Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our Lady of Guadalupe and healing through art

As some of you may know, I am much taken by Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is huge in the spirituality of Mexico and Central America. I am especially smitten with the art of Guadalupe and have a small collection at home.

My own sense of this is that Guadalupe is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. But that is not what I am writing about today.

The Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul in San Diego has an extraordinary art program for troubled young women who paint self-portraits using the Guadalupe motif.

The paintings help bring healing to those who paint them. I want to applaud and highlight their amazing work. Episcopal News Service wrote about the San Diego program yesterday:

[Episcopal News Service] A huge step toward healing for Magdalena, a teen-aged victim of human trafficking, came through the Guadalupe Art Program, a ministry of the Cathedral of St. Paul in theDiocese of San Diego and the Rev. Mary Moreno Richardson.

When Magdalena (whose identity was withheld for her protection) was able to connect with Our Lady of Guadalupe, a central spiritual image in Latino culture, she was able to view herself as lovable and could begin to reclaim her life, said Richardson, the cathedral canon for Hispanic ministries.

"Through art, the girls use the image of Guadalupe as their model and paint themselves into her corona, placing themselves within her loving aura. In doing this, they regain the ability to see their own beauty again," said Richardson, whose bright yellow San Diego office overflows with self-portraits of young-women-as-Guadalupe, art supplies and musical instruments.

To read the full article, click HERE.

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