Michael O’Neill McGrath currently resides in Washington D.C.,
and is a brother of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. He is the
author and illustrator of Journey with Therese of Lisieux: Celebrating
the Artist in Us All, as well as Patrons and Protectors, a three-part
series of books on the saints. He has been the recipient of awards from
the Catholic Press Association for his covers of America magazine, and his work appears regularly
in the publications of today’s leading Catholic and Christian
publishers. Mickey is also a widely respected speaker and retreat
director at parishes and retreat centers throughout the United States.
paintings in this exhibit are also book illustrations.
The book consists of twenty-one full-page representations of Mary accompanied
by poems and prayers from the pen of Richard N. Fragomeni.
Bringing painter and poet together, World Library
Publications (WLP, Franklin Park, IL) created a nice coffee
table book inviting artistic delight and spiritual joy.
the paintings are a feast of colors and Mary, albeit couched
in iconographical patterns of classical Marian titles,
evokes a refreshing portrait of cultural variety and genuine
Here is how
the painter ordered and labeled his renderings of Mary:
Exhibit is divided into four sections to illuminate some
recurring themes found in the litanies. These
themes mark elements of our own life journeys as well.
The titles in the Chapter named "Mother" remind us of
our hearts' continual longing for nurturing love and the
desire to create. These show us the Mary of
Bethlehem and Calvary. The images in the section
designated "Lady" refer to the gracious Mary who is a
devoted handmaid and grace-filled servant, the Mary of
Nazareth at the Annunciation and Visitation. The
"Mystic" group celebrates a more contemplative Mary who
exposes us to our own inner potentials and
possibilities. She is the Mary of the
Presentation, who holds the mysteries of God in her
heart. And finally, "Queen" is the title of her
ultimate fulfillment as protector of all hearts that
long for the love of God. As queen, she is the
Mary of Pentecost and the Assumption."
paintings are "painted prayers." They are inspired by
the Litany of Loreto, the Song of Songs and the Akathist
Hymn. The series gives ample space to African
American and Latin-American interpretations of Our Lady.
Here is the artist's ardent wish addressed to his "readers:"
colors stimulate you and the words inspire you.
And may Mary, who is mother, Lady, Mystic, and Queen,
visit you and find a home in your heart. Blessed
is she among women. And blessed, it is safe to
assume, are we."
All images pertaining to this
exhibit are taken from the book, Blessed Art Thou; Mother, Lady, Mystic, Queen
and are owned by World Library Publications, 3708 River Road, Suite 400,
Franklin Park, IL 60131-2158, (800)-621-5197 ext. 2767, and are used with
permission. They may not be reproduced in any form without permission from the