National Museum of Catholic Art and Library - Press Release - Celebration in Washington



"The largest painting in The World of Pope Benedict xvi exhibited at the Pope john Paul II Cultural center is on view to the Public"

Pope John Paul II Cultural Center and The National Museum of Catholic Art and Library host Wine and Cheese Cocktail Reception, Tuesday, May 20, 2008 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Ambassadors, Washingtonians business elite, artists, students and clergy are expected to attend.

On April 17th, 2008 Pope Benedict XVI made a commerative visit to the Pope John Paul II Center. His Holiness gave a speech to invited guests of the interreligious leaders of Jewish, Hindu and Buddhists faiths. Pope Benedict was able to see the museum's painting as he left the rotunda and walked to the Chapel. It made the visit to the center very special as all the Holy Theologians in this large portrait surrounded Pope Benedict in prayer.

The painting "larger than life" by Texas-Mexican artist Fred Villanueva was commissioned by Christina Cox, Founder and Executive Director of the National Museum of Catholic Art and Library in NYC, was set up in the main hall at the Pope John Paul II Center for the interreligious dialogue event. This oil painting has already been in New York city, Washington, DC and scheduled to travel to many Catholic University around the country.
Only "Texans" know that everything bigger is better and Mexican art murals decorate building walls in vivid colors. Artist Fred Villanueva knows that making the visit of Pope Benedict should be historical. That is a most important issue for the Holy Father especially because the Mexican, Hispanic and Latino community is such an important part of America.

Italian born Mariavelia Savino, art curator knows that Pope Benedict writings focus on the saints, theologians and Christian mystics. Mariavelia researched devotional images for the artist first sketch. Everyone knows that saints create miracles and restore your faith. The Holy Father surrounded with St. Augustine, St. Catherine, St Theresa of Avila, St Thomas Aquinas and so many others was successful with his meeting because all the theologians were beside him. In the painting Pope Benedict is in "prayer" asking for peace in the world.

Please RSVP to us if you are attending either by e-mail us at or phone. 212-828-5209 / (917-750-0014 in Washington, DC)