After the Holy Father made his act of consecration for Russia and Ukraine, I felt that I should do something in my own small way to commemorate the occasion.
For some time now, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at iconography, but have been intimidated by the challenge of it. When I began to entertain the thought of undertaking iconography, one of the things that held me back was the choice of a subject, for I initially had no sense of which of the myriads I might attempt.
But my urge to help foster the reunion of Russian Christians with the Catholic Church, along with the current events of the tragic Ukranian war (brought on in part by the schism) and the papal consecration, eventually made it clear to me that I was called to write (paint) Our Lady of Fatima in the Byzantine-Slav style.
Back in my childhood and youth I had developed quite a passion and some skill for the visual arts, especially pencil drawing landscapes. But I never became as comfortable with painting or adept at depicting the human figure. And to top it off, I fell away from practicing the visual arts during my high school and college, focusing rather on cultivating interests in music performance and composition.
So it seemed a bit of a crazy idea to think that I could do justice to a religious subject in the visual arts. And yet the notion remained in the back of my mind and really began to grow after I finally reconnected with my Byzantine heritage. It eventually reached the level where I discerned it was not some idle fancy, but truly a vocation from God to put my modest abilities at the service of His glory.
It was at this point I also realized that He would provide whatever I was lacking in my own limited talents if I followed His will. And truly, I know I could not have created what is now taking shape by my own poor efforts. All comes to be from His grace through the prayers of the Most Holy Theotokos bringing it to fruition.
Please stay tuned for the upcoming unveiling of the icon once it is complete!