St. Clare of Assisi, 2008 by Stephen B Whatley

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    © Stephen B Whatley

    " Since 2000, when I made a painting of the Baby Jesus on Christmas Day, I have increasingly felt compelled to express the depth of my Christian faith - upon which I depend- through my art.

    My faith has grown through suffering and heartbreak - and miraculous moments of joyous overcoming- not through indoctrination.

    Along the way I have been enriched by learning of the different Saints - some of whose intercession I have been humbly honoured to feel. Most recently I have been deeply moved to learn of the life and faith of St Clare of Assisi - whom I have painted with deep prayer just days ago..."

    St Clare, described as a great beauty, was born in 1194 in Assisi, Italy to a family of great wealth and from her earliest years had a great yearning for a more spiritual life. She was greatly inspired in her teens by hearing St Francis of Assisi preach; and with all her heart desired to imitate Francis and to live a poor humble life for Jesus. Along with her younger sister Agnes, she co-founded a community of nuns, still known throughout the world as Poor Clares.

    In 1234, through the depth of her prayers, God saved Clare and her Sisters when the army of Frederick II launched an attack on Assisi; planning to raid the convent first. Clare was very sick, but she pulled herself up from her bed and proceeded to face the invaders at an open window - placing the Blessed Sacrament in clear view of them. In artistic depictions St Clare is often shown holding the monstrance (as in Stephen's tribute )or the ciborium; as she prays for help and protection. She begged God to save the Sisters: "O Lord, protect these Sisters whom I cannot protect now". At this moment the attackers were struck with sudden fear and fled.

    Her prayers would defeat future dangers in her lifetime; before St Clare passed away in 1253.

    Clare was canonised in 1255. St Clare is Patron Saint of among other things, 'sore eyes'; and as recently as 1958, Pope Pius XII chose St Clare of Assisi to be Patron Saint of Television.

    Recognising the importance of this then relatively new communications medium, he qualified his dedication by recalling a time in St Clare's life when she was too ill on Christmas Eve to attend Midnight Mass. She sighed, "See Lord, I am left alone with You" as the Sisters left for Mass. At that moment God granted Clare a vision in which she saw and heard the Mass as if she had been present in the convent chapel...

    Faith.

    Dedicated to Albert - who was healed by prayers byThe Order of Poor Clares; & who prays for healing. His Flickr.com site, olofgoodwill reflects his deep faith...thank you Albert.

    Oil on canvas, 30 x 24in
    www.stephenbwhatley.com

    _kimmg_, Wei Zhang@Hudson, ineedathis, and 49 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. Stephen B Whatley 67 months ago | reply

      Thank you so much - it will be such an honour..I hope people will visit your site.

    2. olofgoodwill 67 months ago | reply

      ohhh wow. thank you so so much my dear friend. my oh my... i'm at a lost for words. nobody ever dedicated a painting to me and more so a painting of a saint i dearly love. thank you dear stephen. i hope i could see it in persom one of these days. God bless you always.

    3. Princeps autem justus 67 months ago | reply

      My dearest Stephen, God has blessed you with such remarkable gifts in your artistry. With this painting it feels as though the full depth and breadth and energy of your faith has been unleashed. Your vision of St. Clare reveals the power of her great faith at a moment when contemplation, adoration, and action all drew together and she became the perfect sermon uttered without one word but revealing the full power of God to bring peace and put strife and warfare to an end.

      Your artistry in painting is a treasure for the whole world. And as my friend you are the dearest treasure. I pray the whole world will come to your work and rejoice in these paintings that are alive with faith, hope, and power.

    4. Abby Lanes 67 months ago | reply

      Stephen, I just love your depth, and you wonderfully spiritual heart! Your art is so touching, as is your faith.

      Your photo is amazing;
      Please add this photo to

      "My Photographic Memory"
      group, tag your photo"My Photographic Memory"

    5. Hugotepic 67 months ago | reply

      Beautiful artwork!... Inspiring!!

    6. Lawrence OP 67 months ago | reply

      This is gorgeous Stephen. I wonder if you would be inspired to do one of St Dominic or St Thomas Aquinas?

    7. M-J Turner 67 months ago | reply

      I feel your faith is so personal and intimate, and you display this passion in your work. Amazing, my friend.

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Flickr Royalty, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    8. Stephen B Whatley 67 months ago | reply

      You are so deserving Albert- Thank you!

      Vincent I treasure your heartfelt beautiful words- thank you so much for your perception- & faith.

      Thank you dear Abby for those lovely words.

      Thanks dear Hugo

      Thank you Lawrence...I feel more & more inspired even compelled to paint the saints; so I am sure I will sometime.

      Thank you for your sensitive perception & appreciation Matt.

    9. clint w 67 months ago | reply

      great painting of a lady who sounds both beautiful & amazing,i love her story.

    10. Dave Nimitz 66 months ago | reply

      thank you stephen for posting once again amazing work well done

    11. daiseedeb 64 months ago | reply

      Just stumbled upon your art through abby .....your colors enrich my soul! What an incredibly gorgeous talent you have!
      dd

    12. garlandcannon 63 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called North Wind's Daughter, and we'd love to have this added to the group!


      Sharing Art Award!
      Seen in the artistic pool: Sharing Art!

    13. Victoria-Ukraine 63 months ago | reply

      Perfect! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    14. Aicharl 62 months ago | reply

      J'aime beaucoup votre façon de peindre.

    15. Gabriella Carta (Italy) 61 months ago | reply

      wonderful colors and fantasy

    16. olofgoodwill 54 months ago | reply

      after

      in gratitude... i dedicate to you one of my works...

      God bless you always dear Stephen...

    17. *Vera- busy [deleted] 50 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called -Make war and poverty history-invited photos only, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    18. *Vera- busy [deleted] 50 months ago | reply

      This is GREAT !Admired for excellence in:

      Make war and poverty history
      post 1/award1

    19. calamityjan2008 33 months ago | reply

      Lovely painting and story!!
      ~Wow This is an Awesome photo! I saw this in
      An Awesome Shot!
      An Awesome Shot Award!! (Invite only images)
      If You Haven't already Please tag your photos AnAwesomeShot

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