New Icon of Blessed Joseph Gérard

lesotho

About Blessed Joseph Gérard, OMI:

Blessed Joseph Gérard, OMI (March 12, 1831-May 29, 1914) was a French Catholic missionary who chiefly worked among the Basotho people of modern day Lesotho and the Free State province of South Africa. He joined the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate at the age of 20. Though born in Bouxières-aux-Chênes, France, after receiving his training in the Diocese of Nancy, he left France and never returned. He mastered the languages of Zulu and Sesotho and moved to South Africa in 1853, where he performed his missionary duties until his passing in 1914. Bl. Gérard was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

(via Wikipedia)

New Icon of Blessed Joseph Gérard

(Originally published on omiworld.org)

In response to an article about the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Oblates in Lesotho, Fr. Jack LAU, director of the Galilee Centre in Arnprior, Canada, sent news of a new icon of the great apostle of Lesotho, Blessed Joseph Gerard. The iconographer is an Oblate Associate, Suzanne Manchevsky.

joseph-gerard-scanned-icon-

She explains the process and the nature of this icon: “The process of designing and creating an icon begins and ends with prayer. Through prayer, readings of Scripture and reference materials and contemplation, the iconographer seeks to enter into relationship with the subject, to walk with them, to be in communion with them and to “get to know and love them” and pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire an essential, visual summary of their life, story, and faith.

“The icon depicts Father Gerard as a young missionary in Southern Africa. He wears his black cassock, the distinctive Oblate crucifix and wire-rimmed glasses. His dark eyes gaze directly and unwaveringly at the viewer. His ears are exaggerated denoting one who listens for God’s voice. Physically, he is strong and sturdy and with very powerful hands for doing the Lord’s work. A prayerful and holy man, his left hand holds his prayer book close to his heart. His right hand is extended to the viewer, even protruding into the border and cradled in his palm is a single Protea, the national flower of South Africa. The flower represents a baptized soul, offered in love to the Father and perhaps will challenge viewers to ponder our own offerings and witness.”{jcomments on}