“The Saints Go Marching in!”

Once a famous song, “When the Saints Come Marching In” played religiously by Louis Armstrong is a popular tune originally composed for a New Orleans Funeral March. It comes to mind when looking at the 14ft painting by artist Fred Villanueva called “Pope Benedict XVI at Prayer with the Holy Theologians.” This museum masterpiece is the largest contemporary painting in the world of His Holiness, this will be sent by The National Museum of Catholic Art and Library. We are looking for individuals or a corporate sponsors to donate from $100 to $5000 to pay for round trip shipping, crating and art insurance to protect the painting abroad and for the artist transportation. These sponsors will receive international recognition in all press materials, signage and related websites.
In 2008, Christina Cox, Executive Director of The National Museum of Catholic Art and Library in Washington, DC has read most of the Pontiff’s books on theology. She and curator, Mariavelia Savino came up with the idea of showing the Holy Father in a daily routine of prayer reinforcing his belief of the teaching examples of the Holy Theologians. Cox commissioned Villanueva to paint a portrait after learning he met the Pope in January of 2007 for a marriage blessing for him and his wife, Nora at the Vatican. We all wanted to create something special for the arrival of the Holy Father visit to Washington, DC. Villanueva had 8 weeks to make it happen and install the painting at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center. It was exhibited for the leaders of the interfaith conference. We were very happy to have it in his presence and believe the painting was a symbol of saintly interceding for his safe visit to his trip to the nations capital. A Madrid artist, Maria Tarruella heard about this and was inspired to create “The Art and Faith “art show at the Jose Pons Foundation in honor of the World Youth Day. “The Art and Faith “ show for the Pope visit to Madrid will start on August 9th through August 26th, 2011. She chose 38 artists out of 3000 to participate in this spiritual contemporary show of new artists of all faiths including The Pope’s painting!
Villanueva portrays in his painting of Pope Benedict praying around some of Spain’s most highly respected doctors of the church such as Saint Theresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, St. Augustine who’s order which in Spain. But truly the Saint who is most current and not a stranger to Rome or Pope Benedict is St. Jose Maria Escriva, who is the founder of Opus Dei. The Villanueva’s painting displays such his hidden symbols and subtle techniques as soon as we are observing it in profundity. We discover, Leonardo Da Vinci’s cat under the Pope’s wooden prayer stool. His Holiness wears a red vestment to symbolize that season of Easter is upon us, or an Apostles or Martyrs fast and perhaps after a requiem mass. We found the symbol of the coat of arms of His Holiness and The Holy Spirit is to its right meaning the Trinity, The open book in Latin is from Pope Benedict’s XVI own book Jesus of Nazareth, (the quote in Latin means Jesus is the life that God gives); the Raphael’s Sistine Madonna holds Baby Jesus right next to His Holiness. We have Jesus, Mary and The Holy Spirit with the Saints in a sacred union of prayer together. This fabulous painting has just been published in “The Book of Saints, Day to Day Illustration Encyclopedia by Weldon Owen and sold online at Barnes and Noble.
The National Museum of Catholic Art and Library needs your donation today! For further information, you may go to www.nmcal.org and contribute any amount to help though our pay pal account. Your recognition will be announced in a special section on our website! Let us help support our artist and Pope Benedicts mission to the World Youth Day event in Madrid.. FOR CONTACT INFO: Artist, fredvillanueva@gmail.com or 917- 554-5286 OR christinacox24@aol.com Museums 202-457-5707 catholicart@aol.com Curator Mariavelia Savino at goldingsavino@aol.com

About Christina Cox

Christina Cox is Founder and Executive Director to The National Museum of Catholic Art and Library in Washington, DC.
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