Friday, June 18, 2010

Some Charcoal Drawings

Since 8th grade, I have loved drawing with charcoals. My Language Arts teacher passed around paper and charcoal sticks one day in class...I can't even remember what we were supposed to draw, but I know that from then on, charcoal has been one of my favorite kinds of art. Every so often, I pick it up again and create some things.

Yesterday yielded this...

And today, this...

They are far from perfect but I don't practice much, so that's what I get.

The first drawing is of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the second is my favorite saint, Saint Philomena. Here's a bit of the story of this incredible Saint.

On May 24, 1802 in the Catacombs of Priscilla in rome, and inscribed loculus (space hollowed out of the rock) was found, and on the following day it was carefully examined and opened. The loculus was closed with three terra cotta tiles, on which was the following inscription: "lumena paxte cumfi". It was and is generally accepted that the tiles were meant to be read with the leftmost tile placed on the right: "pax tecum Filumena" which means "Peace with you, Philomena." The images on the tiles also indicated her virginity and that she was martyred. Within the loculus was found the skeleton of a female between thirteen and fifteen years old. Embedded in the cement was a small glass phial with vestiges of what was taken to be blood. In accordance with the assumptions of the time, the remains were taken to be those of a virgin martyr named Philomena.

On December 21, 1833, the Holy Office declared that there was nothing contrary to the Catholic faith in the revelations that Sister Maria Luisa di Gesu (1799-1875), a Dominican tertiary from Naples (as well revelations of the same nature to two other separate people), claimed to have received from the Saint herself.

According to Sister Maria Luisa di Gesu, Saint Philomena told her she was the daughter of a king in Greece who, with his wife, had converted to Christianity. At the age of about 13 she took a vow of consecrated virginity. When the Emperor Diocletian threatened to make war on her father, he went with his family to Rome to ask for peace. The Emperor fell in love with the young Philomena and, when she refused to be his wife, he subjected her to a series of torments: scourging, from whose effects two angels cured her; drowning with an anchor attached to her, but two angels cut the rope and raised her to the river bank; being shot with arrows but on the first occasion her wounds were healed, on the second the arrows turned aside, and on the third, they returned and killed six of the archers and several of the others became Christians. Finally the Emperor had her decapitated, which occurred on a Friday at three in the afternoon, as with the death of Jesus. The two anchors, three arrows, the palm and the ivy leaf on the tiles found in the tomb were interpreted as symbols of her martyrdom.

In these visions she also revealed that her birthday was January 10, that her martyrdom occurred on August 10 (the date also of the arrival of her relics in Mugnano del Cardinale), and that her name "Filumena" meant "daughter of light". (It is usually taken to be derived from a Greek word meaning "beloved".)

Since the majority of the information that we know about St. Philomena was received through private revelation, the Church says that we may choose to believe it or not, and that either way, we do not go against the teachings of the Church. I, personally, believe very strongly in my dear Saint and plan to take her as my patroness in a few years when I profess my first vows as a Sister.

Saint Philomena, powerful with God, pray for us!

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