers were spared the horror that is abortion...The abortionist had finally quit, but our celebration was tempered, knowing the holocaust was continuing all across the country. 
In 1996, my husband and I moved our family to North Dakota, where we started a family business. I named it "Mother of Eight Designs".  It grew quickly and I found myself receiving many public speaking invitations, so I knew I had a way to plug faith and family values.  One day, at a point when we were selling our product to more than 200 locations nationwide, I found myself telling our four eldest sons to start their own business....ceramic tiling!  They had learned from a friend's father, who did it professionally.  I knew this would mean the decline of our business, since we lived in a tiny community, with no talent pool to draw from, but trusted this was God's will and He would provide.  The next thing I knew, the boys were asking me to make a pattern for a tile inlay, to be embedded in front of the Blessed Sacrament altar at a Church they were tiling.  I was happy for the honor and that it would be a fairly simple design, since I had no talent for anything too detailed.  I found myself asking for a PC tablet, which I had seen advertised in my husband's computer magazines.  I figured I could get perfect symmetry that way, even though I knew nothing of how the 'gadget' worked. It turned out well and the boys executed the inlay beautifully.  (This mother loves seeing her sons on their knees in God's house hours at a time!)   Long story, but it turned out that the PC tablet and stylus were providential, in that they became my canvas and brush.  I was inspired to 'paint' Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, (even though I had no special devotion to her at the time). Half way through, got a call from Fr. Steve Kranz, asking me to speak at an annual Indian congress!  He didn't know I was working on Kateri and I wasn't sure why, but I knew this was a tremendous confirmation, that it was the Will of God.  "Holding on to Faith" is featured in the month of June, in the 2011 Catholic Extension Society calendar...their major fundraiser each year.  When I got the request, I was elated, since I believe the Indian people are going to be a vital new infusion in the ProLife movement.  (have had numerous signs of that, through the 'painting.')  Each painting (digital painting is accepted my the mainstream art world, since most is done freehand) has a story to it and I am profoundly grateful, that my feeble talents, mixed with ardent desire, are of use to help build the Culture of Life.  Numerous groups across the country have contacted me for "Word Made Flesh" and others, to bring these visuals of Truth to those they are striving to help.  Prayer answered!

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