Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Painting Fatima

This is the icon I did of the Apparition of the Mother of God at Fatima for Fr. Frederick Miller who had been the Director of the Blue Army in New Jersey at the time (1991). I publish it now since I am working on a panel depicting the secret of Fatima, which as everyone knows, consists of three parts - not 3 separate secrets. I surprised myself having nearly forgotten this panel, to review the variety of experience by the seers I attempted to illustrate within the composition. My current work is much more surreal, although just as naive as this icon I painted so many years before.

I have no idea if the icon remains at the shrine in New Jersey. So much has happened there since Fr. Miller left. It was quite an odd place, rather cult-like I think. I knew a former nun from there who left because of irregularities within the community of the Handmaids of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - a group which has since been suppressed. The former religious told me how Fr. Miller had been disliked by the establishment at the Blue Army, and suspected of being a liberal.

Anyway - I completely forgot I had painted this and laughed because I also painted the Trinity in my new panel in a rather similar fashion. The similarity ends there - right now I will tell you that the icon shown is better than my current work. Interestingly some folks thought the girls in the image presented above appeared to be Muslim, because of their prayer position and the veils - I never made that connection - although the name Fatima itself is Muslim - Mohammed's daughter in fact.

Anyway - the above panel illustrates two parts of the secret, the vision of hell and the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The background vignettes portray two of the preparatory apparitions of the angel which took place before the actual apparition of Our Lady on May 13, 1917.


  1. Wonderful!

    I know a guy!

  2. A beautiful, meditative piece of art. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  3. Terry, Thanks for sharing this.
    It is beautiful.

  4. Wow! I'm so glad you are painting again--that is so beautiful! You are a most excellent artist Terry! I wish I had even a remote amount of your talent.

  5. Terry,

    Were you aware that an iconographer by the name of Patricia Delehanty Moran copied your icon
    and claims she painted it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?
    This copy was presented to the Russian Orthodox Church during a controversial pilgrimage to Russia in 1992.

    I learned of this from a video posted on Youtube:

    If you skip to minute 11:35, you'll see a woman by the name of Rosalie Turton holding this copy and describing how it was painted.

    There is also a book about this pilgrimage which includes a photo of the icon
    (go to page 113):

    Prints of this icon are even for sale from 101 Foundation:

    I didn't know until now how to bring this to your attention, but I thought you should know considering someone else is being credited as being the original painter of the icon and that prints of it are for sale.

    1. Many thanks for letting me know this Gustavo. I have the original magazine cover from World Apostolate of Fatima with the icon I did for the shrine in New jersey on the cover, as well as my narrative contained in that issue. It was commissioned by them for the shrine.

      That said - icons are painted after some sort of prototype - so in a way they are all copies of an original. This lady must have seen the one I painted, or had a print of it, and then painted her version which would be different due to her particular style and experience.

      It doesn't matter to me as long as the authentic message of Fatima is communicated and if devotion is enkindled in the hearts of the faithful.

      I have an icon of Matt Talbot floating around somewhere which people have published and distributed and even used as relic cards - I have nothing to do with that stuff.

      I also have Carmelite icons and others used in books and as book covers, all without attribution - I'm fine with that.

      I consider the Gospel, "The gift you have received, give as a gift." So I try to do that.

      Thanks my friend for alerting me to this - it's fine with me though.


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