New oil painting of St Jude presented to Sacred Heart Bournemouth
1st June 2017
Last Sunday, the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, Harriet Muller, a local artist and parishioner of Sacred Heart church in Bournemouth, presented an oil painting of St Jude for blessing and gift to the parish.
Here is Harriet's story of how she became inspired to paint St Jude...
"This painting of St Jude is my way of saying thank you to the saint of hopeless cases and lost causes, with the hope that others will discover the powerful novena prayer to St Jude.
I will not forget first learning about St Jude: I was going through a difficult time and was trying to sell my flat after two sales had previously fallen through at the last minute and it had failed to sell at auction and I was due to get married that month and my future husband and I hoped to buy a house together. With a few weeks to go, it looked like we might lose the house, but on that Tuesday evening at bible study group, as I was flicking through a parish bible, the novena prayer to St Jude fell into my hands. The title read "Desperate Situations & Hopeless Cases". That was me, I thought, so that week I started the novena. On the ninth day, fifteen minutes after finishing the last prayer, I received a phone call from the estate agent. Not only did I have a buyer, but he had already put down a deposit for my flat! Since then I have called on St Jude's help when I am in need and he has always helped me.
Earlier this year, I attended the "Called and Gifted" programme, which encourages you to discern your charisms. I wanted to use my gift of painting to help draw others to Christ. I very much wanted to give thanks to St Jude so I decided I would test out my charism by doing an oil painting of him. Before starting work on any part of the painting, I would pray for inspiration; that the Holy Spirit would guide me. Unlike my other artwork, I had no idea how the portrait was going to turn out. One day, I came across an article about lighthouses guiding ships through turbulent weather - what an excellent metaphor for the unwavering light of God which provides us with reassurance when we feel we are battling one of life's storms; a symbol of hope. The lighthouse in the painting is based on the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt. I knew I needed a very special model to pose for the portrait of St Jude and I still didn't know who it was going to be. After much prayer, I bumped into my local Big Issue seller, who is such a friendly and humble man and fortunately he was delighted to be asked to pose. I painted St Jude holding his epistle in the form of a scroll in his left hand and a club in his right hand which symbolises the way in which he was killed.
I very much hope the painting inspires others to find out more about this remarkable saint."
You can read more about the project and find the prayers for the Novena to St Jude here.